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



if you did that in the US you’d get shot faster than a black man wearing an open carry t-shirt to a walmart.

“And now,” said Max, “let the Wild Rumpus start!”


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There are some more photos from the book here and here.


Did you, perhaps, mistake these ancient customs of people who probably happen to be white (it’s about European countries, after all) for mockery of other cultures stereotyped as “savage”?
I assure you that is not the case.

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I saw some of the pictures in National Geographic. (Hey I read the articles too!) These really are some amazing costumes, but the cultural contexts fascinate me even more. Also…

A fair question - allow me to clarify: the fascination with being “primitive” and “animalistic” is by no means limited to any one culture, place, or time. However in the contemporary world, it’s the kind of thing only white people can really get away with. POC get it foisted on them.

Just a couple of f’rinstance:



For that matter, the Irish got it too, back before they were white:


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Insulting people by likening them to animals based on their race is something else again. I think that is really a separate issue, so I won’t discuss it here (and there’s no defending it, anyway).

First, let me say that practicing your own people’s centuries-old traditions IS NOT RACISM.
These traditions are not some fad among middle-class white straight cis male American college students. They are age-old traditions. They’re local traditions. Travel a few hundred kilometers, and things will be different. This is not “privileged default culture”.
I think you’re wrongly applying an American worldview to other cultures here. (“Check your privilege”?)

Now, there is the true problem that there are peoples and races that are stereotyped as more “savage” than others by global culture.
But then, if one group is overly privileged by being regarded as “civilized” and not “savage” why should they stop acting out their savage instincts? Wouldn’t that reinforce the prejudices against POC if only POC were allowed to dress up as animals? And if POC feel a pressure to act especially “civilized” to prove the stereotypes wrong, don’t “savage white customs” reduce that pressure?

I know for a fact that those “savage” elements of my own culture have broadened my view of different cultures. I grew up knowing this is part of my own culture. I don’t think that has made me more likely to label somebody else as a savage just because they have their own form of a crazy savage get-rid-of-bad-spirits dance.

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I… never said it was?

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Then I obviously failed at reading between the lines.

I basically interpreted your first two posts as a loud cry of “WHITE PRIVILEGE!”. Is that fair to say?

To be honest, the “That’s some white nonsense” line came across as a little rude to me, so I assumed something about Charles Fréger’s book had offended you at least a little.

Now I don’t get the point of calling out “WHITE PRIVILEGE!” unless you expect a change of behavior from someone. Do you expect any of the involved people (the Europeans dressed up as animals, the photographer, or the people buying the book, or people talking about it here) to change their behavior?

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  1. It seems so.

  2. Not really, no.

If I want to call something racist, I have no problem just calling it racist.

Pointing out privilege is not the same thing as saying “X is ___ist.”

But I also have no problem pointing out privilege by just baldly saying so.

OTOH, it seems to me that fetishizing the “primitive,” not unlike say fetishizing the Civil War, is pretty much the domain of white people. [waits patiently for the first person to totally miss the point by posting a picture of a non-white re-enacter]


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