Friday 17 September 2010

Les Empègues

Walk around our village in the South of France and you'll see these black and occasionally red stencils on every doorway, doorstep or gate. Les Empègues, from the Occitan word empeguar, to stick, are specific to the Petite Camargue / Vaunage region in the Gard. The first stencils appeared at the beginning of the 20th Century and were painted on the houses of young men who were old enough to do their military service. If you look closely you will see many symbols of the Camargue area - the bull, the flamingo, the horse, in addition to images related to the local bull-rearing and bullfighting culture. Military service no longer exists in France but every year a group of young adults visits each and every house during the fête vôtive (week-long village festivities) and stencils a new image on our walls.


  1. thats so interesting, there is lots of stencil graffiti in town (Melbourne) with contemporary designs (which i really like) but had no idea of it's history!
    Happy weekend!

  2. That is really interesting !!!

  3. Thanks, we saw them but didn't know the story!


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