By Tenzin Hurtado
Back in October, Jan and I went to a reenactment called Mississinewa. The event was along the Mississinewa River in Indiana. A week before we went, I started making and finding my clothes. At the reenactment, no modern clothes were allowed. So, we dressed up like people from 1812. The style of clothing changed after the Revolution, but I dressed up like a Native American with a breech cloth, moccasins, head scarf, and a 19th century shirt. In early mornings, I wore knee breeches and a shirt.
After I finished my clothes, I made six cedar and sage bundles. Then I read about Tecumseh and the war of 1812. After we were done getting packed, we left early in the morning. It took ten hours to get to Ohio where we slept at one of Jan’s friend’s house. The next morning, we left. It took an hour and a half to get to Indiana.
When we got there on Tuesday, it was very muddy. Everywhere you walked you would get mud all over your shoes and pants. That past summer there was a flood that left a layer of mud and killed many trees. The first thing we did was to set up our camp: tent, bedding, fire pit, display area and awning. Most of the day, we watched people coming in and setting up their stuff.
The next morning, one of Jan’s friends came. His name was Michael. I spent most of the day wandering around the camp watching the vendors set up.
The reenactment didn’t really start until Friday when 6000 school children swarmed in like flies to dead carcass on a hot summer day. Most of them wanted to buy knives or tomahawks. A little after lunch the first battle reenactment started. It was the British and the Indians versus the Americans. The British and the Indians won. The second reenactment battle started a little after the first. This was a river battle. People in canoes were attacked from the shore. At the end of the day, the school children left, and the camp was quiet once again.
The next morning around 7:00, the American soldiers at the top of the hill began to play the drums and flute as a wake-up call to everyone in the camp. That day the public was allowed to come. Again, the battle reenactments happened, and I roamed the camp with some new friends, one named Tecumseh. The camp next to us, were the candle making people. I helped them set up every day, and helped them with sales and candle dipping. That evening after the public left, there was an Indian dinner at the Indian village. Jan and I were invited and they gave us traditional foods. It was tons of fun. After the dinner, my friends and I went to the dance. There was live 1812 style music and traditional dancing. Jan and Michael came too. They also served food and beverages.
Sunday was the final day. There were more battles, more public, and it poured down rain. All the tents were soaked, but in the afternoon the sun came out and everything started to dry. Later that day, we all had to pack and leave. I said goodbye to all my new friends, and wished that I could stay longer. We packed up our displays, said goodbye to Michael, and drove back to Ohio to Tom and Gina’s. We slept there again, and the next morning we drove back to Michigan.