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Native American Indian Powwow & Events Calendar
Native American Indian Powwow & Events Calendar


Porcupine Roach Montage  - Photos Courtesy of Gathering of Nations Powwow

PORKY ROACH KIT INSTRUCTIONS

Note: Click any image/diagram to enlarge.

No other headgear, with the exception of the Plains warbonnet, personifies the North American Indian as much as the hair roach. Historically, its distribution and use covered virtually all tribes of the Plains, Plateau, Great Lakes, and Eastern Woodlands cultural areas. Paintings by artists in the 1830’s reflected the use of the hair roach at that early date, and contemporary use of the porky roach may be seen in the outfits of the Grass Dancer, Oklahoma Straight Dancer, Oklahoma Feather Dancer, Northern Traditional Dancer, and the Old Time dancer.

Using Online Kit Instructions: Click on any figure (image) to view larger version. To print the larger view, "right-click" with your mouse on the image and select "print picture" from the menu that appears.

Deluxe Porky Kit Includes:

  • 1.5 oz. Porky Hair
  • 3 Natural White Deer Tails
  • 18” Rope Base
  • 1/8 oz. Beeswax
  • 1 Spool Button & Carpet Thread, for tying
  • 27 ft. Base Cord

Standard Porky Kit Includes:

  • 1.25 oz. Porky Hair
  • 2 Natural White Deer Tails
  • 15” Rope Base
  • 1/8 oz. Beeswax
  • 1 Spool Button & Carpet Thread, for tying
  • 27 ft. Base Cord

Economy Porky Kit Includes:

  • 1.25 oz. Porky Hair (1" shorter than standard kit)
  • 2 Natural White Deer Tails
  • 15” Rope Base
  • 1/8 oz. Beeswax
  • 1 Spool Button & Carpet Thread, for tying
  • 27 ft. Base Cord

Fig 1A - Tying Board - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge)
Fig 1B - Securing the base cord - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge) Fig 1C - Tying bobbin - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge)

ALSO NEEDED: Needlenose pliers, sewing needle, 50-60 straight pins, small pair of scissors (manicure type are best), piece of heavy cardboard approximately 1” x 3”, ruler.

IMPORTANT: Read all instructions carefully before beginning, then reread each section prior to proceeding with that step. The porky roach should take 13 to 18 hours to complete. Do not rush because the time and effort you spend here will make a big difference in the quality of your finished roach.

PREPARATIONS

Wash & Prepare Deertails
The deertails must be washed to remove excess dirt and salt (used to dry & preserve them). Dish washing liquid and a bucket of warm water are recommended. Wash twice, rinse thoroughly, and lay them white side up on clean paper to dry.

Tying Board Construction & Preparation
Construct a tying board as shown in Fig. 1A. Wood screws and carpenter’s glue are best for securing the boards together. Do not use nails, they will not secure the ends properly.

After assembling this board, or frame, drive a nail into each end at a downward angle. This will be used to secure the base cord. Small, rounded grooves shown in Fig. 1B will help hold the cord in place while tying.

Prepare Tying Bobbin
Prepare a tying bobbin using the spool of “button & carpet thread” furnished with the kit as shown in Fig. 1C. Wind approximately 10 to 15 yds. of the tying string onto this. A rubber band can be used to prevent too much string from unwinding. Let the string out as needed. This “bobbin” of thread is much easier to handle while tying than the whole spool of thread. Note: This thread is also used for tying the deer hair and for sewing the tied rows of hair to the roach base.

SORTING THE PORKY HAIR

Fig 2A - Hold the hair loosely - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge) Fig 2B - Be sure roots are at the bottom of each bunch - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge)
Fig 2C - Pull out longer hairs - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge)
You must first sort the porky hair into groups of similar length before tying it. Take a small bunch of hair, about as thick as a pencil, and with the bottom (root) ends of hair down, tap it against a tabletop several times. Hold the hair loosely in your hand as shown in Fig. 2A. This will line up the ends of the hair for sorting. Be sure that all hair has its roots at the bottom of the bunch. See Fig. 2B.

