Sartenada's photo blog / Blog de foto de Sartenada

January 4, 2013

Poor-man statues 1 / Estatuas de pobre hombre 1 / Statues de Pauvre Homme 1

In English:

Original English text updated in March 2014. In this series there are presented 57 paupers.

These historical wooden Poor-man (pauper) wooden statues are presented in their original surroundings. It is difficult to understand them at first, because man can find them only in Finland and some in Sweden. They are found mainly on the area called Ostrobothnia in Finland. They are part of our cultural heritage and thus being something special. What they are, why man made them, what is their history and how many of them exist? All these questions are replied in my next three posts.

Since I saw the first one nearly ten years ago, I felt sympathy to them. They were so cute, so live looking and well made. Seeing those statues later after years, many of them were in bad condition, I came sad. I saw that time and hard weather had left marks on them. I asked myself if anybody takes care of them, because they needed urgent restoration.

According to the latest calculations there are 145 paupers from which 107 (poor-man statues) + 1 (poor-woman statue) in active service, meaning collecting money to the poor. The rest of them are found in local museums around Finland. Total number of them is calculated to been about 180. In Sweden there are only nine paupers left.

Background:

All this began in 1649 (at that time Finland was under administration of Sweden) when Swedish queen Kristina (1629 – 1689) gave order to make money collection logs. In Europe wars raged around and many soldiers wounded in wars losing foot or arm. When wounded in this way they had to return to their home. These money collection-logs were modified to pauper (poor-man) statues by local artists. They were placed usually beside church doors and on the walls of bell towers. Man built for them small wooden shelter to protect them sun shine, direct rain and snow. In recent years many churches moved them into porches. So, many pauper statues present men missing hand, foot or even ear having models from solders maimed in wars. Man must remember that in the 1700, 1800 and 1900 century people were very poor, but they visited church every Sunday faithfully. I think that these pauper statues were great start for modern help of the poor (social security).

Pauper statues have moneybox in their chest and to put coins into them there is a slot in the chest. In general the Finnish people are honest and this means that there a few robberies against the pauper statues. Robberies have happened, yes indeed. Latest robbery happened in 2013 when the whole pauper statue in Rautio was stolen. It was found after winter in a ditch. The lock and money box were missing, but the statue was in good condition. Also the pauper of Alavieska has been robbed many times. In addition to these robberies, there have been some minor mischiefs like removing hands. Many paupers have beside them a written small phrase. Although the text might slightly differ from others, the main idea is: “he who has mercy on the poor, lends to the Lord”.
My posts go this way: First I present four churches and after photos of every church I show poor man statues with general views and close-ups. Because all pauper statues are presented in their natural environment, You will see also photos from churches, Chandeliers, Pulpits,Altapieces,Altars, Memorialsand Belltowers.

Always I could not visit churches inside, but in many cases yes. Enjoy our cultural heritage!

En español:

Historia de pobres hombres tallada en madera y la estatua estatua de pobrecita mujer.

Hay 107 estatuas de pobre hombres y una estatua de pobrecita mujer.

Al manejar mi carro alrededor en mi país, sacando fotos de las iglesias he encontrado algunas estatuas raras al lado de iglesias o campanarios. Ellos eran hombres o mujeres, y siempre sus mano o el pie había desaparecido, pero de todos modos esos estatues veía bien. Al examinar más de cerca encontré un hueco en ellos. Entonces entendí que se puede poner dinero en el hueco y dentro hay una cajita. ¿Por qué estos cajas / estatuas en madera de pobre hombres mendigos, se han creado, ¿cuándo?

Todo esto empieza en 1649 cuando la reina Cristina de Suecia dio la orden para hacer los leños de los pobres y ponerlos al lado de las puertas de las iglesias, campanarios o algunos lugares públicos. Pronto los leños de los pobres fueron modificados para estatuas de pobre hombre par artistas locales en Finlandia. En ese tiempo Finlandia estaba bajo la administración de Suecia. En Europa guerras devastó todos partes en Europa y muchos soldados heridos mismos perdiendo su pie o el brazo. Cuando heridos de esta manera ellos tuvieron que regresar a su casa.

