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where the wild things are
March 18, 2013 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Wilder Mann - photos of traditional animal costumes of Europe, by Charles Freger. Also in National Geographic, and in the New York Times' Lens Blog:
“These traditions come from Neolithic times — from shamanism — and they have never stopped,” said Mr. Fréger, 38. “For a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.”
posted by moonmilk (29 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aww, hell. I've been working up a post on this since I reviewed his book a couple months ago. I love the pictograph index at the back.
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 PM on March 18, 2013


By which I mean, awesome to see this here. I was trying to link the costumes to the carnivals this spring, but I was having trouble wading through Slavic search results.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 PM on March 18, 2013


In modern times, people have become separated from the wild and instead dress up as housewares.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:36 PM on March 18, 2013


Over the course of the book, the portraits look less and less like scary atavistic animals and more like burners out on the playa.
posted by klangklangston at 11:51 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That is a great project, thank you for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:53 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


In New England we like to dress up like lobsters.

But seriously, this image freaked me the hell out when I first saw it as a kid. It still hits me somewhere creepy and basic, and, as excellent as those costumes are, I wonder exactly what's different about them so that they don't freak me out.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:54 PM on March 18, 2013


Relevant Kids In The Hall sketch.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:49 AM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you; these bring me great joy. I was aware of a few of these European wild-man traditions, but I had no idea that there were so many. The photos on Fréger's site make me go "yes but WHERE IS THIS?" which probably means I should buy the book.
posted by pont at 1:17 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gee, I guess they just don't have nightmares over there, huh?
posted by orme at 2:02 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ni!
posted by kaibutsu at 2:50 AM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Beautiful and captivating! Why have nightmares these, they're like mystical spacesuits, keeping souls alive in strange realms.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:08 AM on March 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


These traditions come from Neolithic times — from shamanism — and they have never stopped,” said Mr. Fréger, 38. “For a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.
Why stop at a few days? Start a (pagan/black/other) metal band, and that could be your life! Well, except for the breaks you take to record your next album, and get interviewed for a Heavy Metal cookbook.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:34 AM on March 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Should I ever find myself at a furry convention, I am going to dress up like this.
posted by Bektashi at 5:43 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.”

OK, so basically a furry convention.
posted by Theta States at 6:46 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wampa cosplay!
posted by Theta States at 6:48 AM on March 19, 2013


a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.

Or South by Southwest.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:59 AM on March 19, 2013


Just watch out for anyone in a bear suit.
posted by VTX at 7:27 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe that's really what this guy was up to.
posted by Fig at 7:50 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, now Black Metal makes perfect sense.
posted by gwint at 7:53 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gimme that old-time religion
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:30 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Eek, it's like 3-D Don Kenn.
posted by BrashTech at 9:31 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wampa cosplay!

Not bitey enough.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:27 PM on March 19, 2013


This is great. Thanks, moonmilk.
posted by homunculus at 6:18 PM on March 19, 2013


Eek, it's like 3-D Don Kenn.

Previously, btw.
posted by homunculus at 6:18 PM on March 19, 2013


Yetis!
posted by BlueHorse at 10:05 PM on March 19, 2013


For a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.

As a side effect of making a Krampus mask last November, I had to explain the whole Krampus / Krampusnacht / Krampuslauf thing to about 400,000 people. The shortest explanation I could come up with for a Krampuslauf was, "The Running of the Drunks." So, yeah, basically.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:33 AM on March 20, 2013


There seem to be reoccurring themes in these old costumes, like in this book Maske
posted by boilermonster at 10:57 AM on March 20, 2013


sort of related
posted by moonmilk at 5:33 PM on March 24, 2013


the spirit of the masks
posted by homunculus at 9:39 AM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


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