Place the entire bunch of hair between the first two fingers and thumb of your left hand and, holding it over a ruler laid on the table, pull out the hairs, starting with the longest first. See Fig. 2C.

Separate all the hair into half-inch groups, such as 5”-5.5”, 5.5”-6”, etc. Any hair over 7.5” long should be in one group and all hair under 5” is placed in another. After pulling out all the hair in one size group, tap the bunch down to realign the roots, then sort out all the hair in the next size group. Repeat this until all the hair is sorted. The size categories needed are: under 5”, 5”-5.5”, 5.5”-6”, 6”-6.5”, 6.5”-7”, 7”-7.5”, and over 7.5”. You can now place the sorted hair into separate envelopes to prevent it from getting mixed up.

TYING THE PORKY HAIR

The porky hair is somewhat easier to tie than deerhair, so we recommend tying it first in order to build confidence & skill in making the knots & handling the small bundles of hair. Deer hair is finer & more difficult to tie tightly, & since this is the row of tying that is seen on the outside of the roach, you must tie it in neat, even bunches. The porky hair allows a little more room for error.

Fig 3A & 3B - Marking the base cord - Porky Roach Kit Instructions (click to enlarge)

String the base cord which is the heavy “chalk line” or “cotton cable cord” on the tying board, securing it to the nail. Tie it tightly because it is easier to tie hair to this base cord if it does not give. Mark a 32” length of the base cord in sections as shown in Fig. 3A. For the Deluxe 18” Roach, this will be 38” as shown in Fig. 3B. These marks are where you will change the size of porky Hair that you are tying. These are suggested section widths only! Because the thickness of porky hair naturally varies, it is difficult to say how many hairs should be used in each bundle of tied hair. This number can vary from as few as 12 strands of thick hair to as many as 20 strands of thinner hair. Therefore, you may need to modify these section sizes based on the amount of hair you have in each category. If you find that you have enough hair that is over 7.5” in length, then make room for a section for this at the center. A good method of determining whether you are tying correctly sized bundles of porky hair is by trying to tie from 7 to 10 bundles per running inch. Just measure an inch of your tied hair & count the bundles.

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Crazy Crow Trading Post

Native American Porky Roach - Related Products

The following items are used in the above-article, or may provide added reference and helpful information.

Click the product link for product detail, quantity price breaks & a larger image.

Feather Preparation Products
Crazy Crow Powwow Dance Styles Photo Gallery

Men's Northern Traditional Photo Gallery

Introducing Crazy Crow's powwwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes.

C. Scott Evans & J. Rex Reddick (authors)- Revised 2nd Edition is an in-depth look at the Traditional dance style dance & includes full color photos featuring dancers & powwows from all over the Western U.S. Contains illustrated instructions on correct traditional clothing articles, including bustles, anklets, breastplates, chokers, moccasins, roaches and more. 48pp: 68 color photos & illustrations. SC

Code: 4105-041-900   Price: 12.95
Feather Preparation Products
Crazy Crow Powwow Dance Styles Photo Gallery

Feather Dancer Photo Gallery

Introducing Crazy Crow's powwwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes.

C. Scott Evans & J. Rex Reddick- Detailed instructions, photos & illustrations guide you through the process of making an authentic set of Fancy Dance clothes. Tips & tricks, close-up photos of many beautiful outfits & color action shots from pow-wows all over the country. Highlights include music, powwow etiquette & interviews with champion dancers. 64pp: 121 photos, 60 color photos & 70 illustrations. SC

Code: 4105-051-900   Price: 15.95
Feather Preparation Products
Kit includes:
  • 1-1/2 oz porky hair for an 18" porky roach
  • 3 deer tails for the outside row of deer hair
  • 18" ready-made roach base
  • base cord
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • highly detailed, well illustrated instructions
Code: 4700-010-801   Price: 115.00
Feather Preparation Products
Order Instructions:Select deer tail color desired.

