MFS presents ‘Close Encounters of the First Kind’ Aug. 22

Sun, 08/11/2019 - 8:00am

Maine’s First Ship (MFS) hosts Ken Hamilton for an evening of discussion of the earliest European and Native interactions, from 16th century Jacques Cartier and Basque fishermen to early 17th century French and English explorers. “Close Encounters of the First Kind," on Thursday, Aug. 22, examines these early interactions, mostly of a nautical nature, not only in Maine, but regionally around Acadia, Nova Scotia, New England and Quebec. These early incidents set the stage for later alliances, distrusts, wars, trade, and eventual settlement.

Hamilton is an Eastern Woodlands Interpreter. He has a deep background in the Ojibwa culture, and is a Native living history interpreter, having presented the traditions of the Ottawa and Cherokee, and currently the Wabanaki Penacook.  

Hamilton is also a researcher and Colonial era frontier reproduction artist specializing in French, Dutch, and English Native trade goods of the 17th to mid-18th century. Through blacksmithing, stone and pipe carving, and other mediums, Hamilton supplies numerous museum collections and living history interpreters with authentic reproductions, and the film industry with props, notably the wampum belt in “Last of the Mohicans.” He has consulted on historical projects and movies, and acted in film documentaries concerning the Colonial Frontier for A&E, the History Channel, and PBS.

His most recent interest is French Acadian, ca. 1690s, sailor and civilian militia living history. He is the co-author of six published articles in the Journal of the Early Americas on French trade knives and trade axes, and is also a published artist.

The presentation is free and will be held in the historic Bath Freight Shed, 27 Commercial Street, Bath, from 7-8 p.m. followed by questions and answers, and light refreshments. Space is limited. Please call or email to register, 207 443-4242, or