Sartenada's photo blog / Blog de foto de Sartenada

November 20, 2014

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

In English:

Those who have not seen my previous posts presenting historical wooden Poor-man (pauper) statues in their original surroundings, to them it is difficult to understand these unique wooden statues at first. These pauper statues are found mainly on the area called Ostrobothnia in Finland. They are part of our cultural heritage. 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 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. In 2013 there was an exhibition of paupers in world’s biggest wooden church in Kerimäki presenting 42 paupers collected around Finland. In this exhibition some paupers were restored and some in their original conditions.

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 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 has been small mischief’s like removing hands. Many paupers have beside them a written small phrase. Although the text might differ from others, the main idea is: “he who has mercy on the poor, lends to the Lord”.

In the exhibition in Kerimäki church the oldest pauper statue is from the late 1600s from Hauho. The biggest pauper statue is huge modern statue from 2012. I have two photos from it at the end of my last post. The smallest is from Särkisalo church. The most special looking pauper is from Kaarlela (1784). Anyway it was great to see pauper statues in one place; more awesome it is to admire them in their own surroundings.

En español:

En el verano de 2013 hubo una exposición de estatuas de pobre-hombre en la iglesia de madera más grande del mundo. Por favor, lea más abajo.

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.

En francais:

En été 2013 il y avait une exposition de statues de pauvres-hommes dans la plus grande église en bois du monde. S’il vous plaît, lire la suite en dessous.

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.

Em Português:

No Verão de 2013 houve uma exposição de estátuas de pobre-homem de madeira na maior igreja de madeira do mundo. Por favor, lede vós mais abaixo.

História dos estátuas de pobre-homem de madeira entalhada e uma estátua de pobre-mulher.

Há 106 estátuas de pobre-homem e uma estátua de pobre-mulher.

Conduzindo por aí e tirando fotos de igrejas, Encontrei algumas estátuas peculiares ao lado de igrejas ou ao lado ou campanários ou ao lado de alguns lugares públicos. Eles eram homens ou mulheres, e sempre a sua mão ou o pé estava faltando, mas de qualquer maneira
essas estátuas pareciam bem. Ao examiná-los mais de perto eu achava uma ranhura neles. Depois percebi que se pode colocar moedas na fenda e lá dentro é uma caixa. Por que os mendigos estátuas de madeira foram criados, e quando?

Tudo isso começa em 1649, quando a Kristina rainha sueca deu uma ordem para fazer troncos pobres e colocar-los ao lado de portas da igreja, ao lado das campanários ou ao lado dos alguns lugares públicos. Logo esses pobres-troncos foram modificados para estátuas de pobre-homem por artistas locais na Finlândia. Naqueles dias Finlândia estava sob a administração da Suécia. Na Europa, as guerras se desenrolava ao redor e muitos soldados feridos na perda de um pé de um braço. Quando feridos, desta forma eles tiveram que voltar para suas casas.

No século 1700, 1800 e 1900 pessoas estavam muito pobre, mas eles visitaram as igrejas, todos os domingos fielmente, Consequentemente o lugar natural para as estátuas de pobre-homems estava ao lado das igrejas ou ao lado das campanários. Talvez essas estátuas de pobre-homem ajudavam os mais pobres, mas nenhuma estatística fica – claro.

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Kivijärvi

Keuruu

Keuruu

Keuruu

Keuruu

Keuruu

Keuruu

Virrat

Virrat

Virrat

Virrat

virrat

Virrat

Virrat

virrat

Virrat

virrat

Virrat

Virrat

Mänttä

Mänttä

Mänttä

Mänttä

Mänttä

Mänttä

Lappajärvi

Lappajärvi

Lappajärvi

Lappajärvi

Kalajoki

Kalajoki – Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Kalajoki

Kalajoki

Kalajoki

Kalajoki

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Längelmäki

Längelmäki

Längelmäki

Längelmäki

Längelmäki

Längelmäki

Evijärvi

Evijärvi

Evijärvi

Evijärvi

Evijärvi

Evijärvi

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Kurikka

Kurikka

Kurikka

Kurikka

Jepua

Jepua

Jepua

Jepua

Jepua

Jepua

Jepua

Jepua

Jalasjärvi

Jalasjärvi

Jalasjärvi

Jalasjärvi

Jalasjärvi

Jalsjärvi

Jalasjärvi

Jalasjärvi

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Jurva

Jurva

Jurva

Jurva

Jurva

Jurva

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Statues of Paupers2 / Estatuas de pobres2 / Statues de miséreux2 / Estátuas de pobre-homem2

