Donkey with sacks of flour - Ane charge de sacs de farine
Donkey with Sacks of flour across his back
The Âne de Provence, is a breed of domestic donkey from Provence. Their coat is dove grey (varying from pale to dark). The muzzle and around the eyes are pale; and the forehead and ears usually have a russet tint. The limbs are solid and the hooves relatively large. At three years of age the Provençal jacks (males) stand 47-53 inches at the withers (where the neck connects to the back), and the Jennies (females) 46-51 inches.
The earliest records of Shepherds of Provence using pack donkeys dates to the fifteenth century, particularly during the seasonal transhumance between the low ground where the sheep over-winter and the high alpine pastures where they spend the summer months. The donkeys are outfitted with pack saddles that carry the equipment and supplies needed by the shepherds along the journey.
Modern transportation caused a sharp decline in their population of the Provence donkey (13,000 at the end of the 19th century, 2000 in 1956, and 330 in 1993. In December 1992 a breeder's association, the Association de l'Âne de Provence, was formed. They worked with the Haras National, in Languedoc-Roussilon to achieve recognition of the breed. In November 2002 the Provence donkey received the official recognition of the French ministry of agriculture. The current population is estimated at 1500. - Wikipedia
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