Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What - No Pockets?

I was reading through Practicing Primitive this morning and looking at the section about long term primitive projects. One section, which is slightly unusual, caught my eye again.

No pockets will be allowed during the course: Forget you've got 'em, sew 'em closed, cut 'em out.

This begs the question - where to put some of those little things you always have need of from your pockets. The idea of a sash or belt to hold them is nothing new. Otzi the iceman sported a belt containing tools and bits of fungus in a sewn in pouch. My next thought about big sashes or pouches was on the famously colourful ones of the famed voyageurs. These French-Canadian men, also known as coureurs des bois, had a fairly outlandish appearance - their sashes still excite people today - there are more than a handful of websites dedicated to them. For example Finger woven sashes or Hoosier Hand weaving.
The sashes are made by finger weaving - think plaiting on a (much) larger scale. A couple of tutorials are available here and here. The art is perhaps most associated with Scandinavia though - look at these replicas of viking-era weaving. Check out this picture of Wayland (and his excellent site on Vikings and Bushcraft) to see how it could be worn as decoration. As far as modern Scandinavia is concerned the Saami still wear woven decorations, sometimes known as bandweavings, which can be seen on this traditionally attired man's clothes.

Now, I've not done anything quite like this before - I made a braided sling following this tutorial a couple of summers ago. I've also braided a neck cord for the sheath of my Mora before as well which is holding up well.
I think it is time to go and look for some wool.Edit: A lot more primitive weaving techniques are available at the excellent Phiala's String Page.


Torjus Gaaren said...

Pockets is a quite modern invention yes. Don't know exactly when though. Pouches are cooler. And you don't have to look out for all sorts of thingies in your pockets when you are washing the pants.