Wednesday, July 27, 2005

French and Indian

The French, like many Europeans, have a peculiar, highly romanticized view of Native American culture and the Old West. Today Mrs. Abe found this story (in French) in the online version of Sud Ouest, the main newspaper of southwestern France.

A French couple, Moon and Chris, have converted an old tobacco farm into a sort of American Indian theme park they call "Eagle Moon." Tourists can come and "live like Indians," or at least like Moon and Chris imagine that Indians live. As the hosts say, "Being Indian is not just a way of being, but a state of mind." No doubt Ward Churchill would agree completely.

Now through the magic of the internet you can vicariously experience French people vicariously experiencing the Indian lifestyle. The site is largely pictorial, so you don't need to know any French to enjoy it. There are people roaming the farm dressed as Indians and other Old West characters. You can rent a teepee to sleep in. Other attractions include: men on horses doing rodeo tricks; archery; riding a mechanical bull; tomahawk throwing; stagecoach rides; and Native American dances performed by real French people.

Each year Moon and Chris have a big gathering of friends to celebrate Indian culture with motorcycles and Confederate flags. The overall effect is really something to see.

This place is quite close to where we were during our vacation, but sadly we were completely unaware of it. Perhaps next year.

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