Charles Fréger
Europe’s Wild Men

European city dwellers like myself find themselves far away from meaningful folk customs and rites native to their homeland other than the frantic celebration of consumption — be it eating, drinking or the annual shopping binge.

But a primal heart still beats in Europe. Rural people all over the continent kept the connection to nature’s rhythm and celebrate the seasonal cycle. They invoke death but bestow fertile life. The rituals are centuries old and the ingenuity of their costumes is just as fantastic as in other cultures around the world (more tribal adornment on DOP).

The photographer Charles Fréger traveled 19 countries to portray the Wild Men, a mythical figure that appears in artworks and literature of medieval Europe. This savage is half beast half human — our primal counterpart. He also symbolizes a long lost paradisaic relationship with nature.

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