Pithouse

Mountain Goat Hair

Mountain goat hair is an important fibre in the weaving traditions of the Coast Salish. This yarn was the only indigenous yarn material to be used for weaving after the introduction of western wools. It is a very important fibre, and is only found in the most important weaves, such as ceremonial blankets. Mountain goat wool was traded extensively from the Fraser Valley area to Vancouver Island and other locales that lacked the mountain goat habitat.

The collection of hair from the mountain goat did not usually entail killing and skinning the mountain goat for processing. It was easier, and more sustainable, to collect hair from the birthing beds of the mountain goats; additionally, mountain goats leave tufts of hair attached to bushes throughout their mountain terrain while shedding their winter coat. These tufts contain the desirable soft undercoat. The hair of approximately two large goats would be required to weave a 150-centimetre by 115-centimetre blanket.

Images

(111.2 KB)A mountain goat.
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