Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This seemed an to be an unusual display of little clay figures. Turns out there is a tradition in parts of Germany where you display your village and this is where you would go to buy something you didn't feel like making yourself. Although I am pretty sure I haven't been aware that elephants live in Germany but then...what do I know?
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  1. une belle collection de santons.

  2. It is said that mammoths used to wander aroudnd Europe but that as been for ages!
    As for the rest, I can pretty assure you, as European, that some of those figures are all but German. Some of the tradiotional clothes are more of southern countries rather then of Central Europe but, as you said, what do we know?
    Anyhow, it's a fine collection that I wouldn't mind having.

  3. Looks like there is enough characters there to build several miniature villages. It looks like there are some camels in there too.

  4. Neva,

    They do this all over Europe, I believe. In French, these figurines are called santons, and they're pretty popular on the southern coast as well as in Brittany. I remember stopping in a little Italian shop in Rome, as well, where these little things were sold (they were about $70/each at the time, and that was 9 years ago). I'm not sure about England, though when I've been to a Christmas pantomime, there are always extraordinary creatures there too. At a Nativity play, there was a rhinoceros... and I believe in the film Love, Actually there is a first and second lobster present. I don't remember what I read about these things in French class, but I think that having such a wide variety of characters is supposed to reflect the interconnections of people and society, as well as reflecting that Christ was born as a gift to all of us. I think having a first lobsterman and a village weaver (two I saw in France) was a means to just include everyone in his birth.

    I might have just made that up though-- sometimes memories are so old that you feel like you're pulling them out of nowhere.


  5. They have a nice army of characters.

  6. Elephants! Weird but wonderful.


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