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Master Thesis

Du fil à la patte à la clef des champs. La relation de l'homme à l'espèce colombine en Dauphiné puis en Isère, de la fin du XVIe au début du XXe siècle

Abstract : Anthropozoology can be dealt with diachronically. As a matter of fact, the part of History concerning man in his relation to the pigeons species in Dauphiné and later on in Isère, from the end of the XVI.th century to the beginning of the XX.th, encompasses natural history, rural and industrial history, political and military history, late alone social and cultural history and even a history of emotions.
The owning of pigeons was for a long time a source of pride, a symbol of power. Exceptional care was taken in the building of dovecotes, which provided a firm basis for a contemporary agro-industrial structures. They were adorned in the most delicate ways, even displaying a certain amount of luxury which we cannot but admire in the remaining dovecotes of North Isère. Textbooks on agriculture that describe those buildings bear witness to a dynamic development. The French Revolution, while giving any man access to both dove rights and hunting rights, hastened the elimination of huge breedings of rock doves.
The manna they provided was going to be partly replaced, when autumn came by the hundreds of thousands of wood pigeons migrating along the Rhône. They were collected in huge nets set in passes. Such cynegetic practice was soon to be forbidden thanks to vaious laws along the years eventually leading to the return of a reactionary line of action. Napoleon and later one Louis Philippe helped, against their better judgement, in the protection of « columba palumbus », the famous wood pigeon.
Pigeon lovers turned then to colombiculture and created more than a hundred new races, endowed with new capacities like those of the carrier pigeon. During the siege of Paris in 1870, the carrier pigeon was able to replace the telegraph, a recent technological device which the enemy had managed to make ineffective. Henceforth colombiculture was going to serve the obsession of the French Third Republic in advocating revenge, leading to the consequence we all know about during the first World War. Though they were massively used as soon as 1916 and despite their heroix feats, duly rewarded by military distinctions, carrier pigeons would become scarce just after the war which had taken a heavy toll among their owners, thus leaving many dovecotes unattended to.
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Master Thesis
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Jean-Claude Tisseyre. Du fil à la patte à la clef des champs. La relation de l'homme à l'espèce colombine en Dauphiné puis en Isère, de la fin du XVIe au début du XXe siècle. Histoire. 2015. ⟨dumas-01266854⟩

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