Wilder Mann – Men who dress in fur, skins, horns, masks, and creature costumes

Wilder Mann: The Image of the Savage
by Charles Fréger (photographer) and Genevieve Gauckler (illustrator)
Dewi Lewis Publishing
2012, 272 pages, 7 x 9 x 1.1 inches
$33 Buy a copy on Amazon

Krampus is just the beginning!

Photographer Charles Fréger is fascinated by the many different uniforms, costumes and wearable art from around the world. Soldiers, sumo wrestlers and Mardi Gras Indians have all been caught by his lens, and this fantastic book captures the savages and wild men of Europe. To celebrate life and to mark the seasons, these wild men don powerful primitive masks, dress in fur, skins and horns, and drape themselves in clattering chains and clanking bells. Both beautiful and frightening: I’d call it “brute-tiful!”

There are over two-hundred pages of full-color photos of fascinating creature costumes. The introduction is Robert Wilson’s over-the-top essay on modern man’s search for his primitive roots. I like the taxonomic glossary with a short explanation of the sources and the historic/folkloric origins of each creature. The wild checkerboard endplates incorporate Genevieve Gauckler’s witty silhouette drawings of the wild men!

Here’s a video of just one of the creatures in the book: the Mamuthones of Sardinia

What part do they play in the carnival of San Antonio? Get the book and find out!  –  Bob Knetzger

February 23, 2015