Chimney Sweep - Ramoneur - Ramounaire
The Chimney Sweep is a young man who comes from the mountains of the Gavot region (a region of Provence bordering on the Dauphine) to earn a small pittance cleaning the chimneys of Provence. He carries his wire brush, called a hedge-hog (round, made of metal, and fastened to the end of a long rope - it scrapes soot from the chimney flues), and a little creature called a marmot. Both are essential to his work: the marmot helps to free the hedge-hog whenever it gets stuck in the chimney flue.
The Chimney Sweep's leading role in the Santons creche originates with early productions of the nativity story, in the Creche-Parlante and in Antoine Maurel's Pastorale. In the Creche-Parlante (itinerant/travelling, puppet-shows, also known as the "speaking creche") the Chimney Sweep, dressed in black and covered in soot, and his counterpart, the Miller, dressed in white and covered in flour, put on quite the show. A highly comical tussle between the two results in each becoming grey, or sometimes the Chimney Sweep comes out white and the Miller ends up black, each time different. Either way, the moral is that good and bad are easily confused.
Size #3 / Grande (the 3-1/2 inch - 9 cm size)
Made in France
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