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UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY BEHIND THE BLACK POWDER RENDEZVOUS

Updated on September 12, 2013
Rendezvous, Springfield, Missouri Sponsored by Bass Pro
Rendezvous, Springfield, Missouri Sponsored by Bass Pro | Source

The Western Frontier

Black Powder Rendezvous' are a celebration of the frontier western life, patterned after the fur trade industry circa era 1840 or sooner.

Vendors wear period clothing, reenacting fur trade era events and using mostly authentic supplies whenever possible.

Native Americans vendors get to show their pride and keep traditions of their ancestors by "living history" and the French, Irish, German and other immigrants, pioneers, fur traders and mountain men pay tribute to their ancestors as well. Some do it for just that reason - to pay tribute to their ancestors, some rendezvous for the love of the simple lifestyle, while others do it for an income by attending and trading their goods year round in locations nation wide.

Sarah G. living history to pay tribute to her 8th great grandmother, also named Sarah, who was a Cherokee slave.  Regalia made by her maternal grandmother.  Used with permission.
Sarah G. living history to pay tribute to her 8th great grandmother, also named Sarah, who was a Cherokee slave. Regalia made by her maternal grandmother. Used with permission. | Source

Vouers are Family and Family-oriented

Regular "Vouers" consider this celebration of living history a time with family. Most are family oriented, of course, as Rendezvous time incorporates children in the events just as they did in the 1840s with atl atl and tomahawk competitions, toe ('to short for potato) sack races and egg throws, but it's also about family you claim because of long-lasting friendships over the years and getting to see some of them at rendezvous' are like a big family reunion.

Josh "Cross" Family.  Used with permission.
Josh "Cross" Family. Used with permission. | Source
Dallas preparing demonstrating atl atl
Dallas preparing demonstrating atl atl | Source
Atl atl target
Atl atl target | Source
Source
Dallas demonstrating the atl atl throw
Dallas demonstrating the atl atl throw | Source
Rawhide guiding these youngsters in the tomahawk throw
Rawhide guiding these youngsters in the tomahawk throw | Source
This tomahawk target has had some use!
This tomahawk target has had some use! | Source

Period Clothing and Native Regalia

At the Springfield Rendezvous, sponsored by Bass Pro, the first weekend of September 2013, the heat was tremendous. As you can see from the period clothing shown here, 100 degree temperature is not much fun.

Period clothing usually consists of long sleeves, long skirts for the ladies, long pants for the men, leather and suede for Native American regalia and often wool. Not bad when it's cool Fall temperatures or early Spring weather, but rain or shine, heat wave or not, Vouers rise to the challenge. Many do this year round and go from camp to camp so remember that when you attend a Rendezvous (they work hard for their money).

TENT CITY

"Tent city" came to life again, the rendezvous is about to begin;

The lanterns glow, the moon shines bright, the children are settled, it's Friday night.

The crickets serenade close by, laughter and friendship under the sky;

Morning will come in a few short hours, we'll rise and shine to show our wares.

Hope to sell our handmade crafts, homemade soap and candle wax;

Wrought iron, boats and jewelry too, something special from me to you.

To trade or buy, arrows and bows, black powder rifles for buffaloes;

Furs and goods for everyone, living history is lots of fun.

Sunday, we'll pack up and leave, in rain or snow and sometimes heat;

Some vous families, we see once a year, but family we are, that's why we're here.

Written by Tammie Clifton 9/12/2013

Used with permission.

Vouers as Teachers

Vouers love for people to stop at their shop or demonstrations and ask questions. They love to share their knowledge. The ones I know think the only dumb question is the one that didn't get asked. So feel free to ask questions, bring your children. Your kids will be interested and they won't realize they are learning!

Crafts

From soap making to boat making, blacksmiths and silversmiths, it's all about offering sentiment from the past. Rawhide and Linda Cohee and their children (Lacy, Cheyenne and Justin) have owned and operated their Rendezvous camp for decades from Alaska to Arkansas and are regulars at Missouri rendezvous'. Lacy Cohee sews period clothing and also works her Irish Pub, selling candies, cream soda and rootbeer drinks. Cheyenne sells clothing, jewelry and other period items including furs, toys and moccasins at her and her father's shop, while the Cohee's son, Justin, is a blacksmith.

If you would like more info on the Cohee's, please write to mountainmanmafia@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page.

Wolf Harvey, artist from Buffalo, Missouri, creates boats, ivory carvings, wood carvings, flute maker, makes Damascus knives, jewelry, relief carvings and many other talents. He is a creative and versatile artist.

Spirit Wolf sells sterling silver and turquoise jewelry made by Native Americans. He also plays gospel music on Native American courting flutes.


Justin Cohee, blacksmith
Justin Cohee, blacksmith | Source
Rawhide Trading Company, specializing in mountain man and his lady's clothing!
Rawhide Trading Company, specializing in mountain man and his lady's clothing! | Source
Justin's blacksmith camp
Justin's blacksmith camp | Source
Justin's blacksmith creations
Justin's blacksmith creations | Source
More of Justin's creations
More of Justin's creations | Source
Lacy's creation
Lacy's creation | Source
Cheyenne's Merchandise
Cheyenne's Merchandise | Source
Lacy's Irish Pub
Lacy's Irish Pub | Source
Lacy's Irish Pub
Lacy's Irish Pub | Source
Lacy's Irish Pub
Lacy's Irish Pub | Source

Spirit Wolf

Shown below is just a few items Spirit Wolf sells. These are Native American Squash Blossoms. The centerpiece on the necklace is called a najah (pronounced naw ya) which many Natives believe keeps the evil spirits away.

In Arizona, these run from $800 to several thousands of dollars.

