Kevin Torres: I have a question to those of you who have made
breastplates. I would like to know what matereial to use to thread the
haisrpipe and beads through. Does it matter? Kevin Torres
Answer: I have made a couple of breastplates and I've
compared notes with a lot of people at pow-wows. The original material
used to string the hairpipes and beads was sinew, and that's what I use.
I buy it at pow-wows or from Tandy Leather. It seems most people I meet
also tend to favor real sinew.
It's OK to use the imitation stuff I suppose, but just make sure it's
stiff enough to be pushed through the hairpipes without using a needle.
(When you buy hairpipes, look down the hole of each one first, and make
sure it goes all the way through - otherwise you can't push anything
through it, needle or no needle!). Also, you should be able to separate
the fibers to create varying thicknesses if necessary. I haven't tried
imitation sinew so I can't say whether it stands up to these
requirements or not. To me, the strength and properties of real sinew
are unbeatable, besides just being "authentic". There was usually a good
reason why early Indians chose to use the materials they did and this is
no exception. Good luck!
Lee Flier (email@example.com)