Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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September 17, 2013

A step back

Battles, Indian village highlight annual re-enactment at Koh-Koh-Mah

Rifle shots, cannon explosions and the sounds of battle will roll through the woods of rural Howard County this weekend as more than 1,000 re-enactors descend on the area to stage a mock 18th century battle.

The scenes of war will take place during the annual three-day historical re-enactment held at Koh-Koh-Mah & Foster Living History Encampment.

For more than a decade, hundreds of history buffs from across the country have come to the camp every September to re-create battles fought during the French and Indian War.

But the event is about more than just mock warfare. Event organizer Bob Auth said it’s about re-creating the sights, sounds and lifestyle of people living more than 200 years ago.

“Life wasn’t easy then,” he said. “Everybody had to work for everything they had. It was survival.”

Throughout the weekend, re-enactors will show just how much work it took to stay alive in a wild and untamed America. Demonstrators will show how settlers made their own candles and other items used in daily life.

Clothes, pottery, games, shoes and other goods from the 1700s will also be on sale.

“Anything you can imagine from that time will be for sale,” Auth said. “It’s like a shopping mall from the 1700s.”

The event also highlights the culture of 18th century America. Groups like the 42nd Royal Highlanders Bagpipe, Fife and Drum Corp will play music of the time period, and fiddlers will roam around the grounds playing historic tunes.

“It’s all pretty upbeat music,” Auth said. “People will really enjoy it.”

He said anyone who comes to the event will truly experience what life was like then, thanks to tight rules that require re-enactors and demonstrators to authentically represent the period.

He said participants have to send a jury committee photos of their garb, tents and other items to make sure it accurately represents the 18th century. If it isn’t authentic, they can’t come.

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