En el 1700, 1800 y 1900 la gente del siglo era muy pobre, pero ellos visitaron la iglesia todos los domingos fielmente, así el lugar natural para esas estatuas pobres-el hombre estaba fue junto a iglesias o campanarios. Tal vez estas estatuas de pobres hombres ayudó a los más pobres, por supuesto, no existen estadicas.

Este post va de esta manera: Primero presento cuatro iglesias y después las fotos de estatuas pobres hombres.

En francais:

Histoire de statues sculptées en bois de pauvre-homme et de pauvre-femme statue.

Il ya 107 statues de pauvre-hommes et une statue pauvre femme.

Lorsque je conduisais autour dans mon pays pour prendre des photos des églises sur la campagne, j’ai trouvé quelques statues particulières à côté des églises ou des campaniles. Ils étaient des hommes ou des femmes et dont toujours la main ou le pied les manquait, mais de toute façon ces statues avaient l’air si bien. Lorsque en examinant les de plus près, j’ai trouvé une fente. Puis j’ai réalisé que l’on peut mettre des pièces à l’intérieur dans la fente du bûche. Pourquoi ces pauvres bûches / pauvre-homme de bois / bois statues mendiants ont été mis en place, quand?

Tout cela commence 1649 quand Christine de Suède a donné l’ordre de faire les pauvres bûches et de les mettre à côté des portes d’église, clochers ou de certains lieux publics. Bientôt ces pauvres bûches ont été modifiés pour homme pauvres statues par des artistes locaux en Finlande. En ce moment la Finlande était sous l’administration de la Suède. Les guerres faisaient rage autour de l’Europe et nombreux soldats blessés ont perdu le pied ou le bras. Lorsque blessés de cette façon ils devaient retourner à leur domicile.
Dans les années 1700, 1800 et 1900 les gens était très pauvres, mais ils ont visité l’église chaque dimanche fidèlement, de sorte que, le lieu naturel pour ces statues de pauvres-hommes était à côté des églises ou des campaniles. Peut-être ces statues de pauvres-hommes ont aidé les plus pauvres, mais des statistiques, ils existent pas bien sûr.

Mon poste va dans cette façon: Premièrement je présente quatre églises et puis et à la fin les photos de statues de pauvre hommes.

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaharma - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaharma - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaharma - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaharma - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaharma - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaharma - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alaveteli - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Ilmajoki - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Larsmo - Poor man-statues / Estatuas de pobre hombre / Statues de Pauvre Homme

Alahärmä (Photos / fotos 2007):

Church built 1901–1903 / Iglesia construida 1901–1903 / Église construite 1901–1903
Belltower built – / Campanario construido – / Clocher construit –
Height of Poor-man statue 113cm (3 feet and 8.5 inches) / Altura de estatua de pobre hombre 113cm / Hauteur de statue de pauvre Homme 113cm. Statue from? / Estatua de ? / Statue de l’an de?

Alaveteli (Photos / fotos 2008):

Church built 1754 / Iglesia construida 1754 / Église construite 1754
Belltower built – / Campanario construido – / Clocher construite –
Height of Poor-man statue 130cm (4 feet and 3.2 inches) / Altura de estatua de pobre hombre 130cm / Hauteur de statue de pauvre Homme 130cm. Statue from decades 1760 / Estatua de los años 1760 / Statue dans les années 1760.

Ilmajoki (Photos / fotos 2007):

Church built 1766 / Iglesia construida 1766 / Église construite 1766
Belltower built 1804 / Campanario construido 1804/ Clocher construite 1804
Height of Poor-man statue 126cm (4 feet and 1.6 inches) / Altura de estatua de pobre hombre 126cm / Hauteur de statue de pauvre Homme 126cm. Statue from the middle of 1850 / Estatua del medio de 1850 / Statue du milieu de 1850.

Larsmo (Photos / fotos 2006):

Church built 1785–1787 / Iglesia construida 1785–1787 / Église construite 1785–1787
Belltower built – / Campanario construido – / Clocher construite –
Height of Poor-man statue 120cm (3 feet and 11.2 inches) / Altura de estatua de pobre hombre 120cm / Hauteur de statue de pauvre Homme 120cm. Statue from? / Estatua de ? / Statue de l’an de?

