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Medieval Pilgrim Pack - the way they did it back then

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
A little bit of whimsy for you:

My daughter was looking up a medieval reference the other day and came upon this picture:

1657269582687.jpeg

It looks like the taller pilgrim has two scallop shells on his hat - perhaps a second time on the Camino?

The bag he is wearing is quite interesting too - she suggests it is a Martebo sack (named after a church in Sweden where it can be seen on a stone carving). There would be a second compartment on the pilgrim's back to balance the weight. Basically a larger version of the double ended market wallet (the IKEA Frakta bag of the Middle Ages)

1657269867697.jpeg

so some good came out of three year's study of medieval history after all!

PS - could that possibly be a rice cooker hanging around the younger pilgrim's neck?
 
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Roland49

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CF2019, CP2022?
A little bit of whimsy for you:

My daughter was looking up a medieval reference the other day and came upon this picture:

View attachment 129163

It looks like the taller pilgrim has two scallop shells on his hat - perhaps a second time on the Camino?

The bag he is wearing is quite interesting too - she suggests it is a Martebo sack (named after a church in Sweden where it can be seen on a stone carving). There would be a second compartment on the pilgrim's back to balance the weight. Basically a larger version of the double ended market wallet (the IKEA Frakta bag of the Middle Ages)

View attachment 129164

so some good came out of three year's study of medieval history after all!

PS - could that possibly be a rice cooker hanging around the younger pilgrim's neck?
Maybe a small lantern?

AFAIK the pilgrims pack was a loop with 2 (or more) pockets for the even distribution of the weight and the ease of access. So you can change the shoulder easily. Imagine a looped scarf with luggage-compartments ;) made of hemp. Sometime it is used as a sleeping-bag, too.
Usability and sustainability are the goals of most items like nowadays again.

The hip-pack of the smaller pilgrim is interesting, too.
 
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C clearly

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Where is this picture from, anyway? I am a total art ignoramus, but it looks as if the artist is copying the technique of picture-in-a-picture (or whatever it is called) and the onlookers' view as was used by Velasquez in Las Meninas.
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Where is this picture from, anyway?

It is from a medieval illustrated manuscript about the life and miracles of Saint Louis. The person on the left is a young boy. He is taken on a health pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Louis in Saint Denis to the north of Paris. The signs on their hats, I think, simply illustrate that they are pilgrims. Not necessarily pilgrims to/from Santiago (I think).
 
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trecile

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Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese

It is from a medieval illustrated manuscript about the life and miracles of Saint Louis. The person on the left is a young boy. He is taken on a health pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Louis in Saint Denis to the north of Paris. The signs on their hats, I think, simply illustrate that they are pilgrims. Not necessarily pilgrims to/from Santiago (I think).
It's interesting that they are both wearing scallop shells. Was the shell a symbol of all pilgrimages in the Middle Ages?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Where is this picture from, anyway? I am a total art ignoramus, but it looks as if the artist is copying the technique of picture-in-a-picture (or whatever it is called) and the onlookers' view as was used by Velasquez in Las Meninas.
She also tried to fool me with this picture:

1657309440825.jpeg

The date had me puzzled until a little research revealed that the Holy Year was extended due to the Spanish Civil War so this was presumably a poster promoting that?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
It's interesting that they are both wearing scallop shells. Was the shell a symbol of all pilgrimages in the Middle Ages?
The use certainly seems to have been widespread. I have a replica of a 13th c pewter token the original of which was dug up in London as was this poor soul (which I may have posted before?)

1657309930165.jpeg

Even the modern glass doors on Rochester (UK) cathedral have etched scallop shells on them (Protestant cathedral on the Pilgrim's Way to Canterbury)

1657310693871.jpeg
 
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@Jeff Crawley, two new thoughts on the image.

1) from both the larger image and, especially, the smaller echo on the top left corner I get the impression the smaller pilgrim is blind. I get that impression from the way the shorter stick (staff) is being used.

2) both pilgrims are wearing skirted tunics or dresses. Good for colder weather at least.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
@Jeff Crawley, two new thoughts on the image.

1) from both the larger image and, especially, the smaller echo on the top left corner I get the impression the smaller pilgrim is blind. I get that impression from the way the shorter stick (staff) is being used.

