Pagan Costumes

A little history for your Friday afternoon…

The Skeleton Key

Let us not forget that our favorite holiday originated in the Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice. One ritual back then was dressing in costume, but this was long before Freddie Krueger masks were available on every corner. The Pagans were inspired to portray the demons they faced in nature: bears that could tear a person limb from limb, or tall trees that could cast long, mysterious shadows.

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Charles Freger‘s photography series spotlights these “tribal European” costumes, still in use today, which may resemble some of history’s first. “Freger captures demons, devils, bears, stags and straw men as well as hybrid figures dressed in skins, hides, leaves, and antlers, that seem to have arrived out of the darker reaches of fairytales.”

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“[T]he costumes and masks worn in folk festivals that mark the coming of spring, winter, or the new year remain vibrant and even frightening. As Fréger’s book shows, the…

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