Friday, October 19, 2012

The Men of the Feast of the Hunter's Moon

Last month we went to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon at Fort Ouiatenon in Lafayette, Indiana.    It's a wonderful gathering of fur traders, voyageurs, tradesmen, natives and soldiers that commemorates a similar gathering in 1749.

We go first thing in the morning.   I love it best with the cold mist and smoke from the fires and most everyone dressed up in time appropriate garb [my kids, too] or cameras [me].   

One of the things that has always struck me is the number of men who participate.   I'm talking full grown men [and a few young men] who are there because they want to be.  And they fully participate - with terrific costumes, amazing knowledge of the time period and the ability to demonstrate all kinds of skills.  

Sometimes they came with their families.    I love that.

[And how cute are these kids!] 

 These men really make the event for me.  

There were the soldiers....

And the fur traders.....

 These guys had amazing costumes and were real characters. 

The craftsmen are some of my favorites.    These guys are talkers and they love to explain what they're doing and why and how.  

The blacksmith.

The Indian making arrow heads.

The Indian who makes gourd baskets and vessels.  

The guy who uses the foot powered lathe to turn chair legs.   He gave a great explanation of how Windsor chairs go together and why they work.  

The oar maker told us all about the different types of oars used by different peoples.  

The shop owners had great costumes: 

The man on the left owned this men's clothing shop.   He was very well turned out. 

Love this guy's hat and earrings. 

This is one of the Dutch traders.   [Or maybe English - he's not wearing wooden shoes and most of the Dutch traders did...]

Buckskin breeches and great bag and quivers.    

These guys looked right at home.   

I found these men visiting with the Indian fur trader.    Notice  the powder horn.  

Love that blue!   And the beret!

Don't think it was just old guys, there were a few young men, too.

These boys were from the voyageur camp....

And this one is an early settler.

By far one of my all time favorite Feast moments came this year while we were walking around the voyageur camp.   
This area of the Feast is pretty quiet.   They have their tents and canoes and cooking fires set up along the river edge of the site.   It's peaceful.   They don't get a lot of visitors back there.

These seven men were all gathered in front of the canoe, way back in the quiet and decided to sing a French rowing song...with multiple harmonies.   We just happened to be passing by at exactly the right moment.   Glorious!

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