I had some friends go to Boston recently and visited the USS Constitution. I would really love to do that one day. I am glad they got the chance to go there.
I know that for someone who is really into living history, you want to dress up in the clothes and do living history wherever you go. There is certainly an urge to do that. And our vacations usually consist of visiting historical sites.
I have had to step back from the reenacting and living history the past year because of a family situation. I only did three events this past year: the 1812 Grand Tactical in Maryland, Fort Chokonikla at Paynes Creek, and Fort Cooper. Circumstances prevented me from going to other events. But I enjoyed doing three good events, and not a bunch of little ones. And it looks like this next year might be similar, with one or two other events added.
Just to let everyone know, since I am certified as a historic weapons firing and blackpowder safety by the state parks & NRA, I will need to be invited to certain events to attend them and fulfill these functions. But that is another thing for another time. Let me get back to the main topic.
Anyway, my friends who went to Boston apparently dressed up in their 1830s Seminole clothing, and I saw one who even set up a shelter. I can understand why they did it, but these days I do not go to events where I would be dressing and portraying someone out of context of that place and time.
But I no longer go to other parks and museums and dress up as historic people who were not there. If it is a general, historical timeline, then sure.
I hope my friends do not hate me for saying that, and it was certainly not meant to slight them or what they did. For me, it is just not what I would do anymore. 15 years ago it would have been different, and I would have done that. During those years I would jump at every chance to wear the Seminole clothing. But now, I am very careful to do the living history in its proper context.
Now if I went to Fort Niagara and did a Native impression that was part of the program, that would be fine. But I would not go to a civil war event dressed as a Seminole when that was not part of the history. (And I did do just that very thing in the past.) For what I do now, it is only in the proper context for the interpretive statement of this historical site. Unless it is the general, historical timeline.
But I loved seeing those photos of old Boston and the USS Constitution.
On July 11th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Thank you for saying all that about being out of place or time. We have too many guys/ladies out there that will do it anyway because they can and without thinking about the ramifications of what the public thinks/believes will now be correct. That is why I have stepped on a few many toes about historic tipis being out of place in Fla. and other places. If there are any historic lodges in Fla. I know..this is not Southeastern talk...but they do show up.
However, keep up the good work and missed you while your computer was down.
The old email address is no more. (TFN.NET) so I have to use the yahoo email. So if anyone tried to email me there, I never received it.
But back to the subject here. Each park needs to have a statement of interpretation, telling what they will interpret and why. Otherwise we just confuse the public. Once there was one event where the newspaper told about the Seminoles joining the Confederates to fight the Yankees. Where did that ever happen?