Man in Awe - the No. #2 "Essential" Santon for a Provençal Creche

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.


Posted in Carbonel Santons, Provence Christmas



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