TNP139 Colonial Influence on Hide Tanning Past and Present with Mara Cur

31 minutes

This is the continuation of my conversation with Mara Cur , a hide tanner, hunter, wildcrafter, herbalist and wilder punk extraordinaire. In this episode Mara talks about the history of hide tanning and the important role that women and femmes played in this vocation. We also circle back to the question I posed in the last episode about how she approaches redress with Indigenous communities as she returns the teachings of hide tanning that were eradicated by colonialism.

The resource that Mara recommends to learn about White Saviorism is


Mara credits visionary Cree artist, Kent Monkman, for his teachings on the early history of the fur trade.


I’d like to lift up Bruce Alexander’s essay, The Roots of Addiction in Free Market Society, as a formative document in my collapse awareness that relates quite directly to what Mara was saying about the first 250 years fo the fur trade. It uses the experience of the Orcadians – that’s Scottish folks from the Orkey Islands, previously renown for their sobriety –  employed by in the later days of the fur trade by the Hudson’t Bay company, as a study in how cultural dislocation and attachment rupture were direct causes of alcoholism.


If you really want to geek out on that particular historical niche, you can read my other teacher, Michael Newton’s book, We’re Indians Sure Enough: The Legacy of Scottish Highlanders in the United States.

Check out Mara’s online offerings at and her own website Crowsnest 

This season of the podcast is brought to you by the Threshold community. If the topics engaged in this episode appeal to you, check out our programming at

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