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki

Kodisjoki old pauper

Kodisjoki old pauper

Kodisjoki old pauper

Kodisjoki old pauper

Kodisjoki old pauper

Kodisjoki old pauper

Särkisalo

Särkisalo

Särkisalo

Särkisalo

Särkisalo

Särkisalo

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Haukipudas

Statues of Paupers1 / Estatuas de pobres1 / Statues de miséreux1 / Estátuas de pobre-homem1

Statues of Paupers3 / Estatuas de pobres3 / Statues de miséreux3 / Estátuas de pobre-homem3

World’s biggest wooden church / Iglesia de madera más grande del mundo / Plus grande église en bois du monde

50 Comments »

  1. Encore une série sympa, merci pour la visite.
    Bises

    Comment by Sophie L. — November 20, 2014 @ 14:23 | Reply

    • Bonjour Sophie.

      J’apprécie ton commentaire beaucoup. Le commentaire écrit est plusieurs fois meilleur que ceux commentaires poussés par “J’aime-bouton” sans dire réellement rien. Merci beaucoup!

      Je vous souhaite une excellente journée. Bises.

      Comment by Sartenada — November 20, 2014 @ 14:38 | Reply

      • Je n’ai pas toujours le temps de dire et d’écrire ce que je pense car cela prend beaucoup de temps et certaines photos ne m’inspire pas beaucoup de mots alors je presse seulement le bouton like, mais j’aime toujours à découvrir votre environnement et je suis ravie de découvrir ton nouvel article chaque semaine.
        Tendres pensées pour toi et ta femme

        Comment by Sophie L. — November 20, 2014 @ 14:42 | Reply

  2. They really are beautiful. With only 8 left in Sweden though, it’s unlikely I’ll see any of them when I’m over there next summer! Shame!

    Comment by chrissiedixie — November 20, 2014 @ 15:30 | Reply

    • Good morning Chrissiedixie.

      I am very happy for Your visit and comment. Thank You. Hopefully You’ll find some of them next summer! Although in my post one can see them together, Finland is so big that to see them live is not easy, one must be aware where to go. That’s why I have told the place under every photo. So those who rent a car and drive around have possibility to see them in summer.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 08:19 | Reply

  3. I enjoyed seeing more of the Poor Men – love seeing Finland through your blog

    Comment by Karen Goad — November 20, 2014 @ 15:52 | Reply

    • Hello Karen.

      Thank You leaving Your comment. I am very glad that You enjoyed my photos and learned more about my country.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 08:32 | Reply

  4. They are very very interesting!
    Wiered! Scary!Funny!

    Comment by 洋子 — November 20, 2014 @ 16:40 | Reply

    • Hi Maatan.

      Thank you for Your interest and seeing these statues. Yes, they are “different” statues which we are used to see generally.

      すばらしい日を過してください。

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 08:43 | Reply

  5. The figures are so interesting in their variety. They seem to be important in the churches, but I’m a little surprised that so many have not been restored when there are so many skilled craftsmen around.

    Comment by montucky — November 20, 2014 @ 17:07 | Reply

    • Hi Terry.

      Thank You for Your comment. Well, the amount of them is so big that everyone is not restored indeed. I Guess that in this case as in many others, there are more important “money holes” than these silent wooden men which do not complaint, but suffer as You saw it their faces.🙂

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 10:13 | Reply

  6. I appreciated very much to see further sculptures of the poor-men ( statues of paupers)! Their postures, gestures as well as facial expressions are always very expressive and touching. Thanks for this new part of your series! – Michèle

    Comment by ladyfromhamburg — November 20, 2014 @ 17:19 | Reply

    • Hallo Michèle.

      It is so nice to read Your kind comment. Than You. In next and final part there is one statue which have visited Italy in Saluzzo, Rome and Vatican. Interesting?

      Ich wünsche einen schönen Tag. Gruß.

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 10:19 | Reply

  7. It’s interesting that each of these ‘poor men’ have their own personality. I’m very glad that some have been restored and I can only hope that more will be preserved.

    Comment by seniorhiker — November 20, 2014 @ 17:48 | Reply

    • Hello George.

      So we all hope also in Finland. It was great pleasure to read Your comment. Thank You.

