Over the years I've used different things to "dress" rawhide, but over the last several years, I've gone to either leaving it in a "raw" state, or in this case I waited until it dried and then rubbed in caranuba wax. Whatever you do/use, remember that you don't want to put anything on it that will "relax" it.....or soften it enough that it stretches.
That is one fine piece of work! I love the shine of edge in contrast to the Damascus pattern of the head.
That is Bocote wood. Pronounced, Bo Co T-A.
Its a Mexican central American hardwood that grows in small groups of trees and runs about 6-8" across.
It renews quickly so not only is it beautiful, easy to work, but you aren't taking trees that take hundreds of years to grow. I use it after its been stabilized for my culinary knives. You can use it not stabilized as well. I just got a 36" x 6" x 1 1/4" piece to trim into blocks before stabilization.