For thousands of years, our ancestors lived in reciprocity with the land and their ecological community through the practise of ancestral skills.

These place-based traditional living skills include fire making, shelter building, hide tanning, basketry, pottery, weaving with plant and animal fibres, foraging for wild plants, berries and mushrooms, hunting, fishing, tracking, clothing making, storytelling, bow making, nature awareness, horticulture, flintknapping, animal processing, medicine making, bone and stone tool making, and more.

Today, these skills are still relevant as they open a door for us to remember the old ways, reconnecting us to our ecological community and ourselves as well as making way for new possibilities towards a more earth-honouring future.

Ancestral skills remind us of the power and beauty of making things by hand with local materials, give us back the power to feed, clothe and care for ourselves, our families and our communities, invite us get to know the larger community we are part of, offer us a sense of belonging and connect us to our ancestors.

Practising and sharing these ancient skills have the power to increase our communities’ resilience in the face of change as well as offer us the possibility to live a life in close relationship and reciprocity with the land we call home.

Hello there! My name is Ana Filipa Piedade and I am a portuguese hide tanner and ancestral skills student, practioner and teacher with a deep love for prehistory, local folklore and the place I call home.

I find a lot of joy in sharing about traditional living skills with others. Learning them from Lynx Vilden and other wonderful teachers and mentors, I was deeply inspired and my life profoundly changed. Sharing them with others and seeing that same spark in their eyes brings me much joy.

At the moment, my focus is on traditional hide tanning, which I love to teach through courses and my book, Sheepskin Tanning Guidebook. I am also available for online 1:1 mentoring, so do connect if you’re looking for some guidance in your tanning practise. My hope is to offer new courses on different skills in the near future, which I’m very excited about!

On my daily life, I spend a lot of time daydreaming about endless oak forests, unpolluted waters and intact mountains. I love to plant trees, watch the clouds shapeshift, feel the cold wind on my cheeks, take photos of tiny plants and insects, and gather (and eat) acorns and chestnuts in Autumn. I love caretos and masked traditions of Iberia and the whole world. I love creating with my hands with the help of the animals and plants of my ecological community. I love learning about the ancestors and seeing them in my dreams.

Thank you for being here.

if you enjoy recipes with wild berries, ancestral skills and living history ♥

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