Art: Down with Devils

The tiny village of Bessans, high in the French Alps, is famed for a peculiar manufacture: devils. Last week Bessans' devil industry was dying out. That meant the end of an ancient tradition.

One story has it that the people of Bessans began whittling devils in the 14th Century to commemorate a home-town boy named Duvallon, who sold his soul to Satan on a Christmas night. For 50 years thereafter, Duvallon was able to tote huge pine trees about on his shoulders and to float up & down the River Arc in a magic, unsinkable...

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