Hunting / La caça
The hunters’ association is a meeting place but also a significant place where human relationships and regional management are put to the fore. This last matter often causes never ending discussions and long-lasting disputes (which can be settled over a glass of wine). Equally important aspects of the hunters’ association are a secret hierarchy where everyone plays his part and the well-balanced way in which a group of people is concerned with the general interest and the main objective.
“Back in the village, all gather in a shed where the “pig” which was shot is cut up. It is then divided into equal parts. All parts are put into “crates” or “butcher’s paper”, all carrying a number. Each hunter who has taken part in the beat then puts a hand into the “satchel” which contains the same quantity of “bingo numbers” and takes out the number of the crate he will take home.
The head is offered to the hunter who has killed the animal, the liver (a choice part) is divided among the piqueurs (comparable to whippers-in) and, if the hunting was successful, an extra part is reserved for the owner of the dogs. Glasses are raised – the one who has killed the animal pays for the drinks. And then all those who participated in the hunting tell their side of the story to draw up an overall event which no one has witnessed in its entirety.” (excerpt from Canton de Tuchan et Communauté de Communes des Hautes-Corbières, ed. Vilatges al País).
Being the president or the secretary of the local hunter’s association is a very important position in the life of a village!