The Marquis

Folco Baroncelli was born in 1869 in Aix-en-Provence. He was the descendant of an ancient Florentine family who settled in Avignon in the 15th century. He became passionately interested in bulls during his childhood. The discovery of Camargue would determine his destiny, he would become a "manadier" (cowherd) regardless of what others might say. In 1895, he settled in Camargue where he created the "Manado Santenco" in Saintes Maries de la Mer. In 1909, he created the "Nacioun Gardiano" and participated actively to the codification of Camargue bull-run and gave his letters patent of nobility to "gardians".
All the testimonies insist on the great humanity and the generosity of this man; but the most characteristic part of his personality is his strong stance in favour of oppressed minorities. He defended Gypsies who, thanks to him, were granted the right to honour in public Sara their patroness.

That is why, every year, on May 26th, there is a day in memory of the Marquis of Baroncelli, attended by Gypsies, folk bands, and "gardians" on horseback.