Maine Primitive Gathering 2013

 

This year at the Maine Primitive Gathering I only took a few pictures.  The Gathering has come to be so important to me, a chance to see so many special people and feel part of a community that shares a common interest.  My time there this year was abbreviated so I was not able to connect with as many of those special people as I wanted to.

The images here do not begin to do justice to the scope and dynamic nature of the Gathering.  I was too busy enjoying myself to take pictures that might express this better.  Dozens of instructors taught workshops about archery, bow and arrow making, friction fire of all types, tracking, survival skills, health and healing, and many other primitive and wilderness skills.  Many families attended, I saw a lot of little babies on their mothers hips and kids running everywhere.  What follows are a few examples of what went on.

 

Primitive Skills Experts

Some oldtimers and whippersnappers Mike, Al, Nick, Red and Bob, all experts in one field or another, there to share the knowledge.

 

 

 

Maine Primitive Gathering

One of many workshops.

Hide Tanning

Hide tanning.

 

Garlic Hawkers

Garlic Hawkers Rich, Gabby and Maple

Boys at the campfire

Some of the boys hanging out around the fire.

Fire Workshop

A  fire workshop on group friction fire.  Here they are teaming up on a giant hand drill.

Someone saw me looking around for my daughter and our friends and asked “Looking for your tribe?” and I thought, yeah I am, my tribe within a tribe.  In this place I am a member of the the Gathering Tribe, the Fire Clan, the Deneen, Andy, Gabby, Jace, Evan, Dena, Maple Tribe (my “extended” family) and the Long Time Instructor Society.

Pardon my sentimental words.  To be part of something meaningful is a great feeling and a tough thing to explain.

Holmegaard Bow

holmegaard bow, self bow

My friend Greg, a great bower, helped me out making this Holmegaard style bow.  Its is make of Sugar Maple and shoots smooth and sweet.

Holmegaard is an area in Denmark where the first of these ancient bows was found preserved in a bog.  Holmegaard’s have certain features that I have replicated, though not precisely, in this bow.  I used a wider belly than back, narrow non-bending handle, and narrow tips.

Holmegaard bow handle

A more true example would have been shorter, mine is over 6 foot, bent little in the narrow tips and been a little wider in the rest of the limb.  I prefer a longer bow and therefor a narrower limb. Replication of history is also not my aim.  My aim, so to speak, its to make good bows and learn to hunt with them.  The second part is a longer journey than the first.

holmegaard bow

Primitive Protection From Sun Glare

Primitive sun visor

My wife Deneen has beautiful blue eyes.  They are very sensitive to bright sunlight causing her to squint and get headaches when exposed to a sunny day in the snow.  The Inuit made wonderfully crafted visors to protect their eyes from snow blindness on the brilliant tundra and ice pack of the far north.  Deneen forgot her sunglasses on a tracking day so created these little shades from hemlock twigs.  They proved very effective in cutting the glare, quick to fashion and totally biodegradable.  Patent pending.