Poor-man statues 2 / Estatuas de pobre hombre 2 / Statues de Pauvre Homme 2

61 Comments »

  1. You always have the most interesting photos, Matti. And everything is so clean. Very nice.

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 4, 2013 @ 08:25 | Reply

    • Hello Anneli.

      Thank You commenting. It was so nice to read that although my photos are old, You liked them.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 12:54 | Reply

  2. Interesting idea with these … ‘devices’ to help poor.

    Comment by Nadezhda Konovalova — January 4, 2013 @ 09:36 | Reply

    • Hello Nadezhda.

      I am glad that You checked my post. These Poor-man statues are something which cannot find anywhere else except few in Sweden. I am proud that we have kept this tradition in Finland. Later, when I present the only one Poor-woman, it has been exhibited in Italy, in the province of Cuneo, Saluzzo, Rome and the Vatican! Guess; if they wondered at it!

      Happy Friday!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 13:13 | Reply

  3. ¡Que belleza! son realmente preciosas, por dentro se ven maravillosas, la foto nº 11 me encanta, gracias por compartir como siempre Matti, besos

    Comment by ManoliRizoFotografia — January 4, 2013 @ 10:04 | Reply

    • Hola Manoli.

      Muchas gracias por tu comentario. Me alegro muchissíma que algunas mis fotos te encantan.

      Besitos.

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 13:25 | Reply

  4. Always your photos are so beautiful and embody the spirit of the places you visit. Thank you so much. Bountiful blessings wished for you.

    Comment by LizzieJoy — January 4, 2013 @ 14:05 | Reply

    • Hi Lizzie.

      Thank You. My series presenting these rare wooden statues will have 57 statues during this Winter / Spring. To make a church cruise in Finland thru my photos gives an idea about our churches on countryside.

      Happy Friday!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 15:01 | Reply

  5. Wow they are bigger than I imagined and the detail… amazing! Beautiful idea to support people who suffered disabilities too. I also like the photos taken inside… stunning and serene…

    Comment by kiwidutch — January 4, 2013 @ 14:32 | Reply

    • Hello Kiwidutch.

      Thank You. Some are even bigger than I am. Their look varies also and what is best, I think, that you can see how people dressed times gone.

      Happy Friday!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 15:06 | Reply

  6. These are wonderful photos once again – I really like the detail on the church doors in your first photo – I love that metal. The statues are so neat also – thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Karen — January 4, 2013 @ 15:11 | Reply

    • Hi Karen.

      Thank You. So nice that You did find something with interest to You.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 15:47 | Reply

  7. The churches are very beautiful, and the statues are so dignified and respectful. Thank you for this information too!

    Comment by megtraveling — January 4, 2013 @ 16:23 | Reply

    • Hi Megtraveling.

      Thank You. Statues are old as You noticed. Well, the variety of churches and Poor-man statues will be continued in my next posts.

      Have a lovely day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 16:45 | Reply

  8. Your photos are truly works of art containing works of art!! And the “poor man” statues are so very fascinating! Beautifully made! Once again, my thanks to you for such a wonderful ‘tour’……Doreen

    Comment by treadlemusic — January 4, 2013 @ 18:03 | Reply

    • Hi Doreen.

      I am glad that You liked these statues. After all, they are odd in our modern days, but the tradition is excellent and I hope that it will continue.

      Have a lovely week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 5, 2013 @ 12:12 | Reply

      • Thank you and a wonderful weekend to you both, also! Hugs, Doreen

        Comment by treadlemusic — January 5, 2013 @ 17:16 | Reply

  9. I found the poor man statues to be very interesting. I wonder if they are still used for their intended purpose? Your photos of the church are absolutely beautiful.

    Comment by seniorhiker — January 4, 2013 @ 18:28 | Reply

    • Hello George.

      Thank You for Your comment. Answer to Your question is: Yes – all these. In addition to 107 “Gents” + 1 “Lady”, there are some in local museums. Yet today Finland is quite safe, what comes to robberies and breaks, these Poor-man statues have been left generally speaking in their own peace. Then, there is a but, because during last years, some them has been faced with violence (for example broken arms) and that is one reason to move them to Church’s entry. Another reason to replace them is rain and humidity. You might have noticed that those which are outside have some kind of wooden shelter over them.

