Caribou and moose hair tufting is a First Nations art form of considerable beauty and of economic significance in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  Strips of hide with attached hair is  harvested  from fleshed animals, dyed, dried and stored for use.  Tufts of hair are attached to velvet fabric with a canvas backing through the use of loops of thread and knotted on the back of the canvas.  Designs are trimmed with scissors.
Caribou and moose hair tufting is a First Nations art form of considerable beauty and of economic significance in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  Strips of hide with attached hair is  harvested  from fleshed animals, dyed, dried and stored for use.  Tufts of hair are attached to velvet fabric with a canvas backing through the use of loops of thread and knotted on the back of the canvas.  Designs are trimmed with scissors.

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.

Coloured Caribou Hair

Hair is harvested from hides provided by Renewable Resources and Hunters. Neck hair is the best. Hair needs to be clean, no bugs and all going in the same direction. Store dyes work fine. Hair will last years if stored in air tight tupperware containers with moth balls. Use a cool room.

Peter Menzies

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


The hair is stored still attached to hide.

When ready to use, the hide with attached hair is removed from storage. The hair will be cut off as needed.

Peter Menzies

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


The needle creates loops

Starting from the back of the canvas, the needles pushes up from the bottom, forms a loop and is returned back down close to the first hole. A group of hairs is placed inside the loop and the needle pulls the loop downward, pulling on the hair and causing it to stand up.

Peter Menzies
Twyla Wheeler

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


After hair is pulled tight, tie knot on canvas

A strong knot is required on the back of the canvas to hold the hair in place. Each loop requires knotting.

Peter Menzies
Twyla Wheeler

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Some hair can be trimmed

After the hair is secured, it can be trimmed with sharp scissors. Other hair can be left untrimmed.

Peter Menzies
Twyla Wheeler

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Finished art ready to market.

The finished product is quite rugged and easy to carry. It can be placed in frames and makes a nice display of northern art.

Peter Menzies
Twyla Wheeler

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

1.  Northern Tutchone art and draft traditions.
2.  Use of Animal Hides and respect for animals
3.  Hands - on traditional skills and how to learn
4.  Developing Art skills -- creativity, technical tasks


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