Faire l’Ours. The game, aim, and limits of mimesis

By Claudie Voisenat


In France’s Eastern Pyrenees, three villages come together to celebrate the “Festival of the Bear” at the end of each winter. In a tradition that involves the whole community, young men in bear costumes, surrounded by hunters, roam the streets in pursuit of girls who they pretend to abduct. The Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste Festival of the Bear, analyzed here, presents a series of clashes emerging from this “playful pretense,” which entail all the paradoxes of mimesis.


  • Festival
  • Catalonia
  • Carnival
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Manhood
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