2) both pilgrims are wearing skirted tunics or dresses. Good for colder weather at least.
Yes indeed, as @Kathar1na s research reveals:

Thomas, 7 years old, blind, is taken on a health pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Louis in Saint-Denis. Dressed as a pilgrim, he holds a blind cane and a begging bowl to ask for alms.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Having studied the picture in detail I tend to support the contention that the smaller pilgrim (maybe a child?) is blind or at least visually impared. The taller pilgrim has their hand on the short staff almost touching the left hand.
Ah for the simpler days of the Middle Ages - bears, wolves, robbers all conspiring to prevent a successful pilgrimage.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Having studied the picture in detail I tend to support the contention that the smaller pilgrim (maybe a child?) is blind or at least visually impared
He is blind. The painting serves to illustrate one of the many miracles attributed to Saint Louis aka King Louis IX of France. I cannot decipher the whole text and have not found a transcript, only summaries. The title (in red) says “Another miracle of a blind child” and the boy’s name is mentioned in the third line: “Thomas”.

1657326512559.png
 
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The curiosity of searching more about this bag led me to a website about trying to experience hunt as in the medieval times which led me to this video of a medieval style pilgrimage :

They certainly are novices at packing those nice ponies. Those bags swinging and banging on the flanks of the horses are going to be very annoying.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It's interesting that they are both wearing scallop shells. Was the shell a symbol of all pilgrimages in the Middle Ages?
From memory (I may have a book with some relevant info but can’t get at it right now): By the time this manuscript was produced, ie end of the 15th century, and certainly in art, the scallop shell and similar items simply served to denote a pilgrim on any pilgrimage to anywhere.

There are some fascinating details in this miniature. In the right part, one can see how the boy (in the top corner) kneels at the saint’s shrine, with relics laid out on it, and he touches his eye with something. Not sure what the scene in the lower part means; it is perhaps the last of the five scenes of the story. The adult man who accompanies and guides the boy appears to have foot sores or wounds in the main scene on the left and appears to have cut holes into his shoes.

The link below allows you to zoom into the image. The story and images are a strong reminder of the world of difference between life and thinking/mindset 600-800 years ago and today.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6000784s/f207
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
He is blind. The painting serves to illustrate one of the many miracles attributed to Saint Louis aka King Louis IX of France. I cannot decipher the whole text and have not found a transcript, only summaries. The title (in red) says “Another miracle of a blind child” and the boy’s name is mentioned in the third line: “Thomas”.

View attachment 129197
For readily available information in English regarding the lineage and importance of King Louis IX see this Wikipedia article.
For a comprehensive illustrated overview of the reign of King Louis IX in French see the Larousse Encyclopédie

Louis IX wanted to make France the Christian nation par excellence. It was he who was king at the time of the first crusades. Thus he had the Sainte-Chapelle built 1248 in Paris to house relics which he believed to be Christ's crown of thorns and a fragment of the Cross. Futhermore the large number of crusaders who lost their eyes during the crusades led to the creation by King Louis IX of the Quinze-Vingts hospice in Paris c. 1260, to accommodate blind people.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
The curiosity of searching more about this bag led me to a website about trying to experience hunt as in the medieval times which led me to this video of a medieval style pilgrimage :

Thank you for that - most enjoyable!
Not sure that there would have been so many female pilgrims in those days but you can't deny that they really do strive for realism.
 
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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
From memory (I may have a book with some relevant info but can’t get at it right now): By the time this manuscript was produced, ie end of the 15th century, and certainly in art, the scallop shell and similar items simply served to denote a pilgrim on any pilgrimage to anywhere.

There are some fascinating details in this miniature. In the right part, one can see how the boy (in the top corner) kneels at the saint’s shrine, with relics laid out on it, and he touches his eye with something. Not sure what the scene in the lower part means; it is perhaps the last of the five scenes of the story. The adult man who accompanies and guides the boy appears to have foot sores or wounds in the main scene on the left and appears to have cut holes into his shoes.

The link below allows you to zoom into the image. The story and images are a strong reminder of the world of difference between life and thinking/mindset 600-800 years ago and today.

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b6000784s/f207
Thank you for that. My (daughter) Katherine says it looks to her like a pilgrim's progress: the man (father?) and boy leave the mother at the door of their home in the first scene and make their way in stages to the shrine.
Fascinating to see the detail as you zoom in - we'd never have noticed the blisters otherwise, perhaps the artist was painting from experience?

She also dug out this passage (as if to say "well Dad, is that what it's really like?)

Unholy Pilgrims, Holy Vulvae & Pious Phalluses
The bad behavior of pilgrims was not only addressed in works of fiction. Thomas à Kempis, writing in the early fifteenth century, was similarly critical of pilgrims, suggesting that, driven by curiosity and sight-seeing, their peregrinations affected no appreciable change in their lives. In the early sixteenth century, Erasmus cautioned pilgrims to stay at home, rather than gallivant around the continent on a kind of medieval road-trip, leaving their wives and children behind, only to return weeks or months later, their heads ‘full of superstition’. In his Colloquies (1518), he condemns contemporary religious practices, including the veneration of saints and relics, and again takes aim at pilgrims, mercilessly parodying them in a conversation between the fictional Menedemus and Ogygius, whose names mean ‘stay at home’ and ‘simple-minded’.


