IPHONEOGRAPHY: gypsy pilgrimage project
The third weekend of October of every year, the saints Mary Jacobé and Mary Salomé are celebrated in Saintes Maries de la Mer, a small village in the heart of the Camargue, South of France. Romani (aka gypsies) from the region carry the saints' effigies in a long procession to the beach to be blessed in the sea. The procession is not only made of Romani, but of the region's Arlesiennes in their distinctive costume, as well as the Gardians (Camargue's cowboys) and pilgrims.
The emblem of the region is the Camargue Cross, composed of three elements: an anchor, a cross, and a heart, representing the three cardinal virtues of hope, faith, and charity. The unusual shape of the upper cross reproduces the trident-shaped tool used by the gardians, the ubiquitous cowboys who make up a large part of Camargue’s cultural legacy. The anchor does double duty, symbolizing the fishermen of the region.