Kit includes:

  • 1-1/2 oz porky hair for an 18" porky roach
  • 3 deer tails for the outside row of deer hair (select color)
  • 18" ready-made roach base
  • base cord
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • highly detailed, well illustrated instructions
Code: 4700-010   Price: 120.00
Feather Preparation Products
Standard Porky Roach Kit includes:
  • 1-1/4 oz porcupine hair for an 15"-16" porky roach
  • 2 deer tails for the outside row of deer hair
  • 15" ready-made roach base
  • base cord
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • highly detailed, well illustrated porky roach instructions
Code: 4700-001-801   Price: 99.00
Feather Preparation Products
Order Instructions:Select deer tail color desired.

Standard Porky Roach Kit includes:

  • 1-1/4 oz porcupine hair for an 15"-16" porky roach
  • 2 deer tails for the outside row of deer hair (select color)
  • 15" ready-made roach base
  • base cord
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • highly detailed, well illustrated porky roach instructions
Code: 4700-001   Price: 105.00
Feather Preparation Products
Same items as the Standard Kit, but the porky hair averages 1" shorter length.

Economy Porky Roach Kit includes:

  • 1-1/4 oz porcupine hair for an 15"-16" porky roach
  • 2 deer tails for the outside row of deer hair
  • 15" ready-made roach base
  • base cord
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • highly detailed, well illustrated porky roach kit instructions
Code: 4700-002-801   Price: 65.00
Feather Preparation Products
Same items as the Standard Kit, but the porky hair averages 1" shorter length.

Economy Porky Roach Kit includes:

  • 1-1/4 oz porcupine hair for an 15"-16" porky roach
  • 2 deer tails for the outside row of deer hair (select color)
  • 15" ready-made roach base
  • base cord
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • highly detailed, well illustrated porky roach instructions
Code: 4700-002   Price: 70.00
Feather Preparation Products
This economical kit makes a good-looking fiber roach that is difficult to distinguish from real porky hair roach, and were seeing more of these in use all the time. Our in-depth instructions present exclusive tips and know-how that will allow you to make an authentic looking alternative to the more expensive porky roach. Weve selected a high quality fiber that is much easier and faster to work with than porcupine hair and deer hair.

Fiber Roach Kit includes:

  • natural 14 fiber
  • rope for base
  • tying cord
  • beeswax
  • well-illustrated fiber roach kit instructions
Code: 4801-101-004   Price: 19.95
Feather Preparation Products

Crazy Crow's Horsehair Roach Kit is the next step up from a fiber roach, with deer hair for an outer row of trim. This improved roach kit is very popular since it makes a good looking roach at less than half the price of genuine porky hair and is also easier to tie.

Kit includes:

  • 14 horsehair
  • deer hair
  • a ready-made base
  • tying cord
  • detailed, well-illustrated instructions
Code: 4801-101-001   Price: 24.00
Feather Preparation Products
Crazy Crow Powwow Dance Styles Photo Gallery
Introducing Crazy Crow's powwwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes.

The spreader is an important item to a Traditional dancer. While it does not necessarily spread the roach, it does hold the roach feathers in place while allowing them to spin along with the dancer. Easy-to-follow instructions.

Finished spreader pictured includes hand-painted imitation eagle feathers.

Spreader with Hand-Painted Imitation Eagle Feathers

A pair of matched feathers to add the finishing touch to any roach (as pictured above).
4802-000-002 $13.25/Ea
Quantity:
Code: 4802-000-001   Price: 8.95
Feather Preparation Products
Code: 4802-000-002   Price: 17.50
Feather Preparation Products
Kris Woerpol - An exceptional source for the authentic construction of the porcupine roach. Areas covered: the building of a tying board, sorting of porky and deer hair, preparation of hair, attachment of hair to base, construction of handwoven base, plus care/storage of the finished roach. Slow motion and instant replay enable the viewer to construct a fine porky roach. 30 Min. Code: 4080-001-017   Price: 11.55
Feather Preparation Products
Priced per ounce.

