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Del Gue, The Mountain Men, The Fur Trade--single mounted figure and head

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John Jenkins Designs

Item Number: WSP-59

Del Gue, The Mountain Men, The Fur Trade

A mountain man was an explorer who lived in the wilderness. They were instrumental in opening up the various Emigrant Trails (widened into wagon roads) allowing Americans in the east to settle the new territories of the far west by organized wagon trains traveling over roads explored and in many cases, physically improved by the mountain men and the big fur companies originally to serve the mule train based inland fur trade.

Mountain men were most common in the North American Rocky Mountains from about 1810 through to the 1880s (with a peak population in the early 1840s). Approximately 3,000 mountain men ranged the mountains between 1820 and 1840, the peak beaver-harvesting period. While there were many free trappers, most mountain men were employed by major fur companies. The life of a company man was almost militarized. The men had mess groups, hunted and trapped in brigades and always reported to the head of the trapping party.

This man was called a "boosway", a bastardization of the French term bourgeois. He was the leader of the brigade and the head trader.

The Mountain men represents the “Beaver Pelts” of the original WSP title, and is the smallest part of the series, as it mainly concentrates on the individual men and personalities that worked alone or in pairs in the mountain wilderness.


Del Gue is a fictional character from the 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson, played by actor Stefan Gierasch.

Stefan Gierasch (February 5, 1926 – September 6, 2014) was an American film and television actor. Gierasch made over 100 screen appearances, mostly in American television, beginning in 1951.  He appeared in many films including The Hustler (1961), The Traveling Executioner (1970), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), What’s Up Doc? (1972), High Plains Drifter (1973), Carrie (1976), Silver Streak (1976), Victory at Entebbe (1976), The Champ (1979), Blood Beach (1980), and Perfect (1985).

Taken from the Movie Jeremiah Johnson (1972):

“I ain't never seen 'em, but my common sense tells me the Andes is foothills, and the Alps is for children to climb! Keep good care of your hair! These here is God's finest scupturings!  And there ain't no laws for the brave ones!  And there ain't no asylums for the crazy ones!  And there ain't no churches, except for this right here!  And there ain't no priests excepting the birds.  By God, I are a mountain man, and I'll live 'til an arrow or a bullet finds me.  And then I'll leave my bones on this great map of the magnificent...”

Jeremiah Johnson:  [Jeremiah and Caleb find Del Gue buried to his neck in sand]  Are you all right?
Del Gue:  Sure, sure, I got a fine horse under me! [sneezes]
Del Gue:  Got one of them feathers in my nose.
Jeremiah Johnson:  You keep sneezing, it'll come out all right.  Haven't seen anyone pass by recent, have you?
Del Gue:  Nobody's gone in front of me.  Can't say what's happened behind me, though.
Jeremiah Johnson:  The Injuns put you here?
Del Gue:  T'weren't Mormons.  A Chief, name of Mad Wolf.  Nice fella, don't talk a hell of a lot.  Say, you wouldn't have an extra hat on you, would you?  Shade's getting' scarce in these parts.
Jeremiah Johnson:  What'd you shave your head for?
Del Gue:  Mad Wolf figures like every other Injun I know.  Says this scalp isn't fit for no decent man's lodgepole.  Ain't the first time I've protected my head in such a way.  Name's Del Gue, with an "e".

Due to be released in MARCH 2023.