Recently two American artist visited us on Can Lluís, Megan Marlatt & Richard Knox Robinson.(www.meganmarlatt.com & http://www.robinsonphoto.com)
Megan went to Navata (www.venturahosta.net) to be inspired by the Gegants constructions and she made a lot of paintings.
The giants are usually hollow figures several meters tall, with a painted papier maché head and arms, the rest of the body being covered in cloth and other clothing. Their frame is usually made of wood or aluminum, withcarton-pierre which is a mixture of papier maché and a certain plaster used to make the head and hands. The frame of the body is hidden by cloth, and arms typically have no structural element to allow them to swing in the air when the giant is turned.
Within the frame is an individual controlling the giant. He carries a harness on his shoulder that is linked to the internal structure, and will move and shake the giant in a dance, usually accompanied by a local musicians. Typically, these dances will include at least two giants, the male gigante and the female giantess, or giganta, though some towns have multiple couples.
The figures usually depict archetypes of the town, such as the bourgouis and the peasant woman, or historical figures of local relevance, such as a founding king and queen, or pairs of Moorish and Christian nobles.
This tradition started already in the XV century! It reminds me at the grotesque heads of Leonardo da Vinci.