These are not your average Halloween costumes.
For two years, French photographer Charles Freger has been traveling throughout Europe. He has been capturing the spirit of what he calls “tribal Europe” in his Wilder Mann series.
What Freger found was a vast array of pagan rituals, mainly related to the winter solstice and spring renewal, focusing on the common myth of the “wild man.”
It appears that the tradition of men dressing up as wild animals and monsters, which dates back to neolithic times and shamanism, is still very alive nowadays. The mythological figure of a “wild man” represents the complicated relationship humans have with nature and life and death cycles. His series explores the different interpretations of such figures – while some cultures depict “wild man” as covered in flowers or straws, others possess the features of bears, goats, or horned and hairy beasts.
I first came upon Freger’s phenomenal work through my friend, Steven Taylor , who is creating the illustrations for The Barefoot Stories, a novel franchise I have been toiling over about magic in the Dark Ages of Europe. The first book, The Barefoot King , is in bookstores in May of 2014.
For more of the remarkable work of photographer, Charles Freger, you can visit his website here.
As Halloween is just around the corner, there may not be enough time for this year’s event.
For myself, these were particularly inspiring. The Barefoot King involves that period on Europe between the 4th and 6th centuries when paganism lived side-by-side early Christendom.