Tannercraft is one of the traditional crafts on Pern. Its major crafthall is located in Igen Hold.


A detailed description of the Craft on the basis of the The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern

Handly to the central trade routes, the maim Tannercrafthall in Igen is able to stay on top of fashions and trends in boots and other leatherwear.

The main Hall teaches the basics of tannery to any interested student; fact, the Tannercraft has one of the most active Craft school for nonapprentices, since the needs and applications for cured hides are many. Most people have some knowledge of the basics, whether they learn them here or from the tanners back in their home Holds.

Apprentices cure all the hides they can in their own holds. Salt is used for curing when it is available. Curing done with creatures' brains produce glove-soft leather that is much prized for garments. The Crafthall is well downwind of the Hold, protecting the population from the natural effluence of smells that accompany the preservation of hides. Hanging from the rafters and beams are sheaves of drying thongs, and stretching racks hang or are propped against any unoccupied surface. Because of the noxious air, the bronze shutters of the many windows are flung wide most of the time. The stone floors are swept and scrubbed regularly, but scraps of leather and scattered drops of cure or dye are constantly underfoot.

The more sure-handed apprentices are expected to regrind knives and tools to the customary razor-edged sharpness as part of their duties. Every tanner's hands are covered with cuts and blots—the marks of his profession. The Mastertanner's own hands are a rainbow of dyes.

Every major Hold has a tanner-trained cobbler working full-time. He keeps lasts of everyone important to make shoes or boots in their size. Each Weyr has at least one tanner or hide specialist whose job it is to produce the leathers needed for riding gear.

The Tannercraftmaster is really not as important as many of the other Craftmasters. Like cooking, Winecraft, and masonry, tannery is considered a hold craft. The rougher work, such as the fashioning of harness, riding garments, and furniture covering, is easily learned and passed on. To maintain crafthold prestige, Mastertanner Belesdan has reserved as craft secrets some special processes and chemicals, techniques, and compounds to make finer leathers, such as glove and boot leather. He personally oversees the continuation of some Ancient techniques, which he keeps very secret. He considers it good business to have as barterable goods or services for trade some things that only the Tannercraft can provide.

Belesdan will often send specialists to various Holds known for their herdbeasts, to go through the hides that have accumulated over the winter. He provides certification of quality of hides for traders who will be carrying them to Gathers in Holds all over Pern in the course of a Turn. Buyers know that if a hide bears the stamp of the Tannerhall, it has been prepared properly and will not rot.

Since Pernese floors are all stone or earthen, the people need heavy shoes or boots to protect their feet from the cold, and they tend to be very gaudy in their footwear. Some of Master Belesdan's special dyes are intended solely for boot leather. He dabbles in color and experiments with new designs for his eager customers. Since leather is easily obtainable—almost more easily than cloth— fashion-minded folk will have many pairs of shoes. Leather gloves and caps also make fashion statements.

There is an ongoing rivalry between the Tannercraftmaster and Masterweaver Zurg in the Weavercrafthall in Southern Boll. Each is always trying to outdo the other in outrageousness and popularity.

Positions and responsibilities


First Pass / First Interval

First Interval / Second Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Second Interval / Third Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Sixth Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Eighth Interval / Ninth Pass

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