Sign up/Login to read the full article
Email address :  
Password :  
Forgot your password?
Environment » Conservation
Art and science of taxidermy
 Share  ·    Comment   ·    print   ·  
Photo Courtesy: Kendaganna Swamy, Mysore Anatomical sketches and notes made by Edwin Joubert Van Ingen in the 1930s.

THE Van Ingens published a booklet in the 1920s with detailed instructions and explanatory figures on “the correct methods of the preservation of shikar trophies in the field” as a badly removed skin cannot be turned into a perfect trophy. It was a practical, field-based guide that hunters could consult after they had shot their animals. There are chapters on “Skinning a Tiger”, “Skinning Heads”, “Skulls and Skeletons” and “Preservatives”. On the skinning of a tiger, they write: “Place the carcass on its back, and make an incision through the chin—not the corner of the mouth—and carry it along the centre of the throat to the chest.... Then carry the incision along from the vent to tip of tail.” Similar precise instructions are available for all animals, including crocodiles and snakes. P.A. Morris in his work on the Van Ingens describes their methods in detail. Once the salted skins or the masks (heads of the animals) came to the factory, which was located on a vast area on the outskirts of Mysore, lower-caste workers would cure the skin by placing it in chrome tan. The skins would then be pared by men using their sharp knives to reduce the skin thickness as far as possible.

Register to get full access to this article

Login | New user



This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
The Hindu presents the all-new Young World
Recent Articles


Anatomy of romance
 Rang De Basanti is the movie of the decade, if I am to produce my views. Hindi cinema has shown us the power and grit of a strong film. This...»
posted by SHANKU SHARMA   on Jul 28, 2014 at 16:46 IST

From crisis to crisis
 A stable government is the need of the hour for the development of this war-ravaged country even for its neighbours and the U.S. But to expe...»
posted by Anwesha   on Jul 30, 2014 at 11:47 IST

Vision for Kashmir
 Mr.Nehru during his life time had offered to make the ceasefire line as boundary line between the two parts of Kashmir.Shri Lal Bahadur Sast...»
posted by Hariharan   on Jul 30, 2014 at 13:30 IST