“Like going to war.” This is how one of the wrestlers in photographer Ken Hermann and art director Gem Fletcher‘s project Bökh, describes Mongolian wrestling. Shot in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, the resulting portraits and short film pay respect to this ancient tradition. It’s a tradition that is still very much alive in the nomadic communities that account for 30% of the country’s population.
Over 100 men with the wildest whiskers entered the 2012 European Beard and Moustache Championships in Wittersdorf, France over this past weekend. The entrants curled their mustaches and brushed their beards, adorning their faces with eccentric designs, stiffened and maintained by intense primping, styling, and blow drying. Whether you like a man with facial hair or not, you’ve got to commend these guys on their creative efforts.
These images from the competition give us a peek into the world of facial hairstyling that seems all at once fun, wacky, and labor-intensive. It brings to mind film director Morgan Spurlock’s documentary titled Mansome, which touches on the art of hair design, both facial and body, amongst men. In one segment in which the film follows Jack Passion, a two-time winner at the World Beard and Moustache Championships, the viewer is given a closer look at one man’s experience in the realm of ambitious facial hair maintenance and the competitions they’re meant for.