Gypsy with Bear - Gitan à l'ours
The gypsies (known to the Provencaux as Bohemiens), of swarthy complexion, live a nomadic life trying to make a living. They are included in the celebration of Christ's birth(an indication of the realization of how far the depth of redemption extends) - although they are said to have stayed at a safe distance from the manger, in that they had a reputation for stealing babies. Dressed in traditional gypsy, brightly-colored clothes, this gypsy woman carries a tambourine. Gypsy women are known for playing their tambourines, singing, dancing and telling fortunes -asking their audiences for whatever contribution the audience may wish to give.
Charles Galtier, in The Santons of Provence, comments that traditionally Tramps, Gypsies, and Beggars were all called "cheapjacks."
Enjoy reading our blog entry on the Gypsy, who is considered to be the No. 9 "Essential" Santons for a Provençal creche.
Provençal Figurines by C. Galtier and E. Cattin, translated by John Lee (Editions Ouest-France, 13 rue du Breil, Rennes, 1996) provides a list of the top 20 Santons "essential" to the Provençal creche.
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