Posted on October 30, 2012 | 0 Comments
In March 2012 we published Essential Santons for a Provencal Creche - a list of the top 20 Santons included in the creche by the Provençal people. The Man in Awe – Homme Ravi or Le Ravi (French) – Lou Ravi (Provençal) was the second most vital Santon included in the Provençal creche. The Man in Awe - also referred to as the delighted one, the blissful one, awestricken, enraptured, naive, innocent, even the village idiot (in a fond and ever so nice way) - is always portrayed with arms raised to the sky, dumbfounded and overjoyed on hearing the news of Jesus' birth. The word "ravi" comes from "ravissement," meaning rapture. He may be a simple lad, but not when it comes to his ability to recognize the joyousness of the Saviour's birth.
Derived from the pastorals of the 19th century, he is a farmhand who comes to the manger with nothing more to offer than the sheer delight and wonder that he feels. He has a nightcap on his head and wears a flowery shirt or waistcoat.
He is available in all four Marcel Carbonel Santons' sizes that we offer. From left to right: Size #3, Size #2, Size #1, and Puce.
Carbonel also makes a female version: The Woman in Awe - Femme Ravie (French) - La Ravido (Provençal). There exist references to her as the Man in Awe's wife, and as Charles Galtier* notes, she appears in the same pose of "unspeakable happiness." Again, from left to right: Size #3, Size #2, Size #1, and Puce.
The final Man in Awe figure created by the Carbonel workshops, is quite special, half figure and half accessory to a Stable. Available only in Size #2, he is the Cut-Off Man in Awe, meant to set in (in fact, to hang out of) a stable window. Galtier notes that when the pair of "Delighted Ones" appear in the same creche as the Cut-Off Delighted One at the window, the latter is known as The Astonished One, l'Estouna (Provençal) or the Blissful One, lou Badin-Badau (Provençal) ."*
* Galtier, Charles. Provençal Figures. Rennes, France: Editions Ouest-France, 1996.