Feast Authenticity Standards
September 24-25, 2011
Standards and Participant Information
The Feast is a Living History event that strives to give both the public and the participants a realistic portrayal of the people, cultures, and lifestyles that existed on the French and English colonial frontier in the Great Lakes region during the time of Fort Ouiatenon, which encompassed the period from 1717-1791. We want to interpret this time and place as accurately as possible in order to offer the public an educational and unforgettable experience, and also to honor the people who lived here. Participants, merchandise, entertainment, and food should be appropriate to our time period and place, to the best of our knowledge and ability.
Applications: Previous participants are generally accepted if they have worked cooperatively within Feast guidelines. The grounds layout for 2011 will be much the same as last year. Unless otherwise requested, participant sites on the grounds will be as close as possible to their previous location. If you wish to relocate or have other layout concerns, please include this information with your application. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted and placed on a space available basis. We can not guarantee that returning participants will be able to keep their previous location if the application is received after the deadline.
New program, sales, or demonstration applicants must submit color photographs of their shelter, clothing and any merchandise or crafts they wish to exhibit or sell. Documentation for any unusual or unique items should also be included as specified below in the quality control guidelines. Acceptance is determined from review of all entries received by the deadline and is based upon appropriateness and space available. Written replies will be sent approximately 45 days after the category deadline.
Your Passport to the Past: Once on the Feast grounds, you are on the French colonial frontier in the 18th century. Your button will serve as your passport to this time. Please wear your button and stay in period persona and clothing during public hours. TCHA will pay for the first two buttons for each booth. Additional buttons must be purchased for each participant.. The button permits entry and 24-hour access to the festival grounds during the course of the feast (including Saturday night refreshments & dance). Except for program animals and guide animals for the physically challenged, pets are not allowed on the festival grounds during the day’s activities. Free daytime pet care facilities are available outside the festival grounds.
Traditional Craftsperson: demonstrate a craft of the 18th century and produce an 18th century replica using tools and equipment appropriate to the time period. Our craftspeople are an important part of the educational activities of the Feast. They must be at their booth and demonstrating their craft at least 70% of the Feast operating hours. Separate applications and licenses are required for each person demonstrating each craft, even at the same booth. A craftsperson may sell handmade goods related to his/her craft.
Sutler: sell such things as 18th century goods and handcrafted items in 18th century styles and materials from a shelter or from a blanket or skin laid on the ground.
TCHA Sponsored Booth: run booths at the Blockhouse and other satellite locations for TCHA.
Camp Setting: If you bring your own booth, it is important to give dimensions (and submit photos – new applicants) with the application. The most common shelters are wedge, marquee, and wall tents, simple lean-to’s, or trail tarp shelters. Baker or Pyramid tents were not generally found during this period. New teepees or “lean-tees” are prohibited. TCHA-built booths are grandfathered for those who had such booths in the past. Straw and firewood will be provided if requested on the application. Tables and chairs may be rented from TCHA (see application). Tables must be skirted to the ground with materials appropriate to the 18th century. All modern supplies and protective plastics must be hidden from public view. TCHA no longer supplies reed matting. All trade licenses are not transferable, refundable or extendable.
Trade Goods: All items worn, displayed, or offered for sale must be appropriate to the 1717-1791 time period and our location on the colonial frontier. Emphasis should be placed on handcrafted items or items appropriate to interpreting the history of this era. Modern display cases or racks, plastic bags, price stickers, modern price tags, and wire or plastic coat hangers may not be used. The following items are specifically prohibited (recent additions in bold):
- Any mass produced or modern item or any item made from non-period materials
- Western Native American items such as long fringed leather and tapered hair pipe chokers
- Archaeological artifacts
- Dream catchers, mandalas, prayer drums, powwow goods
- Southwest pottery, jewelry, baskets, rugs/Mexican blankets
- Turquoise jewelry, plastic beads, neon feathers
- Stainless steel knives and swords
- Fantasy “pirate” items or other pirate items not appropriate to the Great Lakes region.
- Medieval Era or "Ren-Faire" type items (i.e. dragons and broad swords)
- Inappropriate toys including but not limited to pop guns/cap guns, whips, hematite zingers, sling shots with rubber bands, and ocarinas, rubber tipped arrows, wooden samurai swords, plastic dolls or other plastic items
- Parts or products deriving from any threatened, endangered or otherwise protected species, or skins/parts of domestic animals (see the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for more information)
- Graniteware or enamelware
- Percussion weapons
- Any type of raffles, drawings, or lotteries
- Books and audio/video recordings not pertaining to the time period
- Photographs, pictures, or stationery, holiday or souvenir items
- Any ready to consume food product. This includes but is not limited to candy, dried fruits, nuts, jerky, beverages, and produce. Items that are food but not ready to consume may be sold (i.e., oils and herbs) subject to health department inspection.
