A primitive rendezvous is a gathering of people who are interested in recreating the lifestyles and traditions practiced by early Americans involved in the fur trade and exploration of our country's vast wilderness areas. Personalities portrayed range from participants in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, Early American Longhunters and Western Fur trade characters. The personas are not necessarily based on an actual historical figure, often they are based on the nameless, everyday characters of the time period that represent a set of frontier skills, lifestyles and character that is uniquely American in nature.
Modern “primitive rendezvous” take the form of large encampments, where history buffs gather and practice living as trappers, traders, boatmen, longhunters, natives, voyagers and soldiers in pre-1840's style. Why 1840? Well that is kind of the last year of the golden days of the Rocky Mountain fur trade, the last year when beaver peltry were harvested in the wild and sold at a wilderness “rendezvous” in the American west. Camping in white canvas tents, cooking over an open fire, wearing historically accurate clothes and accoutrements, participating in period contests of skill and having a great time doing it are the hallmarks of a modern primitive rendezvous.
Primitive rendezvous are designed for people who are serious about “living history”, costumes, camp wares and equipment are required to be pre-1840 at all High Plains Regional Rendezvous. We realize that many people who attend local rendezvous do not always participate at this level. However, the High Plains Regional Rendezvous is intended for those who are committed to the recreation of this historical period. If you plan to attend make certain that you are committed to portraying this era 100%. Of course where health and safety are concerned exceptions can be made, but every attempt should be made to minimize the use of modern materials and technologies. For example:
Most of you who attend for the entire week will want and need to have perishable food items stored in coolers. We understand that this is a necessary requirement to protect the safety of you and your family. All that we ask is that you keep the cooler covered and or stored inside your tent and out of plain view. Throw a tarp over it, make wooden or canvas cover if you plan to store it outside.
The following are general rules that will pertain to all High Plains Regional Rendezvous, please consult each event's flyer for more specific rules:
A good rule of thumb, for reenactors planning to attend their first primitive rendezvous, that I'll borrow from Meadow Muffin writing for the Southwestern Regional Rendezvous “if someone else can see it, hear it, or smell it, and it is modern (Post 1840), it has to go.”
For more information on the 2016 High Plains Regional Rendezvous, contact us.
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