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Spooky Costumes at Reenactments

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During Halloween, I was thinking that the scariest thing that I had recently seen was photos from a recent reenactment. The event will go unnamed and I will not post the photos here because I try to keep this blog family-friendly. But some of the outfits worn in the photos are guilty for Crimes of Fashion.

We have a responsibility to be wearing the proper outfits for the time period that we are portraying. Not to just wear something because it reaches the inner Indian inside all of us. If we are not wearing the period correct clothing, we are just playing Cowboys and Indians. I have met a few who are enrolled tribal members of the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes, and some Creek descendants, who do not like reenactors or reenactments, and they have a legitimate point of view. When you are not doing a proper portrayal, than you are not honoring their ancestors, family members, or great-great grandparents.

Saying that we all started out as dressed poorly is not a valid excuse. The first event I went to, I did not have a complete or correct outfit. The second event I went to, I did. Some people I know have been doing this for years and still wear the same incorrect junk. Let me try to give a few tips.

We are portraying people and society that coincided with the Victorian era. That means that even in the American society, that men wore more clothing than was necessary.

Plain, white shirts were considered undergarments and would not be worn fully exposed. Men would have on a vest at the minimum, and often some type of jacket or coat. It does not have to be a heavy jacket, just enough to cover the shirt. This would also protect the shirt from getting overly dirty because your shirt was your night gown as well. A totally exposed shirt would be similar to what we see today as guys who let their pants and trousers sag to ridiculous levels. Maybe this is why we see some comments in the old journals back then of the indecent dress of the Seminoles, who would today be considered fully clothed.

Seminole reenactors, do your research to know what the common Seminole clothing was back then. Center seam moccasins are easy to make, so there is no need to waste your money on the knee-high generic mocs. Breech clothes are pointed, not squared. Some plain shirts and coats I see look more like dresses. No bone chokers around your neck. I saw a photo of a guy with modern nylon shorts. I do not know if he was a vendor or not, but synthetic fabrics are actually very dangerous if you are around musket firing and gunpowder.

If you have to set up canvas tents, I understand, but do not have a tipi with a feathered plains bonnet on the outside. I hope that was a vendor, but even if it is not part of the reenactor camp, I still give it a wide clearance and avoid it the best I can.

I am sure that there are plenty more that could be said, but I just do not have the stomach for it.
Current Location:
the hammock
Current Mood:
annoyed annoyed
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[User Picture]
On November 1st, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC), seminolewar commented:
Okay, these other comments to my latest entry are very generic and are probably spam. They don't point out anything specific that I talk about and could apply to anyone's journal here on livejournal.com . They have no identification with their profile. Usually people who comment about my journal talk specifically about something I said, and I usually know who they are. Just an observation!
[User Picture]
On November 6th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC), seminolewar replied:
Re: comments
I deleted the spammers, but did get a comment for this journal from someone who said the Seminole reenactors in Florida have lost focus and need to improve their interpretation and impression. It was in an entry made back in 2006, and unfortunately not here like it belongs.

I agree. Many reenactors are going in the wrong direction.

This is because there are too many people who turned it into their religion, culture, or artistic expression. They think that they can do anything that they want because they have a certain cultural expression that is not due to any historic research, but a pan-Indian or modern nativism. That is why you have the bone chokers or shirts with capes.

This is due in large part by several individuals who have joined the Rose Creek group. Unfortunately they are having a negative influence on the accuracy and quality of the reenactments. That may by my opinion, but there are a lot of people who agree.
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