"Newlyweds"

15" x 30" Oil on Linen

 

I guess you could call this a "Working Honeymoon" since there is little doubt that this trapper and his new wife will be trapping and trading and surviving same as any other day.  Native American peoples looked upon marriage as a sincere statement of will rather than a legal principal.  Still, the marriage was considered binding so long as the parties agreed.  The marriage was done and undone by simple but provocative displays and efforts.  No one usually objected to the union of a tribal daughter to an alien except maybe a brother, or a father, or a spurned suitor, or anyone else related to the bride who saw disturbingly dark omens resulting from such a union.  That dread could trigger a sort of distemper or even violence.  Trappers who were American, or French, or British often took Indian wives.  There were as many reasons to marry as there are today and while many were unsuccessful unions, many were long lasting affairs.  What's new?

 

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