Posted on September 03, 2014 | 0 Comments
The Woman with a Bundle of Sticks – Femme au fagots (French) – La Vieio au balus de bos (Provençaux) is number 18 on the list of the top 20 Essential Santons for a Provençal Creche.
The French word fagots is also spelled faggots and means a bundle of twigs, sticks, or branches bound together. Carbonel represents the carrier of fagots as an Old Woman and/or an Old Man, both with their backs hunched, indicative of their age and station in life. The humblest of humanity, they are symbols of poverty. Wood is not plentiful in Provence, so those in need eke out the most modest living, gathering and selling every twig they can to be used for kindling.
The old woman, called Misere, and also known as the Woodcutter's Wife, La Bouscatiero (Provençaux), walks with the aid of a stick.
She is often seen as accompanied by her husband, the Man with a Bundle of Sticks (Homme au fagots - French; Woodcutter, Lou Bouscatie - Provençaux), his trousers patched, a small bundle in his hand.
They share their happiness at the birth of Christ, presenting their modest gift - a bundle of twigs for a fire to keep the Christ Child warm.