The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Everyone's familiar with the common steampunk tropes. Air Pirate, Engineer, Saloon Girl, etc. etc.

So what occupations and costumes can you think of that are outside the norm? Either speculative, or an actual costume you've photographed?

For the first, I would like to suggest an itinerant agricultural laborer. A Spalpeen, if you will.

Due to the nature of crop farming, extra workers were needed during the Spring ( plowing, planting ), and especially the Fall harvest. The day-to-day needs of animal care were done by the farmer and his family, so they didn't need help with that.

Someone that owned a steam traction engine was very busy during both seasons. But they had to do something different the rest of the year.

Itinerant laborers were desperately needed in the Fall, but during the rest of the year they were "free" to find other work. Or starve ( a very popular option ). So the spalpeen is not tied down to one location. This would give your character the excuse to be almost anywhere during the rest of the year, in the lower levels of society.

Farming was (and is) a very dangerous business. I can imagine someone having a specialized arm to harvest corn (maize) or other grain. Their task might be to harvest the outer 8' of a field, because a machine or animal powered harvester would trample down this part of the crop.

What else????

Tags: creative, occupations, tropes, unusual

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Does a Bounty Hunter count?
Sure, why not. I'd think it would be an interesting challenge to figure out some way to indicate your bounty hunter occupation, beyond just being someone with a gun. If you had a partner, you could have them in tow, I suppose.
having handcuffs bounty hunter is one of mine. also i have a bracer with a display screen of wanted posters..yes more is needed and i am working on it.. have talked to others..would not believe how many are out there..:)
Gosh the lengths a steampunker will go to to keep Bounty Bars in stock...I suppose there would be a shortage of coconut in a steampunk world as they are not popular like scones and eccles cakes etc so I guess it takes a hunter to hunt for them Bounties. Maybe we are looking at a character such as a steampunk Milky Bar kid but in this case, Bounty Bars...hmmm
Okay, I think that might have gone over some heads.  I know it went over mine as I've never in my life heard of a Bounty Bar.  I presume it's some kind of sweet/pastry.
It's a brand of candy bar.

Aha! Thanks. I learn something new every day

they sell old west Bounty Hunter replica badges at various spots online. there's a surefire way to say your occupation ;) OR, you can come up with a type paperwork or license.
Of course Bounty Hunter counts. I had the Doc make me a weapon that lets me choose where and when I send my skip. Beats having to drag them back kicking and screaming. If you Time Travel being a "Fixer" can be lucrative as well.
Right now I'm not only in the process of designing some Native American steampunk, but also possibly sketch of a steampunk madam (yes, that kind). Dammit, I want to see more of the underworld! Opium den runners, bookies, shanghai-ers!
I really love the idea of Native American steampunk. I have incorporated a lot of world items into my work. I have explored African & Oriental ideas and concepts. In fact, I would love to see more steampunk geisha. The Native American steampunk look has crossed my mind, and it would be really interesting to see some unusual anti-western devices/traps/etc, as well as costumes. It is a challenging concept because Native Americans are so connected to the earth. Perhaps they could harvest the power of steam coming from vents naturally occurring in the earth, or the power of geysers some how. I believe that in the Myst trilogy (which I am not to fast to label as steampunk) Atrus harvests the power of steam from the volcano that he and his grandmother are living by to generate electricity of some sort, and it blew up. That book was a good read.
"Native Americans are so connected to the earth"

This is a really problematic statement - a stereotypical statement. A statement that borders really, painfully closely with poisonous trope of Magical Native Americans ( ) . I'm not accusing you of anything when I point this out; I don't believe that you intended offense. I just think that this is one of those 'teachable moments' where all parties could benefit from further education.

I'm Monique, and I'm an enrolled member o the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe, and I'm a steampunk.
This year for Templecon Providence and The Steampunk World's Fair, I've decided to incorporate a whole lot more NDN-specific detail into my steam punk wardrobe. Last year and the year before my costumes were pretty much cobbled together from thrift store finds, my renfaire costume chest, and self-made corsetry and goggles thrown on top. It did not occur to me to include Regalia pieces into steampunk until I became a reader of - having a full-time job for the first time in a couple of years to pay for supplies doesn't hurt either (buckskin is SO EXPENSIVE don't even get me started....)

So this year I plan to be visibly NDN Steampunk. And I would ADORE seeing other people do it too! It would be incredibly awesome to see someone rocking some steampunk wampum jewelry, or steaming up a Trade Shirt. But the caveat here is that anyone who wants to undertake this really needs to take the time to not do it in an insulting, hurtful way. That means becoming apprised of what stereotypes exist and are hurtful and not using them. Things like NOT wearing warbonnets ( or face paint ( and recognizing cultural appropriation ( It means doing your research. If you're still interested: Go for it! As far as I am aware, me and Michael Red Turtle are the ONLY steampunks active in the blogosphere who also identify as NDN. I'd LOVE to hear more voices and see more NDN costuming.

If you're looking for research sources, I highly recommend and - I'm also willing to take questions from anyone who's interested in knowing more about how to do this kind of thing right; my e-mail is dreadfulmoqui(at)hotmail(dot)com.


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