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La Pelleterie
The Voyageur
&
Coureur des Bois

Voyageur & Coureur  des Bois

The Coureur des Bois or "woods runner" was a bold trader and a fearless explorer. Often
operating without a royal license, he brought trade goods to the Indians and usually adopted
their ways for his own. This "woods runner" wears Woodland Moccasins, center seam Buckskin Leggings, trade
wool breech clout, and a special chief's grade ruffle front calico Gentlemen's Shirt - to show off his status
and wealth. At his belt is a trade knife in a hunter's sheath. He is proud of his ability to survive in the
wilderness and scorns those who must carry provisions.

The Voyageur, who was slurred as a "pork eater" by the Coureur des Bois, was a vital link in the Montreal
canoes, swift Northern canoes and ponderous keelboats all powered by the tireless muscles
of the voyageur. Living on salt pork and dried peas, he could paddle all day, carry double on the portage
and sing a rollicking French song all the while. He wears French Fly woolen Knee Breeches, sturdy
woolen hose, and Woodland Moccasins. He wears a linen Trade Shirt and a warm wool sleeved weskit.
The color of the knit Toque on his head denotes in his home port. The fringed buckskin
voyageur bag over his shoulder holds pipe tobacco, his fire striker, and other necessities.


 

 

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