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5/16.- Sein, a few inhabitants

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The two men shown here are reminiscent of the short, squat Breton characters that people the paintings of Bernard Morinay.  Morinay has devoted several pictures to Sein and its inhabitants. On the island, the men are mariners or fishermen, while the women till the soil in tiny plots protected from the gales by low stone walls. Older women still wear Sein's characteristic black headdress.  It takes brave resistance to survive on the island, but the rough conditions have shaped the people's character.  When in 1940 General De Gaulle launched his appeal for Frenchmen to join him in Great Britain, all men from Sein embarked on their small boats to join his army, and constituted one quarter of his initial force.  General De Gaulle acknowledged this in his famous one-liner : "So Sein is one quarter of France !" and in 1946, the General himself came to Sein to inaugurate a monument celebrating the Liberation.

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