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It is in the Périgord Noir that Cro-Magnon, homo sapiens sapiens, was discovered and we are all descended from him in some shape or form! Our ancestor could be found throughout Europe in the Upper Paleolithic period but it is in the Cro Magnon rock shelter in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac that his fossilized remains were first discovered - and so that is where his name comes from, giving us the mistaken belief that he started out on his journey in the Périgord. That’s the way it is with eponyms and prehistory! Be that as it may, things have changed somewhat since then and the Périgord has become renowned for its magnificent scenery and its gastronomic delights. In short, all that was lacking was a touch of eccentricity which, with the return of the classic animal skin clothing, would propulse the children of Cro-Magnon into the third millennium. Now they’ve got it, thanks to the Périgord Chippendales – “les Mappas” – who made their first appearance at “Les Ecuries de la Passée” in Saint-Cyprien on 21 December 2007.

The owners of this far-famed restaurant, Anita and Polo, had invited the locals to show their sense of humour and artistic talents at a party where the men were asked to come dressed up in women’s clothes.

As for the women, they had organized an outlandish mannequin parade with cleverly recycled clothes, collected by the association named “les Pétassou” (“rags” in Occitan). The association, which is in Siorac, collects and redistributes, free of charge, the surplus “rags and tatters” that our super modern society produces. With this wealth of raw material they concocted wild and crazy outfits and, to the shrieking and shouting of their supporters, got caught up in the mass hysteria.

By this time the atmosphere was electric and the captivated audience were in for their second shock: the first performance, in the spotlights and in front of the les Mappas cameras, by the Périgord Chippendales, “les Mappas”… Flawless choreography, natural elegance never verging on vulgarity. The highlight of the show: an unexpected accessory which you’ll look at in a different manner from now onwards… But enough said! “Les Mappas” can be seen in the videos on page 2 - and you’ll enjoy the high spots of the “Femm’en Folies” catwalk. Quite something! Just what we need at the start of the new year to regain faith in the human race.

Sophie Cattoire

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