This is my entry for the Spanish challenge on Inspiration Avenue Team blogspot
In May this year I visited the annual Gypsy Festival in Saintes Maries de la Mer in France. (See the full story with lots of pictures on my blog at http://hergracedevata.blogspot.com/2011/09/gypsy-party.html)
Although the festival takes place in France, the Spanish influence was powerfully present everywhere, especially in the gypsies' festival dresses
I bought this Spanish gypsy doll from a Spanish gypsy at the week long fair. She is made from a baked bisque with movable arms, legs and head. Look at the beautiful detail of her shawl, the lace fan, the choker around her neck and the rose in the hair!!
surrounded by Spanish lace
I also bought two red Spanish combs from him - one which I used on the frame.
The festival is a religious one for the gypsies who come from across Europe and the presence of the Madonna is everywhere. Wherever you go, there are gypsy women present at the festival. They walk amongst the shops in their flamboyant clothing with the most extravagant head gear; they dance outside the Church where the main festivities take place. In fact, as you enter the village square you are swarmed by old gypsy women who are willing to pin the medal of Sainte Sarah onto your collar for a small fee.
The festival is dedicated to Sainte Sarah, the black saint.
The third day of the festival is dedicated to the Black Bulls of the Camargue - a very Spanish tradition. But unlike the bull fights of Madrid, these bull tournaments do not harm the bulls - no weapons are used - and it is a beautiful graceful dance between bull and matador. The bulls run to the arena and the event is accompanied with more dancing ladies in flamenco dress!
On the side of the box I have put the Sainte Sara rosary carried by all gypsies when they leave the festival to return home.
The storybox contains all the bits n pieces that I brought back with me from the magical festival. It will be added to my collection, reminding me of the Spanish gypsy at the festival of Saintes Maries de la Mer.
And just for fun, I have added some close-ups of my boxes of the Spanish dancers that I featured last week.