Les garçons et la buse dans l’espace rural traditionnel lorrain

Colette MÉCHIN

fr Anthropozoologica 49 (1) - Pages 133-144

Published on 25 June 2014

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animals, and their bones, in the 'modern' world (AD 1750-1900)

Boys and the buzzard in traditional rural areas in Lorraine

In connection with a Lorraine tale that explains ‘why children do not walk when they are born’, the author re-examines the context of rural society before industrialization and proposes to link the activities of young boys who go around with noise instruments in the Easter period, beliefs about animals, the concerns of women about care of the farmyard and babies learning to walk. The author’s analysis of these various activities follows the approach of C. Lévi-Strauss. The chains of symbolic understanding thus exposed reveal the coherence and, to a certain extent, the strangeness of our older European societies, which are so close to us temporally and so far away in their attitudes.


Buzzard, Buteo buteo L., Lorraine, France, Easter, teenager, women’s role, childhood.

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