If you would like to know more information on this jewelry or have questions on Native traditions, courting flute playing or need a friend for life, Spirit Wolf is just a note away! Just contact Spirit Wolf at kenlaffoon@yahoo.com or see him on Facebook. You can contact him for playing gospel on Native American flutes for bookings at churches, nursing homes or other events.

Proud of his Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne heritage, he vous to honor his ancestors from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He resides in Missouri.

Left, Native American Squash Blossom Necklace Right, Squash Blossom (made of buffalo horn, carved into bear claws, carved into eagle heads with a turquoise eye). Priced at just $300 and $1,000 respectively
Left, Native American Squash Blossom Necklace Right, Squash Blossom (made of buffalo horn, carved into bear claws, carved into eagle heads with a turquoise eye). Priced at just $300 and $1,000 respectively | Source
Spirit Wolf - Native American Silversmith Wares
Spirit Wolf - Native American Silversmith Wares | Source
Jane Wheeler (Peighton's Place) Soap, specializing in cold process goat milk soap
Jane Wheeler (Peighton's Place) Soap, specializing in cold process goat milk soap | Source

Jane Wheeler, Soap Artist

At the camp of Peighton's Place, you will find soap artist, Jane Wheeler, creating soap. She's from Nixa, Missouri. Nothing like standing over a fire when it's already a 100 degrees out but not too big a challenge for this lady!

She keeps alive a century's old craft and has been making it for fifteen years. Her art is not only beautiful, it smells good too!

You may sample your own creation by Jane by going to

www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/peightonsplace

The only bad thing about that is - you can't smell it first or hear her stories of the ingredients and the process of her very special recipes. Cold process goat milk soap is her specialty. I love to walk by her camp when she has all those samples up front..hmm.

Dutch oven cooking and baking, Springfield Rendezvous, Springfield, Missouri
Dutch oven cooking and baking, Springfield Rendezvous, Springfield, Missouri | Source
Outdoor ovens and cast iron
Outdoor ovens and cast iron | Source
From cobblers to venison to rabbit, this was the camp to like!
From cobblers to venison to rabbit, this was the camp to like! | Source

Last but not Least - A Special Section for Buffalo Artist Wolf Harvey

As I mentioned previously, Wolf Harvey, owner of Green Leaf Boats, is a multi-talented Native American artist. Here is a short list of some of his talents:

  • Knife maker
  • Carver
  • Sculptor
  • Boat builder
  • Custom copper, silver and other metals
  • Silversmith
  • Blacksmith
  • Flute player
  • Flute maker
  • Kayak maker
  • Paddle maker

The following photos are dedicated to this artist and shown with him in some of the photos, with his best friend, Ben, assisting him in the cedar made perogue - all made with hand tools of the fur trade period. After completion, the boat was placed in Springfield Lake and it was a huge success!

Wolf Harvey, artist, sculptor carves business card holder
Wolf Harvey, artist, sculptor carves business card holder | Source
Artist Wolf Harvey creates mermaid - carved from a whale tooth
Artist Wolf Harvey creates mermaid - carved from a whale tooth | Source

If you would like more information on artist Wolf Harvey, just check out his facebook page at Green Leaf Boats & More.

Miniature ivory carvings compared to the whale tooth - by Artist Wolf Harvey
Miniature ivory carvings compared to the whale tooth - by Artist Wolf Harvey | Source
Woodpecker Native American Flute - carved by Wolf Harvey
Woodpecker Native American Flute - carved by Wolf Harvey | Source
Cedar canoe/paddle - One of Wolf's earlier light-weight creations
Cedar canoe/paddle - One of Wolf's earlier light-weight creations | Source

Pirogue Making

Beginning stage - help from Ben
Beginning stage - help from Ben | Source
Source
Wolf and Ben
Wolf and Ben | Source
Artist Wolf Harvey - applying the finishing touches
Artist Wolf Harvey - applying the finishing touches | Source
This man should be famous, you think?
This man should be famous, you think? | Source

My Personal Favorite Photo of the Day

Artist, Wolf Harvey, Buffalo, Missouri - owner of Green Leaf Boats
Artist, Wolf Harvey, Buffalo, Missouri - owner of Green Leaf Boats | Source

Rendezvous Revealed!

Now you know what a rendezvous is! So when you attend one, remember to ask questions and let these people know you appreciate their crafts and their dedication to keeping tradition alive. Vouers are people of integrity, are patriotic to our beautiful Country (not necessarily the government), but love the foundation we were built on, love a simple life and are NOT actors. The activities you see here is also what they do away from camp. They are real. They are Americans and they are family.

Special thanks to Bass Pro for their sponsorship of this even in Springfield, Missouri!!

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    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 3 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      I hope you get to go Ed! And if you come to one in Missouri I hope I can meet you! We have Civil War reenactments all over. :)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 3 years ago

      Wow ! I have always wanted to go !...Love the lifestyle ! I did make it to a revolutionary fort to watch a reenactment of battle , that was so cool !+++++++.Ed

    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 3 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      Thank you. It was my pleasure. And hugs back to Faith Reaper!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Glad to meet you via Faith Reaper's hug! You've shared some very interesting stuff and your photography is great. Thanks for sharing the Rendezvous with us.

    • jenslibra profile image

      jenslibra 4 years ago

      This is the first I've heard of a Rendezvous. My older sister has Native American ancestry from her father's side so I'll have to share this with her! Thumbed up

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      How fascinating! Really love your reveal of the Rendezvous. They are most certainly real. Your photos are amazing and that artist there at the end, Wow!

      Up and more and sharing

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow, very good and you got some fantastic photos! Up and sharing!