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  Provencal Themes / Santons of Provence / Santon Characters

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Santon Characters


Gallery of 16 photos for Santon Characters

The santon characters originally represented people of Provence setting out to carry offerings to the new-born. Other than the primary characters of the "crèche" (Nativity), the "Sainte Famille", these "little saints" should represent the Provencal characters and 16th-century Provencal trades listed here. Further expansion of characters are still quite legitimate for Provence, even if not included in original casts of characters: landscape painters, jewelers, farm workers, lavender cutters, card players, dentist, and so on.

 Lucéram Soapstone creche photo  Lucéram Life-sized creche photo  Lucéram Wood cutter's creche photo  Lucéram The baker's creche, in bread. photo

Le berger et son chein - Shephard and his dog

The first to arrive, with their sheep.

Les vieux - Old couple

Le vieux et la vieille", called Grasset and Grasseto (or Grasset et Grassette)

Le "ravi" - Village idiot, simpleton

With a long red bonnet.

Les tambourinaires - Drummers

Announcing the good news, with drum and flute (galoubet)

Le pêcheur - Fisherman

La poissonnière - Fish monger

Le porteur d'eau - Water carrier

Also called La femme à la cruche d'eau - the woman with the water jar.

Le bucheron - Woodcutter

Shown with an armload of wood; sometimes a woman (La femme au fagot)

 Lucéram Soapstone creche photo  Lucéram Life-sized creche photo  Lucéram Wood cutter's creche photo  Lucéram The baker's creche, in bread. photo

La jardinière - Gardener

Or porteurs et porteuses de fruits et de légumes, with garden produce: garlic (ail), squash (courge), or Cavaillon cantaloup (melon de Cavaillon). Sometimes shown as a vegitable seller, such as La marchande d'ail.

La fermière - Farm woman

With farm produce, such as eggs.

Le meunier - Miller

Carries bags of flour from the mill.

Le boulanger - Baker

With bread, baguettes, or fougasse.

Le vannier - Basket maker

Carrying a basket to be used as a cradle for the new-born.

Le rétameur - Tinker, tinman

He re-tins the pots (casseroles)

 Lucéram Soapstone creche photo  Lucéram Life-sized creche photo  Lucéram Wood cutter's creche photo  Lucéram The baker's creche, in bread. photo

Le rémouleur - Knife grinder

 

La fileuse à la quenouille - Spinning lady

"quenouille" is a distaff: a staff that holds the unspun wool from which the thread is drawn in spinning by hand. Beyond's Lucéram village page has a photo of a real-life "fileuse".

La lavandière - Washer woman

She's at the "lavoir" or the stream, washing clothes (laver le linge)

Le chasseur - Hunter

Pistachié de le "Fada" -

Margarido sur son âne -

Le forgeron - Blacksmith

La femme au bouillon de poule - Woman with chicken broth

She carries a chicken in one hand and a pot of broth in the other.

L'aveugle - Blind person

Lou "boumian" - Bohemien

Tends to be a bad guy (Herod's hit man)

 Lucéram Soapstone creche photo  Lucéram Life-sized creche photo  Lucéram Wood cutter's creche photo  Lucéram The baker's creche, in bread. photo

Le ramoneur - Chimney sweep

Les valets de ferme -

La femme au berceau - Woman with baby in a cradle

Symbolises the midwives (sages femmes)

La gardeuse d'oies - Goose herder

La marchande de limaçons - Snail seller

"limaçon" is Provencal for "escargot".

La vieille au calen - Lady with net

"calen" is a net put across the canal to catch fish (le calen c'est le filet qui traverse le canal)

Le montreur d'ours ou de marmottes - Bear trainer

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