      To shoot photos from all of them is hard task, because they are spread on wide are on small localities behind zigzag unpaved roads. To shoot photos from them which are inside churches is more difficult, because churches are not always open for public during summer. In Finland we have such a system, that those churches are open for public which are found on a list called “Road Churches”. They are churches to which one can stop their cars, deviate from the routes, go inside and then there is a local guide which explains to visitor church’s history. Those guides are generally young men or women.

      In that “light” which I told to You George, my presentation of these unique pauper sculptures must have some appreciation and so You did as well as all others who visited my post. Once more: Thank You.

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 5, 2013 @ 12:55 | Reply

  10. very interesting -beautiful features on and in the churches, such a fascinating culture with the poor man.And that candlabra stands out too. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Comment by janechese — January 4, 2013 @ 18:44 | Reply

    • Hello Janechese.

      How happy I feel myself when reading Your comment. Thank You. Happy New Year also to You and Yours.

      Have a great week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 5, 2013 @ 12:57 | Reply

  11. Great post, the churches there always seem so light and airy complete contrast with the old churches here in the UK, also we have quite a few where you are forbidden to take photos I am glad that is not an issue there

    Comment by paulaacton — January 4, 2013 @ 19:12 | Reply

    • Hi Paula.

      Thank You. Isn’t it great that there is variety of churches in our world? In Finland inside photos are allowed in our Evangelical Lutheran churches, but once I met a proscription in one Orthodox church.

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 5, 2013 @ 13:18 | Reply

  12. Your pictures are excellent as always, Matti. I enjoy seeing those beautiful churches very much! The poor man statues is an excellent and touching tradition and it is very interesting to see them!

    Comment by montucky — January 4, 2013 @ 23:36 | Reply

    • Hi Terry.

      Thank You. I am very happy that You find our tradition great.

      Have a great week-end.

      Comment by Sartenada — January 5, 2013 @ 13:24 | Reply

  13. I am always moved beyond belief by your beautiful photography and wonderful stories. The poor man statues are relevant to any generation. Wonderful post!!

    Happy New Year to you!

    Elisa

    Comment by elisaruland — January 5, 2013 @ 09:17 | Reply

    • Hello Elisa.

      Thank You very much for Your kind comment from which my heart rejoices.

      Happy week-end!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 5, 2013 @ 13:27 | Reply

  14. I wanted to return the visit… and reading you, I realized that we have a few things in common! I stopped working for Swissair after 13 years (senion flight attendant), to devote myself to the family and children… but my heart is always there, in the clouds… I’m not attracted by the powerful cars 😉 and I’m afraid to drive, but I like to run around with our car (at least in Europe) with my husband and my kids)… I speak seven languages​​, not the finnish language because I find it very difficult and very complicated!
    Congratulations for the beautiful pictures and very personal and accurate explanations. It’s nice to “travel” in this way… and I think many of your readers appreciate the genuineness of your posts, so I entered as “following” to stay updated.
    Congratulations also to your knowledge of French and Spanish… remarkable, considering your mother tongue! Are you going to even begin to learn Italian?😉 Just, joking…
    I call myself a “citizen of the world” who, in her spare time, writes poetry and novels, and (as you found) draws a little.
    May serenity be with you and your family in 2013
    claudine giovannoni

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chrysalis-Bart%C3%B3k/331089416973582

    Comment by Giovannoni Claudine — January 6, 2013 @ 11:08 | Reply

    • Hi Claudine.

      Thank You for Your amazing comment.

      You are the second person who has been flight attendant who is commenting my posts. Well, nowadays my wife denies me driving fast – I think she is wiser than me when doing so. Speaking seven languages is so big amount that “my hat off”. I speak, well nearly, five languages only.🙂 Spanish I learned when I was the Finnair’s representative at Las Palmas in 1969 and I learned it by listening it only in four and half a months which I spent there. So to write in it is difficult and it turns my hairs to grey, but I’ll continue yet in the future. What comes to French, I learned it in school about 52 years ago. Next time after that, I needed it when I put my children to the French school in Helsinki. I wanted to learn it “better” than my son and my daughter by starting to read French books in French ( I have them about 1500). The fact is that they won me naturally, but my vocabulary might be wider than their after reading books in French during 38 years. Grammar again is not for me. Italian, well I started to learn it many years ago, but my teacher was not inspiring and I ended my Italian learning after three months.

