I admit before my brother started braiding I had no idea what on earth horsehair braiding was. It’s exactly what the name implies – braiding with fine horsehair! It’s a very western art – go to any rodeo or cowboy apparel shop in Wyoming and you might get lucky enough to see the work in person. Several museums throughout the west probably carry examples of this old tradition, as well.
Mentors are usually how this technique is passed down. They work diligently with the apprentice to ensure that the proper process is passed along. It took my brother months of intensive practice to master this art. Aren’t his keychains lovely? His use of highly contrasting color really makes his design motifs sing!
I adore the bracelets he makes. These beauties easily slide to adjust to the perfect size! I love that the more you wear them the softer they become, too!
Horsehair braiding and hitching are a dying craft. I’m proud that my brother is doing his best to keep this tradition alive.
In a future post, I’ll share the horsehair belts he’s hitched for us. They are gorgeous works of art!