Charles Fréger visited 18 European countries in search of the mythological figure of the Wild Man. His strange and beautiful photobook, Wilder Mann: the Image of the Savage, explores human fascination with myth, ritual and tradition.
Charles Fréger was fascinated by what the human race lost over the millenniums when it evolved from hunter-gather to farmer and, eventually, urban dweller. After learning that there were Europeans who continued ancient pagan rites of celebrating the winter solstice and the beginning of spring, he set out to examine what traditions faded as people became more civilized.
In 2010, Mr. Fréger began to photograph the few small farming communities, in mountainous areas, that still follow the customs that for the most part were precursors to Christmas, New Year’s and Easter. He found that many dressed like animals.
“When I saw the costumes and spent time with these people,” he said, “I realized…
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