Tuesday, December 26, 2017


These figures appeared in late 17th century in Catalan and environs. Wikipedia explains them in detail. Here is image search showing a full array. Here is a caganer store where the figures are sold for $19.00 each. They're also sold on Amazon. However they're described they're foremost testament that on Earth, everything sacred comes tainted with the profane, an impulse, a fact of material life, that cannot be avoided or resisted.

The Catalan pessebre, their nativity, is more extensive than mere creche, encompassing the whole town of Bethlehem and surrounding pastures including women doing ordinary things and shepherds waking with gifts, so this figure can be tucked into the scene and hidden. So along with angels singing the glory of God actually bestowing himself on Earth in a scene of high spiritual aspiration, an anachronistic figure is included having a poo, joking, now that God is on Earth and one of us, he too must deal with that residual portion.

One of the sites describing the shops selling these figures wrote, this time of year business really piles up.


ricpic said...

There's a German equivalent to these plaster figures, can't think of the name. Anyway, one of my aunts collected those figures and like most kids, or some kids, whenever we visited her house I would collect them and turn them round and round in my hands. I think it was their solidity that was so satisfying. They fascinated me. I realize now that they were the height of kitsch but so what?...to a kid at least.

ricpic said...

I just looked it up. Hummel. How could I have forgotten that?! Porcelain not plaster. Or is porcelain plaster with a veneer?