Under the Black Bull’s Hooves

Under the Black Bull’s Hooves

Histories of the Camargue

Maritta Kaumanns


An engaging account of the history, the joy and the personalities of the black bulls of the Camargue…the beating heart of a unique culture.

First edition

  • ISBN 9781800422391
  • Published Mar 2023
  • Paperback
    210 x 210mm (188 pages)


Bull cults are ancient, but they never ended well for the animals with one exception: the wild black bull of the Camargue is at the heart of a unique niche culture which leaves them alive and adored well into their old age. Intelligent, extremely agile and aggressive, they perform in thrilling games, the courses camarguaises, in dozens of arenas. Here young men risk their lives trying to pick tiny trophies tied between the horns of the bull – who will defend his crown by chasing his opponents across the sand and beyond.

Under the Black Bull’s Hooves is their story. Over many centuries, poetry and songs, novels and festivities, even politics evolved around these legendary animals who can never be tamed. Locals, usually reluctant to allow strangers into their tribal cosmos, helped to create this personal account. It is a declaration of love, describing the passionate, often quirky personalities of men and beast alike, their history, the sadness and the joy of individual events in a mysterious world so close and yet so hidden.

The Camargue and its wild riches of nature would cease to exist without the black bulls.

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