It snowed the last 2 nights on the mountains surrounding Feutersoey. Given the temperature, the snow on the mountains, forests of pine that go on and on, and catchy cow bells jingling, it is possible to feel Christmas in September, here in the Alps.
I went for a short walk along a marked path that follows the river, and, as I stopped to take photos of the snow covered mountains, I thought about the Dumoulin couple who were found about 2 months ago, after a glacier (which is close enough to where the residency is), retreated. Their surname is Dumoulin; perhaps they were related to Grenada’s Dumoulin? The online Swiss phone directory lists 274 Dumoulin, with 3 in the Vevey region, the same area that François Aimé Louis Dumoulin came from, and where the museum that houses the Dumoulin art collection is located. I guess when I get to Vevey, I’ll find out.
I’ve put in a few hours in the studio, distracted by the scenery, but managing to pull together a cadre of ShortKnee and Moko Jumbies. One of the ShortKnee stencils I stuck on the wall kept doubling over, and I wondered ‘in truth, could a ShortKnee survive in the Alps?’
Mokos could theoretically be more at home here, as stilt-walking has been used in Europe for centuries — by the Flemish since medieval times, and by the French in the early 18th century. Merchtem, in Flemish Belgium is known for its ‘de steltenlopers’ or stick walkers. Shepherds from Landes, France apparently developed this as a way to walk over marshy and uneven ground to be able to monitor their wayward sheep.
Could it be that stilt-walking knowledge came to Grenada during our French period? The first farming (tobacco) was done on the shores of the Lagoon as part of the Fort Annunciation settlement. The French people could have possibly used stilts in that soggy area. Could it be that the knowledge of stilts also came with the enslaved from Benin?
Whichever way the stilts came, at some point a collaboration of cultures resulted in the tall figures which form part of Grenada’s Traditional Masquerade. Back to work now…the mokos are calling.
I’m pleased that Open Spaces has added me to their blog. Please join me on this journey, and receive at the end, an original made-in-Switzerland-by me artwork of your very own. Of course, along the way, you get to follow my blog (online or via email), and see progress reports.
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- USD $50 support: (acid free mixed media paper, 6×8 inches.) Still available #27
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