Restore the Pyrenean goatherds epic

Long before the 19the Over the centuries, the ascending and descending transhumans of goats have created artificial links between the plains, the foothills, and the Pyrenees mountains. Like sheep, the search for food and the supply of fertilizer to the vines are the driving forces behind these movements. But the presence of goats in the cities, especially Bordeaux, is justified by the milk supply. This “small trade” coexists with thousands more, branch vendors, water carriers, and so on. We tell the story of Pierre Lostanau, this little shepherd of Ideas, who walks the streets of Bordeaux every day asking “Lat de Crab, Cui n Bau?” Go shout. One day in 1776, he started a bizarre world tour by selling a flock of goats offered to him by the village, from where he returned with the title of General of the Indies and an iron hand!

Until the war of 1870, goats were present only in the basins of Ador and Garon, the highest point of which is Angulem.

Additional population of cadets and pyrenees

After the 1870s, two events occurred to change the situation of many local goat farmers in the Aspe, Osau (Bern) and Ozom valleys (Bigore) valleys. Public gatherings in the Pyrenees have reached its peak, an event associated with the tradition of “cadets”, meaning that in a Bairness family, only the eldest can take full control of the “home” family property. Then came a choice for the youngest, to be the eldest worker or to leave… the Pyrenean goat has proven itself to be a good dairy trader, a good walker. So it is possible to go further than Bordeaux and Angoulême! If the Bordeaux-Poitiers axis makes it possible to reach Orleans and Paris, there is another that follows the famous Royal Route (future N20) via Toulouse, Brive and Châteauroux. In every passing town, the goat herder sings, plays the flute, and feeds his goats for “sick or rich children.” Once in the suburbs of Paris, the herds are divided and taken to different districts of the capital. The well-groomed goat declares itself at the sound of its fiolet (panpipe). The maids come out, the kids hold their bowls, the kids goat milk and pick up the coins. A “Parisian painting”!

Coastal “Knights”

At the same time, the train provided access to fresh seaside resorts from Bali. So the goat herder goes out to meet his customers. From Bordeaux, it runs along the coast: Royan, Les Sables-d’Olonne, Nantes, La Baule … Why not try Granville and Le Havre? As long as the goat follows. To eat? With effective supervision of the dog, a faithful companion, there is enough adversity and end to graze on the side of the road. In Normandy, Father Palu is a local celebrity. How did he get to Rouen from Arbiost in the depths of the Ozom Valley? Are you coming from Paris or Britney? He knows Poulou that he’s just going through. “Fasian que passar” What is not said about this goat? (They were just going through). Next purpose: Chanel thermal spa, goat dung shell on the coast with sweet names: alabaster and opal. From Dieppe to Malé-les-Bains on the Belgian border via Le Tréport, Mers, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, Boulogne. Does a border mean the end of the journey for nomads? He has a choice: will he sell his cattle here to disperse or further away? In London or Belgium: Ghent, Brussels, Liege.

Mediterranean and Rhone valleys

There is another goat, Paulu, known for purchase at the Vic-en Bigo fair in October 1899, a herd of goats reformed for the purpose of “oriental” clients in Marseille, focusing more on meat goats. Here is a sail – not a young one – that has set out on a journey of 500 kilometers This transfer of animals intended for meat is an exception. It follows the common path to Nimes, going up to the Rh উপne Valley with milk sails. Their destinations: first Lyon, then Chalon-sur-Saনেne, Dijon, Troyes, Vesol, Epinal. The highest point where an animal has been photographed is Saint-Mihiel in Muse. Where to go? Belgium? There again, while passing through each town, the goat herder declares himself, from one year to the next, according to the needs of the loyal customer, finding a barn to sleep on and a meadow for the animals to rest. When do they gossip? Night?

Pyrenean, dairy and rustic

The epic finds its glory in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in 1937. For a long time, the box of cheese on the shoulder has compensated for the number of goats expelled by the car. Some goat farmers have returned to their old days to live in the Pyrenees, others have established families in the suburbs. Today’s Pyrenean goat breeders appreciate this bravery of men and animals, whose value has practically not changed more than a century later. These goats, seen on glass plates from the 1880s, are a reminder of their memory, their tradition and the irrefutable evidence: Pyrenees is a goat that is both dairy and rustic.

A book to connect the goats of yesterday and today

“Bern Gothard’s epic on the streets of France, Belgium and England, sometimes called” Basque Gothard “, is an unknown adventure. The author of the book is Jean-Noel Pasal 1870-1940 Pyrenean goatherds epic. The cursed one is to travel 40 km to France with a goat to feed his family and his family in the spring. ” He further said. In support of the Pyrenean Goat Association, Jean-Noël Passal decided to put on a number of photographs (often unpublished), maps, testimonies that made it possible to name some of these goats: Casavielle, Miédougé, Aspect.

For any information, visit the Pyrenees Goat website or email

The book is available from July – 244 pages – Les Ateliers de l’Ours Publisher – 40 euros, postage included

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