George Altman

...was born in Manatee County, Florida, in 1946 and lived in the settlement called Sandy located on the Sugar Bowl Road in eastern Manatee County. His family has been in the cow business, either owning or working cows, for four generations as “Florida Crackers”.  He learned to crack his grandpa's whip at about age 6.

 

About 35 years ago, he started teaching himself how to make buckskin whips. It took about 3 years before he could make a whip good enough to sell. He also had to teach himself how to tan my deer skins (hides). The reason for this was  was that all the old timers had died off.  The hide soaks in a lime and water mix for 3-5 days to help remove the hair and flesh. After the hide is cleaned on both sides, it is soaked in oil and soap for 25 days.  It has to be “worked” over a sharp stake while it is drying. Strips of buckskin called “strings” are cut from the hide and incorporated into the whip, which has 14 plats.  A handle made from the Senator Tree’s wood is attached. 

 

It has been my pleasure to be a small part of preserving some old Florida history through making this buckskin whip.

© 2015 The Ole General Store

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