Seal processing workshop teaches traditional knowledge


October 19, 2023

Photo courtesy of Caroleine James/Wrangell Sentinel

Brooke Leslie displays the seal intestines she helped braid as part of the WCA's seal processing workshop Oct. 6 through 8. Instructor Paul Marks II showed participants how to turn the seal's blubber into oil, tan its skin and prepare its intestines for smoking.

WRANGELL - A seal-processing workshop hosted by the Wrangell Cooperative Association brought knowledge about traditional subsistence practices to the community. During a series of classes on Oct. 6, 7 and 8, students helped harvest the meat, fat, skin, oil and intestines from two seals and learned how each byproduct could be prepared or stored.

Instructor Paul Marks II learned how to harvest and process seals from his family in Kake, particularly his grandmother. "I would bring in fish, crab, halibut, whatever she wanted," he recalled, "and she told me what she wanted to do with it. She ju...

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