Rabbit Skin Robes and Blanket throughout Western North America

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This article starts off by talking about the wide geographic distribution and considerable time depth of rabbit skin robes and blankets throughout western North America. Many accounts of rabbit skin blankets and robes suggest that they are very warm. Rabbit skin items are one of the items of material culture that remained constant from the archaic period up into the historic period. Rabbit skin items are mentioned in early literature of primary accounts but have been carried over into the secondary literature. Howard Egan, a pioneer and explorer, observed Shoshone women making rabbit skin robes, and later wrote in his diary, ”when hung around the neck the person so clothed can stand in a hard rain or snow storm and not one drop of wet will pass through the robe. They are wind and rain proof and almost cold proof” (Egan 1917:238). Many accounts have been found about people making items out of rabbit skin such as the Anasazi, Mogollon, and Hohokam. These accounts suggest that every member of the group, regardless of sex or age, owned one to wear on cold days, to sleep in, and to be interred in after death. These kinds of accounts came from the 1800s and early 1900s. There have been many advances in technology have which have made it possible for us to manufacture materials that can keep us alive in extreme environments such as the top of Mt. Everest to the depths of Antarctica. So the question is compared to modern materials, how warm could rabbit skin robes actually have

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