The rest of the passage goes into rather bawdy details of the kind of pilgrim souvenirs avaiable in the Middle Ages - quite frankly astonishing!
 

Pilgrimw

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French classic, queen isabella,seville
A little bit of whimsy for you:

My daughter was looking up a medieval reference the other day and came upon this picture:

View attachment 129163

It looks like the taller pilgrim has two scallop shells on his hat - perhaps a second time on the Camino?

The bag he is wearing is quite interesting too - she suggests it is a Martebo sack (named after a church in Sweden where it can be seen on a stone carving). There would be a second compartment on the pilgrim's back to balance the weight. Basically a larger version of the double ended market wallet (the IKEA Frakta bag of the Middle Ages)

View attachment 129164

so some good came out of three year's study of medieval history after all!

PS - could that possibly be a rice cooker hanging around the younger pilgrim's neck?
This is really intriguing. Does your daughter know date: location of this image? Is that a wood spoon in the center sticking out? In all the background images all plgrims same and accompanied by shorter: younger(?) one carrying casket of water or wine ?
 

Jodean

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
That film was great!
I loved the use of the use of the words, "giddy" and "frolicking" for the horses. The sinners were amusing too. All in all, a well made video.
 
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Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
The rest of the passage goes into rather bawdy details of the kind of pilgrim souvenirs avaiable in the Middle Ages - quite frankly astonishing!
I remember a few years ago someone posted a picture with a few of the bawdy, naughty pilgrim souvenirs from the Middle Ages; it was quite a surprise.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I remember a few years ago someone posted a picture with a few of the bawdy, naughty pilgrim souvenirs from the Middle Ages; it was quite a surprise.
This article suggests that such images were used to ward off disease or "the evil eye". They certainly seem strange to the modern religious mind!

 
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K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
A friend of mine (along with a few of his friends) did Camino a few years ago in Medieval garb, including leather turnshoes.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
This is really intriguing. Does your daughter know date: location of this image? Is that a wood spoon in the center sticking out? In all the background images all plgrims same and accompanied by shorter: younger(?) one carrying casket of water or wine ?
My Katherine plucked it out of an image search - we were having a long chat about medieval pilgrimages when I stayed with her last weekend - but our @Kathar1na posted a link above #28 where you can scroll through a whole book of similar works. Do take a look, it's fascinating.
 

Pilgrimw

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French classic, queen isabella,seville
My Katherine plucked it out of an image search - we were having a long chat about medieval pilgrimages when I stayed with her last weekend - but our @Kathar1na posted a link above #28 where you can scroll through a whole book of similar works. Do take a look, it's fascinating.
I tried and would like to. So far I followed and email if some w add y to see and you explain appreciate it
 
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and made from wool, good material to copy in modern pilgrimage..
Yes, indeed.
I take:
2 tops - short and long sleeve - both merino​
2 underpants - both merino​
I have lost much of my smell, but I am told my significant perspiration en route is not an issue for others at the end of the day.
Quick drying. When I do wash the shortsleeve after a day's walk, i can wear it again from first thing the next day.

I have tried woolen hose/socks, but they wear out too quickly.

From "New" Zealand I say to you kia kaha (take care, be strong) for your future perambulations.
 
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SeaHorse

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
They certainly are novices at packing those nice ponies. Those bags swinging and banging on the flanks of the horses are going to be very annoying.
Yes. If they want to go medieval, it's up to them. Don't make horses go medieval too. And I don't believe medieval people didn't have more thoughtful equipment for their horses.
 

fcoguerreiro

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future: CF 2022
A friend of mine (along with a few of his friends) did Camino a few years ago in Medieval garb, including leather turnshoes.

So I am not alone in my fascination with experiencing the Camino as a medieval pilgrim?

Really loved this, thank you!
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
So I am not alone in my fascination with experiencing the Camino as a medieval pilgrim?

Really loved this, thank you!
You're welcome! I don't know how well I would do in leather turnshoes on Camino, they don't have a lot of grip to the soles, although I guess you could reinforce the soles with horizontal leather strips to prevent slipping (historically accurate). A nice sheepskin lining would give some cushioning as well. The rest of the outfit is comfortable and wearable.
I would love to see this while walking.
 

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