A very fine quality 1 oz. cake for waxing thread, which increases thread life and prevents tangling. Code: 5050-001-000   Price: 1.50

Feather Preparation Products
Code: 4550-001-712   Price: 55.00
Feather Preparation Products
Code: 4550-002-712   Price: 36.00
Feather Preparation Products
roach spreader,4550-003-712,4550003712 Code: 4550-003-712   Price: 59.00
Feather Preparation Products
Code: 4550-004-712   Price: 39.00
Feather Preparation Products
Code: 4550-005-712   Price: 59.00
Feather Preparation Products
Code: 4550-006-712   Price: 39.00
Feather Preparation Products
Crazy Crow Powwow Dance Styles Photo Gallery
Introducing Crazy Crow's powwwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes.

Featuring extra-long sockets with our exclusive chain connector system for the best spinning feathers possible.

Code: 4550-021-712   Price: 59.00
Feather Preparation Products
Crazy Crow Powwow Dance Styles Photo Gallery

Men's Northern Traditional Photo Gallery

Introducing Crazy Crow's powwwow dance styles photo & media gallery. Images & video organized by dance style to make it easier for you to find great ideas for your powwow dance clothes.

Featuring extra-long sockets with our exclusive chain connector system for the best spinning feathers possible.

Code: 4550-023-712   Price: 39.00
Feather Preparation Products
You may find other craft ideas for these, but primarily used for the inner and outer rows of the porky roach and tassles for gourd rattles & peyote staffs. Xlarge, white. Code: 1820-100-800   Price: 3.95
Feather Preparation Products
Long haired northern tails - select color desired.

You may find other craft ideas for these, but primarily used for the inner and outer rows of the porky roach and tassles for gourd rattles & peyote staffs. Code: 1820-100   Price: 6.75

Feather Preparation Products

This is the long, fine porcupine guard hair used in making porky hair roaches worn by Native Americans male dancers of many different powwow dance styles.

The porky hair is packaged in 4-6" bundles containing enough varied length hair for a 15" roach.

Code: 1825-993-800   Price: 59.00
Feather Preparation Products
Used for feather tip decoration, scalp locks, hair roaches, and quill and horsehair feather ornaments. Cleaned and washed. 13-15 length. Code: 1810-014-001   Price: 1.50
Feather Preparation Products
Used for feather tip decoration, scalp locks, hair roaches, and quill and horsehair feather ornaments. Cleaned and washed. 13-15 length. Code: 1810-014-010   Price: 1.95
Feather Preparation Products
Used for feather tip decoration, scalp locks, hair roaches, and quill and horsehair feather ornaments. Cleaned and washed. 13-15 length. Code: 1810-014-026   Price: 1.95
Feather Preparation Products
Finest Quality Simulations
Molded and colored from original pieces, these museum quality reproductions will add authenticity to any outfit, jewelry item, or craft project. Almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing, these replicas are ideal substitutes for genuine articles. All items are made from thermal setting resin, which makes them virtually unbreakable. Code: 9233-610-106   Price: 23.50
Feather Preparation Products

Perfect for wrapping roaches. 3" wide x 60" long.

The very best material for wrapping your new roach is an "elastic (Ace-type) bandage" that is 3" wide. In order to make wrapping easier, always roll the bandage up before beginning.

See Crazy Crow's Porcupine Roach Care & Storage article for complete Porky Roach Care instructions and wrapping stick suggestions.

Code: 4540-950-001   Price: 5.95
Feather Preparation Products

Keep Your Porky Roach Looking Great!