      Once more thank You visiting my blog and commenting my post.

      Have a great Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 6, 2013 @ 11:29 | Reply

  15. Some of the churches have such unusual designs–they remind me of some pagan lines I’ve seen in art by Central Asian nomads. And I love the poor-man statues–something new for me. Thank you for such lovely escape.

    Comment by transplantedtatar — January 6, 2013 @ 17:08 | Reply

    • Hi Transplantedtatar.

      Thank You making so nice comment. I am happy that You did understand thru my post that these something new which are not presented in travel books. Let’s us say that I am revealing something unknown to be found inside my country.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 7, 2013 @ 08:04 | Reply

      • That’s exactly it–so good to know about these places from someone who lives around them and appreciates them.

        Comment by transplantedtatar — January 7, 2013 @ 14:06 | Reply

        • Hello Transplantedtatar.

          I appreciate Your comment very much. Thank You.

          Happy Monday!

          Comment by Sartenada — January 7, 2013 @ 14:12 | Reply

  16. Hmmm – very interesting that you make statues of poor men – instead of rich men😉

    Comment by Truels — January 6, 2013 @ 17:28 | Reply

    • Truels,

      Your comment made my mind so sad. Although I love joking, in this case not!!! There are few things in our life which are “sacred” not to be joked.

      Few examples:

      Other people’s religiosity, other countries’ culture / habits, poverty, appearance.

      Some people who left their comments here have realized that now they are seeing something which they did not know exist. These are something which You do not find in travel guides and it means that when seeing them You have in front of your eyes absolutely unique.

      Poor-man statues serve yet today charity to the poor on a small scale. Putting some coins or a bill to the slot, people help the poor, not so much, but anyway. To remember to help the poor is a beautiful gesture in our modern days. For example, I have a godchild (8 years old small girl) in Peru whose life I help monthly by donating a small sum to her and her family. The sum, which I donate, is small to me, but “big” to her and her family. Inside my heart I feel happy that I can help some poor.

      Maybe I am narrow-minded, but this is my opinion!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 7, 2013 @ 08:36 | Reply

      • Matti – I am so sorry, that I made you sad! Of course it was not my intention – and I thank you for explaining things for me here, I respect that you do not want joking about religiosity and helping people, who need this.
        Have a nice week – Truels

        Comment by Truels — January 7, 2013 @ 16:41 | Reply

        • Truels,

          Thank You. It is okay, forgotten and I put it in “an archive”.

          Have great day!

          Comment by Sartenada — January 8, 2013 @ 08:22 | Reply

  17. I love how I always learn something new about Finland from your posts, Matti. The workmanship and art in the churches is always amazing to me, and so wonderful that they have been preserved from so long ago. The poor man statues may be missing an arm or a leg, but they still stand with dignity. The faces seem certain that they will be taken care of. Such a lovely tradition!

    Comment by Heart To Harp — January 6, 2013 @ 23:09 | Reply

    • Hi Janet.

      Your lovely comment made my mind to “sing”. I have read that in some cases the artist has used real people as models, when creating these statues. Some statues which You’ll see in my future posts have frightening appearance and then I am asking in my mind who has served as model – maybe even a prisoner.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 7, 2013 @ 08:45 | Reply

  18. nice story!! about the Alaharma – Church Iglesia Eglise Kirche, I am always fascinated by how a church has 2 entryways (left and right), which means not having a central entrance. wonder if that bothers them!

    Comment by kam — January 7, 2013 @ 19:49 | Reply

    • Hi Kam.

      Thank You. Great observation. In Finland we have so called “cross churches” meaning that they are in form of cross. I do not know how many we have them. One excellent example is

      Espoo Cathedral,

      which I presented last October. It is the church which everyone when visiting Helsinki should visit also. Its mural paintings are worth for studying.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 8, 2013 @ 08:34 | Reply

  19. So many interesting details in these photos.

    Comment by Northern Narratives — January 7, 2013 @ 20:58 | Reply

    • Hi Northern Narratives.

      Thank You. I am happy that You did check my first post presenting Poor-man statues in Finland and left Your comment.

