Jump to content
IGNORED

Katie Metka: Depression-era cosplay with 9 kids


NachosFlandersStyle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Came across this instagram account today and found it fascinating. Katie and Oresti, who met when she was living in Greece after attending art school, have 9 homeschooled daughters with another on the way and live in a one-room unfinished cabin somewhere in the Missouri Ozarks. Like many homesteaders in the area, they came to MO for its lack of building codes. Katie makes most of the girls' clothes -- calico dresses, naturally -- and takes a ton of black-and-white photos where they're lined up on the porch of the "shanty" looking straight out of a Dorothea Lange picture. For much of the last year they were living without plumbing or electricity, although they've recently made some more improvements. Katie has built quite a following on the strength of her photography, which really is gorgeous (I guess art school helps) but all I can think is that it looks like a terribly rough way to live. I can't tell if she falls harder on the fundie side or the hippie side, although there are definitely religious references scattered in among her posts. Thought you all might have thoughts. 

https://instagram.com/katiemetka?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

 

  • Upvote 1
  • Rufus Bless 2
  • WTF 9
  • Thank You 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

Like many homesteaders in the area, they came to MO for its lack of building codes.

It’s so nice that they’re able to build their septic system however they want without worrying about how it might affect the neighbors’ wells. 

  • Upvote 5
  • Disgust 8
  • Sad 1
  • Rufus Bless 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sick of people patting the ass of instagram moms who take artsy pics to make everything seem ok. It smacks of NicNog to me. I will never look at this kind of thing the same. You can make living in squalor look good with the right cropping, lighting, and filters. 

  • Upvote 20
  • I Agree 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this.  Her lifestyle makes me think of a film I saw on Netflix (?) least Spring. I can't remember its name but it was the story of a very hippy dad sheltering his kids in the middle of no where and living off the land much like this family seems to be doing.  At some point one of the older kids was interested in meeting her mother's family and experiencing life outside of what he had created for them.  She wanted to go to college, I think.  I wish I could remember its name.  It was a very interesting movie, and made me think about how important it is for parents to be balanced and to really understand the desires of their kids and not be offended (like the dad in the movie was) if the kids want to experience other kinds of lifestyles.  I can't remember what happened to the mom (she had been depressed and died, I think?), but the dad gave off some mental illness vibes, although not like the dad in The Glass Castle.  Sorry I don't remember all the facts about the film, but that Instagram reminded me of it.

I agree that the 14 year old is very talented.  I agree with kids being in nature and using their imaginations in the ways that this mom seems to encourage.  But I also know that there are ways to do that while living a more conventional life in a house with indoor plumbing and electricity.  I also hate being dirty, and everyone in those photos looks too dirty for me.  I even hate camping for that reason, so living the lifestyle they've chosen wouldn't work for me. It would be interesting to see if there is ever any level of rebellion for more conventional things from any of these kids.

  • Upvote 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In one of the Q&A stories she says the cabin is 630 square feet and it seems like a good portion of that is cooking and dining space. There's no way everyone has a decent place to sleep.

  • Upvote 5
  • Sad 6
  • WTF 3
  • I Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

In one of the Q&A stories she says the cabin is 630 square feet and it seems like a good portion of that is cooking and dining space. There's no way everyone has a decent place to sleep.

They probably sleep in a puppy pile like Jill Rod’s in the RV. 

  • Upvote 4
  • I Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what's bugging me most is that her photos really are so evocative of FSA photography. I'm attaching some which were taken not too far from where the Metkas live now. And if Katie has studied photography, there's a very good chance she's seen these pictures and is actively emulating them. But the entire reason that FDR was paying real-deal photographers to go find people like this in the Ozarks was to demonstrate that a lot of people were living really fucking hard lives in seriously substandard housing and it needed fixing! The people in these photos did not choose to live that way, and they did not agree to be photographed with the idea that someone would see them and think "oh, that's lovely." Why are you romanticizing life in a shack?! 

service-pnp-fsa-8a06000-8a06400-8a06401r.jpg

service-pnp-fsa-8c17000-8c17500-8c17548v.jpg

service-pnp-fsa-8a28000-8a28700-8a28776r.jpg

  • Upvote 10
  • Sad 2
  • I Agree 8
  • Thank You 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It reminds me of that horrible place we make fun of, Magnolia Pearl. She wants to be all homesteader, do-it-yourself but those homesteaders suffered with the hope that their kids would do better, and have better lives. Those pictures of the kids make me terrified of tetanus and tapeworms, though they make a reference to the dentist so I hope that they’re vaccinated, too. 

