What kind of bark did Sam use for soap?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to this is that Sam used the bark of the slippery elm tree as a sort of soap.  This is not to say that he actually used it to make soap.  Instead, he used the bark itself as soap.  He said that this was a kind of bark that got soapy when it was rubbed.

This can be found at the beginning of the chapter entitled "I Find A Real Live Man."  When the chapter starts, Sam is recounting the daily routine that he follows in the summer.  He says that he would take a bath in the spring every morning.  When he would do that, he would rub himself with the bark of the slippery elm.


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