Paul Bunyan as Urbanite (via paper dolls)
I was worrying this morning that it had been almost a week since my first post and I hadn’t managed to update Minneapple folks with any further tidbits of MN ex-pat culture. Luckily, while skimming through my RSS feeds I stumbled across this beautifully crafted paper doll template of every Minnesotan’s favorite lumber-industry mascot (via RadRobot.org):
If you click through you’ll see that even Bunyan himself has apparently spread beyond Minnesota’s borders and has a statue dedicated to him in ‘North Portland’. I think that we can all appreciate how Minnesotans have to camoflage themselves when settling into urban environments across the country – and the artist here has done a beautiful and highly amusing job (my favorite part is the ‘BABE’ tatoo on his fingers).
I know there must be dozens scattered across the heartland, but my quintessential Paul Bunyan statue is located right down the road from where my extended Finnish family vacations in Akeley, MN every year (pictured right). Akeley claims to be the ‘birthplace’ of the Bunyan legend, but if Minnesotans can’t even agree on which is actually the biggest ball of twine, then I’m inclined to take any such claims with a grain of salt.
In fact, starting this Friday I’ll be heading up to the North Woods to visit old Bunyan himself and I can’t wait. I’ll be free to take off the paper-thin costume of a Brooklynite Yuppie/Hipster and change into my jean shorts and Twins tees to laze around in fishing boats on one of our fair state’s beautiful lakes.
Anyone else going back to MN for vacation this summer?
Any suggestions on what ‘authentic cultural artifacts’ I could bring back to NYC?
Do you think Paul Bunyan can be considered genuine ‘folklore’ or is he just ‘obsolete corporate advertising’?