- Items using the words "Fort Ouiatenon" (with the exception of map reproductions) or "Feast of the Hunters' Moon"
Quality Control: Feast staff will be reviewing booths to check for violations of these standards and for general booth appearance. If prohibited items are found, you will be asked to remove the items. If there are significant violations or a lack of cooperation with Feast officials, the vendor may be asked to leave or banned from future festivals. If there are problems or concerns, please see the Feast Coordinator or a member of the Feast quality control committee. If you are not able to abide by our standards then please do not apply. If you ignore or try to evade our standards, you will be denied the privilege of returning for future Feasts.
Please contact us for more information!
Some Notes on Living History
Some people equate "Living History" with costumed role-players portraying life in a different time. Some think that it is only the group of folks who put on uniforms of past wars and have a good time reenacting battles. While the Past cannot change, history -- which is an interpretation of the past -- is always changing. Wear clothing and accoutrements typical of the time and place, and for your persona. Examples include shirts, waistcoats, knee breeches, justacorps, cocked hats, hunting shirts for men; and chemise, petticoats, short gown, bed jacket, gown, riding habit, coifs/caps for women, and shoes, center-seam moccasins or bare feet for all. Mixtures of European and Indian dress would be common on the frontier. Children should be properly attired for their age. A clay or other 18th century pipe, eyeglasses and other details will add to your persona. Your camp and all its furnishings, baggage, cooking and eating utensils and foods need to be correct for our place and period. Any modern equipment, such as coolers, should be kept out of sight at all times. Keep your tent flap closed if anything is amiss. Examples of appropriate cookware/eating ware include bone, wood, or horn handled or forged utensils, brass/copper/tin cooking pots and round-bottomed cast iron kettles, and for other tableware wooden, pewter, pottery, or tin plates, bowls, cups, or mugs. All beverages need to be in period containers.
The French selected the site in part because just across the Wabash River was a large Wea Indian village. The Weas were a part of the Miami tribes who had settled in five villages on the banks of the Wabash below the mouth of the Tippecanoe River. Their location was the gateway to the western prairies for various other tribes including the Kickapoos, Mascoutens, Sauk, and Fox.
TCHA has a wigwam village as the native interpretation area. Native camps should not have camp furniture. Indian portrayals should wear Eastern Woodlands Indian dress of the period.
The voyageurs interpret the lifestyle of 18th century canoemen. French voyageurs annually descended the Wabash to trade their goods for furs trapped by the Native people. Some remained there to establish homes.
Voyageurs may register as independents or with a brigade. They may participate in the canoe landings and races.
The habitants interpret the lives of French settlers. French settlers came to the area to trade and to serve as craftspeople and artisans to promote the growth of the post. Around the walls of the fort were as many as 90 houses of French and Natives. At its height there may have been as many as 2,000 to 3,000 inhabitants in the general area. The habitant interpretation area is near the artillery park.
The Forces of Montcalm and Wolfe and the Northwest Territory Alliance are the re-enactors of military life & battles at Ouiatanon. French Marines came from Vincennes to help keep the peace at this rough frontier outpost. Ouiatenon saw military action during the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Uprising and the American settlement period.
Registration is done by the Unit Commander. We are encouraging participation of the military with more activities and better camping areas. Independent units should consult with the Feast coordinator for more information on registration.
Merchants were the reason the post was created. The merchants within the post walls and sold goods of all sorts imported from Europe or made in Canada. Cloth, jewelry, and cooking ware were some of the more important items. Other traders went into the region, trading with the Indians. Craftspeople were also important, making items that were not imported, including blacksmiths and other artisans.
Lean More About Living History and Ouiatenon
Ouiatanon & The French
Ouiatanon Documents Chien Noir Trading Co
Balesi, Charles. The Times of the French in the Heart of North America
Johnson, Mary Moyars. Ouiatanon: The French Post Among the Ouia.
Living History / Clothing
Baumgarten, Linda. What Clothes Reveal
Baumgarten, Linda. Clothing Construction and Pattern 1750-1790.
Burnston, Sharon Ann. Fitting and Proper (Scurlock, 1999).
Forbes, Judy, Mary Moyars Johnson, and Kathy Delaney. Historic Colonial French Dress
Gilgun, Beth. Tidings from the 18th Century Crock Pub Co;1993.
Grousse, Suzanne and Andre. Costume in New France from 1740-1760 Ft. Chambly, Canada.
Roth, Stacy Flora. Past Into Present: Effective Techniques for First-Person Historical Interpretation University of North Carolina Press, 1998.
Wright, Frances. Everyday Dress of Rural America, 1783-1800 : With Instructions and Patterns. Dover, 1992