      Happy Friday!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 11:11 | Reply

  8. C’est une belle série, il ne leur manque
    que la parole à ces pauvres statues…
    Merci pour le partage.
    Bonne soirée Hervé.

    Comment by vever02 — November 20, 2014 @ 19:44 | Reply

    • Bonjour Hervé.

      Quelle joie á lire ton commentaire; ça me chauffe le cœur. Merci beaucoup. Bien dite que il manque la parole des ces statues.

      Je te souhaite une agréable journée!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 13:02 | Reply

  9. Love the expressions on their faces! Thanks for including the one from my “home church” as well. Your photos are great!!

    Comment by Tiny — November 21, 2014 @ 05:12 | Reply

    • Hello Tiny.

      I am so glad that you found something “personal” among my post. Thank You leaving Your comment.

      Have a nice Day!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 21, 2014 @ 13:09 | Reply

  10. bonsoir mon ami alors là je suis stupéfaite tellement elles sont bien faites et parlantes, on ne verrait pas çà en France et c’est dommage chaque fois je découvre des merveilles dans ton pays bises MA

    Comment by AUDOLY-NOURIAN — November 21, 2014 @ 18:31 | Reply

    • Bonjour MA.

      Merci de m’avoir fait un commentaire. Eh Bien, J’suis heureux en lisant que tu découvres quelques choses nouvelles en visitant sur mon blog.

      Je te souhaite une agréable journée! Bisous.

      Comment by Sartenada — November 22, 2014 @ 11:59 | Reply

  11. usted está haciendo su parte en el recogimiento y el estudio de la historia ! muy interesante ~

    Comment by betunada — November 21, 2014 @ 22:32 | Reply

    • Hola Betunada.

      Muchas gracias por tus palabras, Estoy muy feliz de que te encantaba mi post “histórica”.

      Espero que tengas un muy Buen Fin de Semana.

      Comment by Sartenada — November 22, 2014 @ 12:22 | Reply

  12. I am mesmerized by these statues and the meaningful story behind them,
    Wonderful post dear Sartenada. Sending you all my best wishes!. Aquileana😀

    Comment by Aquileana — November 22, 2014 @ 06:23 | Reply

    • Hi Aquileana.

      I appreciate very much Your visit and comment. Thank You. Although these statues are nearly unknown to people living outside Finland at least one of them has visited in Italy. Next post will show it.

      Happy weekend!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 22, 2014 @ 12:31 | Reply

  13. These are so unique and interesting! Your close-ups show how old some of them are and the wood grain on some make the faces look older. In the US, we have always had plain boxes. I think it says a lot about the culture of Finland that so much creative effort has gone into helping the poor.

    Comment by Ann — November 22, 2014 @ 12:52 | Reply

    • Hi Ann.

      Thank you for Your comment. It was interesting to read about plain boxes in Your country. General views and close-up are “must” in these cases, so I find it.

      Happy weekend!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 22, 2014 @ 13:23 | Reply

  14. There are precious photos.
    We have to reserve for good future.

    Comment by キース — November 22, 2014 @ 13:40 | Reply

    • Hi Keith.

      I am really happy for Your comment. From our past we can learn something. Thank You.

      こんばんは

      Comment by Sartenada — November 22, 2014 @ 14:16 | Reply

  15. Love it! Impressive photos and thank you for sharing the history behind these statues. I hope they will be restored for the sake of historical value…

    Comment by Indah Susanti — November 23, 2014 @ 13:35 | Reply

    • Hello Indah.

      Thank You for Your kind words. We all hope that these statues would be restored and that future generations could admire them.

      Happy Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 23, 2014 @ 14:01 | Reply

  16. I hope they will be restored one day. It’s sad that Sweden has so few left. I’m glad that Finland has more at least.

    Comment by Letizia — November 24, 2014 @ 23:50 | Reply

    • Hello Letizia.

      Thank You very much for your kind comment. Next week in my third and last post, I’ll show some new statues! So, it seems that traditions still live in Finland.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 25, 2014 @ 10:17 | Reply

  17. Hello.
    I look at the pictures on your article, I felt that they look like sad people. I know Finnish people are honest. When I visited to Finland first time, When I ride a tram or train, I was very surprised that there is no checking ticket.
    That these statues will be the symbol of hope for the future of the people, I hope.
    Kiitos🙂

    Comment by Misa — November 25, 2014 @ 17:59 | Reply

    • Hi Misa.

