When not working with Father Christmas, reindeer live in the arctic and sub-arctic regions, which include North America, Lapland, Scandinavia, Russia, China. Reindeer, which when wild are called caribou in north america, shed their antlers in the autumn if they are male, and in the spring if they are female. They are usually herded, the live stock and way of life for nomadic peoples, in ancient tradition following the herd from pasture to new pasture. For these, the reindeer supplies everything form food to clothing materials to bone for tools.

As with all animals surviving in cold climates, they typically have a fine, soft fleece growing close to the skin and a thicker outer layer.

Reindeer skin is valued for sleeping on and under, for big fur coats and hats, and as insulating rugs and wall hangings.

For us, reindeer hides make lovely rugs and occasional wall hangings ; antler and bone are used for small decorations, buttons and mirror frames, and to make larger objects such as chandeliers and chairs, stools and benches.

Depending on the species, reindeer fur can be anything from off-white to dark brown.

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