Monday, 18 June 2012

The Wildman

' Huge and hairy and mute. . .he may be so large that his legs alone have the sizes of tress. His temper when aroused is terrible and his first impulse that of tearing trespasses to pieces. When moved to revenge, he nay make lakes disappear and towns sink to the ground. He devours human beings, preferring unbaptised children, and - according to a belief held in Italian Tyrol and in the Grisons in Switzerland- makes a practice of exchanging his own worthless progeny for human offspring'

Richard Bernheimer, Wild Men in the Middle Ages.

15th century manuscript illustration of Nebuchanezzar, the Babylonian king from the Old Testament Book of Daniel,
'During that time he lived away from others, eating grass for food and letting his hair and nails grow wild. In the the Middle Ages some mad persons were allowed to go free, and they usually drifted to the woods in order to live unmolested.'

Daniel Farson, Vampires, Zombies & Monster Men


 Three students and a card board reconstruction of the huge figure that pursued them from their campsite, loping along after their pickup truck in Angles National Forest, Southern Californa, 1973.

We feed on wild fruit and roots, drink the clear water of springs and warm ourselves by the light of the sun.Our garment is the mossy foliage and grass which serve also as our bed and bedspreads . . .company and pleasure we find in the wild animals of the woods, for since we do them no harm, they let us live in peace. . .We exult in brotherly love and have never had any strife among us, for each does to the other as he would want him to do to himself'

The Lament of the Wild Man about the Unfaithful World

Now, as lightening pitchforked in dark pastures of sky
above the remote Bluff Creek wilderness,
dwindling sanctum of strange man-ape beings,
I felt a kinship with those lost hearts beating hugley against the fall of time.

And as night gathered in the long canyons
I took the headlamp which would light me down
and signaled out across the miles; so, linked
at least in ceremony, Bigfoot and I moved 
in separate sorrows along our evenings trails.

As published in the Mountain Gazette, July 1975.

A 17th century engraving of a Wildman discovered in Java.

1 comment:

  1. You might be interested in this about a wildman called Bosci made by my partner

    He'd have loved to attend your wildman life drawing workshop but is going to be drawing with children at the Gunter von Hagen exhibition all day. Will there be a chance for you to run it again, somewhere else?