Re: Clothes Make the Man in LOTM

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Posted by Gayle on August 04, 2000 at 17:15:23:

In Reply to: Clothes Make the Man in LOTM posted by Dana S. on August 04, 2000 at 15:18:26:

: I’ve been studying costumes in LOTM. I have just recently noticed the changes Hawkeye made in clothing from scene to scene. Sometimes he is wearing clout and leggings, and in other scenes he is wearing breeches with short leggings that button onto the breeches around the knee. The breeches are very “white” looking; the clout and leggings are, of course, very Native American.

: The hunting pouch Hawkeye uses is also very colonial as opposed to Chingachgook’s and Uncas’ very Native designs.

: Both of these examples of costume differences between the three make a big difference in how Hawkeye is perceived. I always thought he looked “different”, but until now I couldn’t have said exactly why. (I am amazed at how much dress and clothing influence our opinions of people no matter how much we deny it.)

: My point? It occurs to me that this is probably one of the aspects of the film the sticks closest Cooper’s Hawkeye. Closer to Cooper’s Natty Bumppo…I think. Weren't there never-ending references to red and white? If I remember correctly, it was discussed here on the board. I think the film did the same thing only in a much more subtle fashion.

: Thinking, thinking…

: Dana S


I think my favorite description of Hawkeye, as related to his "wardrobe" is in "The Pathfinder". When Mabel, Cap and Arrowhead first see Hawkeye with Chingachgook and Jasper Western in the woods, Mabel says "there are two Indians and only one white man."

"Pale-faces," said the Tuscarora, holding up two fingers; "Red Man," holding up one.

"Well," rejoined Cap, "it is hard to say which is right and which is wrong. One is entirely white, and a fine comely lad he is, with an air of respectability about him; one is a red-skin as plain as paint and nature can make him; but the third chap is half-rigged, being neither brig nor schooner."

You are right, Mann stayed close to Cooper's image of Hawkeye in the movie, and the line between white blood and Delaware upbringing and lifestyle was very fluid. Very astute observation on your part, and very interesting point.


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