Sunday, January 18, 2015

Niner Chaplet

Hello, everyone.

Today is a little update on some of the beading that's been going on around here.

Before we left last spring, I discovered the Chaplet of St. James. It is one of a crowd of little chaplets called "niners." These are short chaplets, only taking a few minutes to say, in honor of one saint or another. They are one of the old traditional devotions that helped people to stay in the strait path.

The chaplet uses a prayer for the intercession and assistance of a particular saint, said on the medal at one end of the strand, a series of Our Fathers and Hail Marys and Glory Bes, and if there is a crucifix at the other end, an Apostles' Creed.

Several niner chaplets of St. James, and the bracelet project in process.
The niner chaplets here are made with wire-wrapping. There is a crucifix at one end and a St. James devotional medal on the other. One each group of three beads, one says Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. (Obviously this is a quick devotion for busy people!)

The bracelet project started out as playing with peyote stitch designs. These are all two-drop peyote: a pair of beads is treated as one throughout the beading process.

Bracelet, first draft. 
 From left to right in the first draft, the squares are: Cross of St. James in black--not really the customary color, but I didn't have red Delicas at that time; a scallop shell, the Cross of St. James in red, a collection of pilgrim staff, tiny scallop, and pilgrim's hat in brown; a yellow arrow way-marker.
(The swirly bits on the crosses are the top and both arms. The other is a pointy bit, usually rendered to look like a lance point. But when the bead framework doesn't have a true center bead, the pointy bit ends up a little more spade-like.)
The path of the Camino is often marked with yellow arrows like this. (I have read that the walking path to Fatima has blue arrows.) Many times they are on a bright blue background, other times they've been spray-painted on whatever is handy along the trail.
Old marker with new yellow arrow added

Yellow arrows on bridge posts...not that there was anywhere else you could go at this point!

Yellow arrow on a rock.
In cities, there was a tremendous variety of marker styles. One had to look, not only at the pavement for steel or brass or carved stones, but on buildings and light poles for signs and spray paint. And in Burgos, the path was partly marked by a stone pattern of slanting lines that met at the drain holes for the storm drains.

As you can see, though, the yellow arrow has become one of the primary symbols of the Camino de Santiago, because so much of the trail is marked with it.