      Have a lovely day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 8, 2013 @ 08:36 | Reply

  20. Wonderful story! The church is beautiful and the statues have been preserved nicely.

    Comment by Amy — January 7, 2013 @ 22:23 | Reply

    • Hello Amy.

      Thank You leaving Your nice comment. I am happy that You love the background story also.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 8, 2013 @ 08:38 | Reply

  21. All the churches were so beautiful. I really liked the first church with the blue sky in the background. And I liked seeing the lectern with the dove placed so it would be over the speaker’s head, showing the influence of the Holy Spirit on him (https://sartenada.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/ilmajoki_church_iglesia_eglise_-7.jpg). I had never heard of “poor man statues” before, and your story as to their origin was very interesting; it is always touching to see how sympathetic and charitable people can be.

    Comment by Deb Platt — January 8, 2013 @ 06:26 | Reply

  22. I am amazed by your photos….I have never seen anything quite like these “poor man statues”. You really do open up the reader’s eyes with unique aspects of life in your part of the world, and we are so fortunate to have you share that with us. I think these statues are very significant, and I am sure they have helped many a people – and that in itself is absolutely wonderful. I also really like your pictures of the churches. Happy New Year to you and your family, Matti.

    Comment by luchaniktravel — January 9, 2013 @ 00:19 | Reply

    • Hi Davinder.

      Thank You for Your kind comment. Isn’t “funny” that in our world there are things from which nobody has heard! People who have travelled in every corner of our world, they might think in their minds that I have seen everything. Next sentence I say with a smile on my lips and I say half-seriously: “I wait the day when somebody notice these and start to organize tours to see them”; not only them but also some peculiarities in my country at same time.

      In some of my future posts there are worse images due to it that they old and taken by my pocket camera., but after few posts the quality will be better when presenting statues which I took last summer. Although I am a Finn, I did not know very much from these Poor-man statues. I guess that the majority of Finns do not know much about them. It is very understandable, because world is full of interests which wait to be found.

      Have a great continuation of this week.

      Comment by Sartenada — January 9, 2013 @ 08:37 | Reply

  23. great series !

    Comment by belbe — January 15, 2013 @ 16:27 | Reply

    • Bonjour Bernard.

      Merci d’avoir fait ton commentaire si gentil.

      Belle Journée.

      Comment by Sartenada — January 16, 2013 @ 08:16 | Reply

  24. How fascinating! I had never heard of these before. Many thanks for all the info and images.

    Comment by Meanderer — January 16, 2013 @ 18:44 | Reply

    • Hi Meander.

      I am very glad that You visited my blog. Thank You commenting it.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — January 17, 2013 @ 08:41 | Reply

  25. My dear friends in Finland, many thanks for having shown us these very special poor-men-statues thanks to which poor and hurt people could get some help. To the person who had this idea should also go many thanks! I very much love the picture of the first (Alharma) church. I wish you a splendid week. Bye Martina

    Comment by Martina Ramsauer — March 16, 2014 @ 18:56 | Reply

    • Hi Martina.

      Alaharma’s Poor-man statue is indeed “startling”. In this series absolutely the most peculiar is in the post number 9 presenting the one Pomarkku! The second most peculiar is in post number 10 presenting Voyry Poor-man. They always stay in my mind. Thank You taking a look at four of them.

      Have a great start of this week.

      Comment by Sartenada — March 17, 2014 @ 08:09 | Reply

  26. The story of the Pauper statues, which roots dated from the 17th century is so interesting and touching in many levels..
    I think they are beautiful and very symbolic, my friend! Thanks for sharing! All my best wishes! Aquileana⭐

    Comment by Aquileana — June 16, 2015 @ 12:59 | Reply

    • Hi Aquileana.

      Thank you noticing them. They are very close to my heart. They represented the first social welfare for the poor!!! Think about it!

      Have a wonderful day!

      Comment by Sartenada — June 16, 2015 @ 13:27 | Reply

  27. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Thought I’d check out what’s up with yours and I have to say that you have totally impressive work. Very fascinating collection.

    Comment by KcJ — April 20, 2016 @ 16:32 | Reply

    • Hello Kcj.

      Thank You for Your praising comment. These Poor-man statues are a good example of “hidden gems” in Finland.

      Have a nice day!

      Comment by Sartenada — April 21, 2016 @ 07:32 | Reply


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