And no - no - no!!!!! Your 3 year old should not be milking a COW. They could so easily get kicked and maimed or killed. Those are big, dangerous animals. She thinks it’s cute. 

  • Upvote 5
  • I Agree 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I am so sick of people patting the ass of instagram moms who take artsy pics to make everything seem ok. It smacks of NicNog to me. I will never look at this kind of thing the same. You can make living in squalor look good with the right cropping, lighting, and filters. 

I am not understanding this reference. Context?

1 hour ago, anachronistic said:

It reminds me of that horrible place we make fun of, Magnolia Pearl. She wants to be all homesteader, do-it-yourself but those homesteaders suffered with the hope that their kids would do better, and have better lives. Those pictures of the kids make me terrified of tetanus and tapeworms, though they make a reference to the dentist so I hope that they’re vaccinated, too. 

And no - no - no!!!!! Your 3 year old should not be milking a COW. They could so easily get kicked and maimed or killed. Those are big, dangerous animals. She thinks it’s cute. 

This.

I don't think the goal of the modern US homestead movement is for the kids to have better or easier lives. Rather, the parents seem to ascribe either to libertarian beliefs (better to have a hard life and not answer to anyone) or end-time/conspiracy/doomsday beliefs (they want the kids to have the practical knowledge of how to grow and cook their own food, build their own shelter, etc).

 

  • Upvote 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, noseybutt said:

I am not understanding this reference. Context?

This.

I don't think the goal of the modern US homestead movement is for the kids to have better or easier lives. Rather, the parents seem to ascribe either to libertarian beliefs (better to have a hard life and not answer to anyone) or end-time/conspiracy/doomsday beliefs (they want the kids to have the practical knowledge of how to grow and cook their own food, build their own shelter, etc).

 

Nicole Naugler. They live in abject poverty and squalor. But she takes pictures of wildflowers and sunsets that make it all seem ok. 

  • Upvote 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Nicole Naugler. They live in abject poverty and squalor. But she takes pictures of wildflowers and sunsets that make it all seem ok. 

Ahhh. Thank you! 
 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, noseybutt said:

I don't think the goal of the modern US homestead movement is for the kids to have better or easier lives. Rather, the parents seem to ascribe either to libertarian beliefs (better to have a hard life and not answer to anyone)

I think this is a huge part of it. "People are too soft these days!" etc. And then you give your kids hookworm instead.

  • Upvote 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, anachronistic said:

...those homesteaders suffered with the hope that their kids would do better,

Yes. And people were thrilled when rural electrification arrived to pump water from the well, to listen to the radio, to have lights...then phone service arrived! and sometimes city water.  Trust me, none of those people romanticized their lives before electricity or farm life in general.     

These people will probably max out at around 12 to 16 kids.  Where is there room to homeschool?   How are they going to stay comfortably warm this winter?  Where is there any privacy for anything at all.  

Where is the money coming from? Does the dad have any type of outside work?

 

 

  • Upvote 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big shocker,  Addie Morton is a fan/follower. I don't understand why build such a small cabin if you have so many kids. Why not make a few bedrooms at least? What are they going to do when they have multiple teens and young adults?

  • Upvote 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere, maybe here, that people today don’t understand that having 14 kids in a little cabin in 1850 never meant that all 14 were home at the same time. 1, they were often spaced out due to long breastfeeding or people simply abstaining, 2, kids married young or went out to work young (like a 12/14 year old might go into service or work as a farmhand elsewhere) and 3, kids died. A lot. Young babies and children died an enormous amount. They were just as loved and cherished as kids today are but they didn’t have antibiotics or vaccines or modern plumbing or even the knowledge of rehydration solution. Not to mention c sections.

Of course they don’t put that into the history books. It might make people sad. Or something.

  • Upvote 35
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Howl said:

Yes. And people were thrilled when rural electrification arrived to pump water from the well, to listen to the radio, to have lights...then phone service arrived! and sometimes city water.  Trust me, none of those people romanticized their lives before electricity or farm life in general.     

These people will probably max out at around 12 to 16 kids.  Where is there room to homeschool?   How are they going to stay comfortably warm this winter?  Where is there any privacy for anything at all.  

Where is the money coming from? Does the dad have any type of outside work?

I wonder all those things. I see the tent in one picture but that only works in the spring through fall. 

The pictures are black and white, which make it even more depressing and could be mistaken for the depression but what stood out to me is the filth. Just like NicNog. They are doing better if they have septic than the Nogs but that is a very low bar. 

