Charles Fréger’s book Wilder Man: Image of the Savage documents the ritual, tribal and spiritual costumes of Europe. And it turns out that out ancestors (and weirder neighbours) were some creepy motherfuckers.
On New Year’s Day in Bulgaria men cover themselves with goatskins to impersonate the Kukeri, who both embody and chase away evil spirits. In the past they’d brush against women to bestow fertility [looks like Chewbacca joined the Grenadier Guards]:
Krampus (Santa’s darker half) on St. Nicholas’s Eve in Austria:
On Christmas Eve Pelzmärtle appears in the village of Bad Herrenalb, Germany with the Christkind (Baby Jesus) to scold naughty children and rap them with a stick. The straw costume is sewn on to the wearer [Christmas is apparently a super creepy time of year if you speak German]:
Boes (cow herder masks) on the Eve of St. Anthony in Sardina:
From Italy, these horned creatures are often three metres high and appear on Shrove Tuesday to spread terror on the streets of the wine village of Tramin. Their origin is unknown [that’s almost the scariest part of this sensibly-shoed T-Rex]:
[The entire label on this photo was just ‘Basque’. I guess the Mr. Fréger thought that ‘those French/Spanish nutters’ was explanation enough for the blind sumo shepherd]:
Sauvage at Carnival in Switerland [a.k.a. the patron saint of snipers]:
In his noble quest to burn things in interesting ways, Guo-Qiang has attempted ‘Sky Ladder’ three times previously – Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), Los Angeles (2012) – and now Quanzhou, China.
The Quanzhou Sky Ladder, the most badass interpretation of a Led Zepplin song title ever, burned for two and half rad minutes:
This is amazing. QR codes have stepped up from being pointless to be being actively dangerous:
I’m always a sucker for a good Arnie impression, but this is something special: