‘Peasant’; or ‘Pilgrim’

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‘Peasant’; or ‘Pilgrim’


Adelaide Hills, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, cockleshell, Gumeracha Medieval Fair, medieval costume, neo-medieval, peasant, pilgrim, pilgrimage, re-enactment, reneactment, SA, South Australia Wendi Donaldson


This photograph was taken at the Gumeracha Medieval Fair, Adelaide Hills, South Australia by photographer Wendi Donaldson (May 2011). The image is entitled ‘Peasant,’ but seeing as the man is wearing a scallop-shell as a badge in his wide-brimmed hat and is carrying a staff with a bevel-top, he is more likely a ‘pilgrim.’ The scallop-shell was worn by those who journeyed to the shrine of St James (aka Santiago de Compostela), in NW Spain (See Dominic Selwood, Knights of the Cloister Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1999, p.111). This was one of the three main Pilgrimages undertaken by medieval Christians, and it was also reputedly the easiest and safest. It was undoubtedly less expensive (or dangerous) than journeying to the Holy Land. The other two essential pilgrimage routes were the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, and the shrine of St Peter, Rome.

The Gumeracha Medieval Fair is an annual event sponsored by the Adelaide Hills Council. The Fair features a host of re-enactment groups from around the world, including handcraft stallholders, wandering musicians and entertainers, and a whole lot more. This is just one of several interesting medieval events held throughout the country at different times of the year. There is clearly a popular interest in the past, and especially the Middle Ages, as these fairs and festivals (which generally charge an admission fee) imply, and not just in Australia. There are professional re-enactment personnel and entertainers who traverse the globe in a bid to bring the past to life.


Donaldson, Wendi


Gumeracha, South Australia, May 2011


© All images copyright Wendi Donaldson 2011



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