      Thank You for You comment. I am really happy that You made it. Well, they are looking sad indeed, because they represent poor people. When being poor, there were few joys of life in historic days. Tickets are checked in trams, even nowadays.

      すばらしい日を過してください。

      Comment by Sartenada — November 26, 2014 @ 09:14 | Reply

  18. Hi Sartenada, The history of the statues is fascinating and it’s great to see the lovely statues are being preserved. I loved seeing the church interior in the pictures, too, a beautiful building. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Comment by Narelle Atkins — November 28, 2014 @ 14:23 | Reply

    • Hello Narelle Atkins.

      Thank You very much of your praising comment! I am really glad that You loved my post. In next week’s post there are some more inside photos. The Kerimäki church is big, actually it is world’s biggest wooden church with capacity of 5000 persons.

      Have a great weekend!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 28, 2014 @ 14:38 | Reply

  19. These statues are so interesting and dignified. It seems like a good way to provide for the needy and it is amazing they are in such good condition too!

    Comment by megtraveling — November 28, 2014 @ 17:24 | Reply

    • Hi Meg.

      Yes, the idea to collect many of to one place for a show was good. I guess that many tourists which visited the church were amazed when seeing them without any advance information. Thank You for comment and visit.

      Happy weekend!

      Comment by Sartenada — November 29, 2014 @ 09:14 | Reply

  20. This post is so interesting. I have never heard of these before and I love each one’s unique personality and the folk art quality. What treasures! The church is so different than any church I have ever seen, also. It is stunning. I love that ones that are unrestored, as well. The time worn finishes make them even more beautiful to me. I love the ingenuity behind these and the way the people made the needs of the poor more touching to others by telling a story of an individual. Besides the wonderful art, the plight of the poor was made real to them, and now us, so many years later.
    -Ginene

    Comment by Ginene Nagel — December 6, 2014 @ 18:37 | Reply

    • Hi Ginene.

      Thank You very much for Your kind comment. Well, this church is world’s biggest wooden church having pews for 5000 person. I have shot photos about 430 churches. My favorite ones are those on countryside. They are simple, modest and inside them, man have devote feeling.

      Our churches are not “crusted” with gold as in many churches on the Mediterranean area for example. Instead of that, they are modest and simple. Some churches offers paintings on walls.

      Here are two different examples of my favorite wooden countryside churches. The first one is my favorite and I recommend it to everyone who visits in Finland.

      Old church at Petajavesi.

      100 angels’ church.

      Happy Sunday!

      Comment by Sartenada — December 7, 2014 @ 13:41 | Reply

  21. Thanks for sharing such a precious information like that. I’ve learnt a little bit about the world through your words.

    Comment by vothikhanhhoa — December 14, 2014 @ 19:02 | Reply

    • Hello Vothikhanhhoa.

      Thank You commenting my post. Well, many Finns have heard about these statues, fewer have seen them and very few know the history at the background.

      Have a great start of new week!

      Comment by Sartenada — December 15, 2014 @ 08:19 | Reply

      • I think every nation has its own secrets which are buried inside its history. At first, I thought these statues were scary but after reading the post my heart was moved by the humanity meaning behind them. War is the worst thing invented on earth…

        Comment by vothikhanhhoa — December 15, 2014 @ 16:08 | Reply

        • Hello Vothikhanhhoa.

          Thank You for Your wise words. War is indeed worst thing. After WW II people had bad times. We yet honor persons which lost their lives in war. If You do not mind I give link to my post explaining more:

          Memorials.

          Have a great day!

          Comment by Sartenada — December 16, 2014 @ 08:44 | Reply

          • I’d love to share your post of memorials to my fíance who is an artist studying anatomy. The statues are so strong yet emotional, he will love the art of them🙂

            Comment by vothikhanhhoa — December 17, 2014 @ 05:13 | Reply

            • Hi Vothikhanhhoa.

              How nice, I am very happy when reading this! Thank You telling this information.

              Have a wonderful day!

              Comment by Sartenada — December 17, 2014 @ 09:04 | Reply

  22. Such a gorgeous serie ! this is of real interest for me. Thanks and merry Xmas !

    Comment by Bernieshoot — December 16, 2014 @ 17:51 | Reply

    • Hello Bernard.

      I am glad that You did find “something new” from my post. Thank You commenting. Merry Christmas to You also.

      Have a great day!

      Comment by Sartenada — December 17, 2014 @ 08:39 | Reply


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