Saturday, December 05, 2009

Archival Game-Hawking

by Lesli Larson

Game-hawking might be an archival hobby worth reviving. In Eugene, even my dental hygienist raises chickens in a backyard coop. Why not expand fowl-keeping to include birds that fetch their own dinners? At minimum, game-hawking provides us with new possibilities for heritage ensembles for 2010. Archival files show a promising range of outfits roughly based on the gamekeeper's wardrobe of tweeds, tall boots and jaunty caps. Excessive, protective layering--even on warmer days--is advisable to guard against underbrush and misdirected talons. Dress shirts and ties are encouraged. I leave sartorial takes on the falconer's gauntlet up to the individual.

Here are some vintage images of the game-hawking club at Oxford University. In this case, I will not be shopping from the club's Medieval falconry garb:

Who can resist a sport that requires an extra set of accessories for the companion animal?

Traditional hawk furniture

Falconry in film:

A Canterbury Tale (Powell and Pressburger)


manifolddestiny said...

We had a family friend who kept a falcon in their backyard. I don't think his neighbors were particularly enthused. His son actually started the falconry club at UGA, which sounds much more prestigious than anything I was involved with.

On a related note, it's nice to see Barbour being put to its intended purpose (e.g. not fall days in Manhattan).

Andrew said...

The truly traditional falconer might consider moving to Kazakhstan or Mongolia, upgrading to an eagle, and hunting for fox in the dead of winter. Here is an article that describes the lifestyle and various accoutrements, including horses, excellent boots, and fur hats.

Steve Bodio said...

As a falconer and author of the book <a href="> Eagle Dreams</>, about the Kazakh eaglers of Mongolia, I love this post and am delighted to find your blog, though I tend more toward Barbour than fox hats at home.

Steve Bodio said...

Let me try that link again!
Eagle Dreams