  • Upvote 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother, who was born in 1894, loved to wash dishes and kicked us kids out of the kitchen when my mother ordered us to “go help Grandma.” Grandma used to say, “Hot and cold running water are such a luxury!” and, as a kid, I thought she was nuts. I mean, I only ever knew her as an upper-middle-class lady in a fancy house with a college-educated, professional husband.

Then, decades after her passing, I visited The Tenement Museum on the lower east side of Manhattan and saw exactly how she and her Italian immigrant parents (and my grandfather’s family, too) had lived when she was a child and a young woman. People had to draw water from a pump in the courtyard and haul it up to their apartments, heating it on a coal stove to get hot water.  
Grandma would have scorned the poverty porn this idiotic woman espouses.

  • Upvote 23
  • Love 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone whose Nana lived in actual poverty in Eastern KY in the 20's and 30's, this kind of poverty porn lifestyle (or I guess Instagramming it) makes me quite angry.  It's not cute or aesthetic.  It wasn't a fun life.  My great-grandmother died in agony after days of suffering because her unborn child had died and there was no doctor, no money, nothing anyone could do.  My 6yo Nana watched her mother die, then a couple years later got shipped off to live with her oldest married sister along with two siblings, because her Dad had remarried a woman with several kids of her own and they literally couldn't feed them all.  

So many MILLIONS of people in this world still live like this and would take better if they could get it in a heartbeat.  Playing poverty is fucking gross. JMO.

  • Upvote 21
  • Sad 6
  • I Agree 10
  • Love 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't get past the fact she lives in a one-room unfinished cabin (or shanty as she "lovingly" calls it) without running water or electricity. And she thinks this is perfectly fine for 9 children and 2 adults.

What do they do for money as the husband doesn't seem to have any paying job and neither does she?

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Wolf in Sheeples’ Clothing said:

This woman named her youngest daughter Honey Fern… Why!?

https://www.homesteadmamas.com/2021/11/a-little-back-story-for-yall/

You can get away with naming your child anything when they don't go to public school. Actually, going off of that blog post, it doesn't sound like there's really any schooling at all going on ATM. 

 

6 minutes ago, Red Hair, Black Dress said:

I can't get past the fact she lives in a one-room unfinished cabin (or shanty as she "lovingly" calls it) without running water or electricity. And she thinks this is perfectly fine for 9 children and 2 adults.

Where the hell did they find the privacy to make kid #10???

  • Upvote 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've followed Katie for years. She is yet another case of an upper-middle class woman who enjoyed the privileges of education and travel, only to embrace fundamentalism and raise her brood without the same opportunities. Their wedding reception was at her mother's country club. Her husband is originally from Albania, and she nearly always references his early move to Greece as a rejection of communism. (Albanian history lends credence to such a view, but her agenda in this through a western political lens is pretty blatant.)

The eldest daughter was born in Greece where she met Oresti (at a church, naturally). They married, had their daughter, and moved to America shortly before she had the twins. They lived in suburbia before buying land in rural Texas with the intention of homesteading. They had a shanty there too, though they built a very nice sized two-story cabin as their family grew. The "big house" and adjacent farm were sold to finance the move to Missouri. This occurred because they wanted more land, and I guess an opportunity to live with less building and livestock regulations.

The eldest few daughters have names derived from Oresti's culture, or family names. The rest have been given increasingly twee names that Katie has acknowledged she alone picks. Apparently, Oresti doesn't care.  Name your kids whatever you want, but "Honey" still annoys me. 

They actually do have electricity and running water. The electricity has been in since shortly after they enclosed the shanty. (they lived at an airbnb before that.) Water took longer, but has been in for about 6 months. They added an addition with a sink and indoor bathroom early this year, and she recently announced that they will be adding another addition with a bedroom for themselves (and probably the youngest couple of kids), but it won't be finished until after her next baby is born. They are building barns and sheds for the livestock, and then in a year or two, will probably construct another "big house". 

Katie is a very odd duck. I personally don't find it weird that people would voluntarily choose to homestead or pursue a minimalist lifestyle. But... having TEN KIDS is not a choice you make when you want to embrace simplicity. She truly seems to love the life they lead, but it has aged both of them prematurely, and their older daughters are (naturally) far too involved with raising their younger siblings. As their daughters continue to mature and crave privacy, their experimental lifestyle is going to become even more of a burden to those girls. 

  • Upvote 11
  • Thank You 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, SolomonFundy said:

Her husband is originally from Albania

To me, he looks like a descendant of Rasputin. Maybe itʻs the beard.

Thank you, @SolomonFundy - a clear summary, as usual.

 

  • Upvote 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.