Kultur & Litteratur
American Frontiersman

American Frontiersman Winter 2020

The quintessential frontiersmen were those imbued with the new “American Spirit” who pushed the envelope, and the frontier, from one ocean to the other as they brought to its finest form, what we call the art and science of frontiersmanship. This spirit is alive and well 200 years into our nation’s history as our master practitioners offer timely and timeless articles on wilderness, survival, the land and the techniques that have been honed through generations.

United States
Athlon Media Group
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4 Udgivelser

i denne udgave

1 min.
editors’ welcome

Some folks have a tendency to go into a human form of hibernation during the winter months. But those people certainly aren’t readers of American Frontiersman magazine. Not by a long shot! In fact, we see ourselves, and our valued readers, as being no different than this issue’s cover painting by David Wright, appropriately titled “The Hivernant.” Hivernant is a term derived from the French word for winter. As Wright put it, “During the American fur-trade era, a hivernant loosely meant one who wintered in the mountains. These were the hardiest of men who stayed in the mountains year-round on their never-ending quest for furs.” How hardcore were they? “Some of them stayed for years on end, took Indian wives and even lived with Indians.” The only way to live and thrive…

8 min.
the real “big foot ”

“Beyond the Settlements” By David Wright The startled French explorer sat up in his bunk, awoken at daybreak by the deafening sound of rumbling just outside his log hut on the bank of the Cumberland River. The little shelter shook. He wasn’t sure what he was hearing—perhaps it was a flood, as it had rained all night. Alone and frightened, he grabbed his flintlock rifle and eased the cabin door open just enough to peer outside. In the low light, he saw the silhouettes of two men, one of them huge, chasing a small herd of buffalo and trying to separate out the one they had wounded. Just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared into the foggy morning mist. The anxious Frenchman took a few steps outside and looked down into…

9 min.
john wesley powell extreme explorer orer

John Wesley Powell, usually a man of cheerful disposition, was in a bad mood, perturbed. He had been traveling for weeks down the canyons of the Colorado River, bouncing among rocks and boulders, braving whirlpools and relentless heat, and naming the geographic features he encountered—for Powell was the first white man to see most of them, and certainly the first white man to travel the length of the untamed Colorado in a narrow-keeled boat. Now Powell and the members of his geographical survey party were in the heart of the Grand Canyon, beached at the point where a small, crystal-clear stream flowed into the river. He wrote in his journal on that day, August 16, 1869: “The Colorado is never a clear stream, but for the past three or four days…

8 min.
classic hide craft

As a modern-day trapper trying to adhere to the bygone mountain-man ethos of using every part of a harvested animal, I decided to create some useful items out of the glut of raccoon hides I bagged last season. I wanted to learn from folks who had the knowledge and experience to craft with hides in a historically correct manner. So, I traveled to the famous John C. Campbell Folk School in the mountains of North Carolina for its Intergenerational Week. During this week at the Folk School, fathers and mothers are paired up with their sons or daughters to take classes together. I signed up for a class with my son where we both learned from two veterans of many historical reenactments and rendezvous events: Linda “Sunshine” Prejeant and Billy…

2 min.
craft a coonskin hat

In some mountain-man reenactor circles, the historical correctness of the ubiquitous coonskin hat is often a subject of controversy. Some fur-trade-era historians point out that even Benjamin Franklin was depicted wearing one on a trip to Europe. Meanwhile, the stricter-minded “stitch-counter” reenactors indicate the lack of hard evidence to support a raccoon-fur hat ever being part of 1830s dress. Nonetheless, there are period journals and artistic depictions that describe the trappers meeting at the rendezvous wearing “hats of various animal hides.” We decided to transform one of the raccoon hides we trapped, fleshed and tanned last season into a “face and tail” hat by following this procedure. 1. Make a four-piece pattern out of paper consisting of a circular crown and headband with the headband split into one long piece and two…

1 min.
meet billy whitefox

I you look through the thick print catalog of John C. Campbell f Folk School classes, you’ll likely come across several courses taught by the talented and charismatic Billy Whitefox. Billy is already well known as one of the most knowledgeable sources of Native American music and old-style dance. As a Southeastern Muscogee Creek tribal member, he brings personal experience and expertise to river-cane flutes, which the Creek are masterful at crafting and playing. He has a long discography of award-winning flute music and is a go-to source for players looking to learn or enjoy traditional Native American music. In 2005, Billy won the Nammy (Native American Music Award) for Flutist of the Year. At the Folk School, Billy teaches a weeklong class in Native American flute playing where students also…