Available in 2 lengths, this roach stick is invaluable when it comes to preserving the look of your prize roach. Comes with free roach care & storage instructions.

Code: 4540-900   Price: 6.50
Feather Preparation Products

Rope roach bases available in white only, but can be dyed any color. Sizes may be assorted for quantity pricing.

Code: 4540-1   Price: 6.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-210   Price: 11.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-212   Price: 11.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-215   Price: 12.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-218   Price: 12.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-220   Price: 13.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-222   Price: 14.95
Feather Preparation Products

A hand-braided yarn roach base makes a superior roach and is easier to sew than a rope base, but until now has been much more expensive. Weve finally found craftsmen who produce these in excellent quality and at a great price. Available in 7 colors.

Code: 4540-224   Price: 14.95
Feather Preparation Products
Base
Length
Front Porky
Hair Length
6" 5-1/2"
10" 6"
12" 6-1/2"
15" 7"
18" 7-1/2"
20" 7-1/2"
18" 7-1/2"-8"
We offer custom porky roaches, featuring one complete row of porcupine guard hair around the base plus 1 or 2 extra rows in front for the proper fullness. Brightly dyed deer hair completes the roach, with a single outer row. Select your deer hair color from the "drop-down" list. Roaches with deerhair both outside AND inside are also available (see related items below).

Need special colors?

We can usually have it made, however, please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery if not in stock at the time your order is placed, as our roachmakers are always busy. Call our order department hotline to discuss your needs and delivery date.

Free with each porky roach order

To keep your roach as nice as possible, we include one of our hardwood roach sticks and care & storage instructions at no extra charge!

Popular & Hard-to-Get.. Delays Common

This is one of our most popular and in-demand ready-made items. There are limited roachmakers, and therefore delays are common. Please call to discuss current delivery status.

Code: 4545A   Price: 105.00

Feather Preparation Products
Base
Length
Front Porky
Hair Length
6" 5-1/2"
10" 6"
12" 6-1/2"
15" 7"
18" 7-1/2"
20" 7-1/2"
18" 7-1/2"-8"
We offer custom porky roaches, featuring one complete row of porcupine guard hair around the base plus 1 or 2 extra rows in front for the proper fullness. Brightly dyed deer hair completes the roach, with both inner and outer rows. Roaches with outer rows only are available, if desired (see related items below). Select your deer hair colors from the "drop-down" lists.

Need special colors?

We can usually have it made, however, please allow 10-12 weeks for delivery if not in stock at the time your order is placed, as our roachmakers are always busy. Call our order department hotline to discuss your needs and delivery date.

Free with each porky roach order

To keep your roach as nice as possible, we include one of our hardwood roach sticks and care & storage instructions at no extra charge!

Popular & Hard-to-Get.. Delays Common

This is one of our most popular and in-demand ready-made items. There are limited roachmakers, and therefore delays are common. Please call to discuss current delivery status.

Code: 4545B   Price: 125.00

Feather Preparation Products
NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD!!

An exceptional source for the authentic construction of the porcupine roach. Areas covered: the building of a tying board, sorting of porky hair, preparation of hair, attachment of hair to base, construction of handwoven base, plus the care and storage of the finished roach. Slow motion and instant replay enable the viewer to construct a fine porky roach. 30 minutes.

Code: 4085-001-017   Price: 19.95
Feather Preparation Products
We now have hand-tied porky roaches in the round style as worn by Eastern and Prairie tribes. This style goes back to pre-European contact, as can be seen in early illustrations. Each roach has 5"-6" porcupine hair, a row of deer hair both inside and out and is sewn to a colored yarn base. It's worn on the on the crown of the head, attached to the scalp lock. Wear it as-is, or add a spreader with feather socket of your own construction. Yarn base colors may vary. Code: 4545-110   Price: 125.00
Feather Preparation Products

Regularly $6.95!

Rope Roach Base, White, 24"

Code: 4540-124-026   Price: 5.20

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