Margaret Randolph

Margaret Randolph
Margaret Randolph stitched by Jenny


Monday, 15 April 2013

The house is finished

Well, the painter came back and the house is finished. Now, I need to work on the garden.

Oops, sorry about the wrinkles. I noticed a loose thread and wanted Diligence to look smart for the photo-shoot.

Now, about the dark stranger at the door.

I have a theory. You see, if we assume that the house is a fisherman's cottage, the figure could be a long lost son returning home. Fishing was not a lucrative occupation and so many of the younger sons would leave home to work on the ships sailing to distant shores. As I stitched him, I imagined him returning after years at sea. His mother kept a candle burning for him.

But then I came upon a problem. Why was his face black?  It couldn't be a suntan. What was the reason? Then it dawned on me. He wasn't a long lost son, he was a groom-to-be and he'd just been blackened. It's obvious, really.

What? You haven't heard of this charming custom?

It was still going on when I lived in a fishing village. Before the wedding day, the poor groom was "kidnapped" by his so-called friends, stripped and covered with something horrible to make him black. I've known of things like fish guts and soot or old engine oil being used. He was then paraded round the village while his friends make as much noise as possible with dustbin lids, pots and pans and anything else they could find. The parade usually ended up with the groom and followers jumping  in the harbour. I found a description here.

Ok, I think I need to lie down now.

Regards, Anne


The Inspired Stitcher said...

I've never heard of that tradition before. I can only imagine it's a sight to see. LOL!

Carmen Sutton said...

Your sampler is looking stunning and I love the wedding tradition, sure glad that it was for the opposite gender!

Kaisievic said...

Your house is gorgeous and I loved reading both your speculation and the tradition of the Blackening. So interesting. Which design is this one?

Fiona said...

Diligence looks great, the builder did a fantastic job. Blackening still goes on and locally they now get the bride to be too.

Vera said...

Diligence looks wonderful! Never heard of that blackening tradition before. And now Fiona says the bride is blackened as well! Glad I am already married:)

Silkstitcher said...

I loved reading about the origins and customs of the Orkanians. It was extremely interesting! I also love "your little black boy" and the possible reason hevwasvstitched that. The sampler is going to be beautiful when you finish. Will watch your progress with anticipation.

Starry-eyed stitcher said...

Seeing that I am stitching Diligence too I was really relieved when Anne told methat the dark stranger at the door was nothing more than a poor groom after a night on the tiles - I was worried that he might be something more sinister. Phew!! Irene xxx

Cindy L said...

I love seeing your progress on Diligence and it is fun to try and imagine why they stitched certain areas. Very interesting story.

Kevin said...

Your Diligence looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing the story regarding the tradition with a groom. Very interesting indeed!

Kathy said...

Anne, I love this sampler and your's looks beautiful. And, I really enjoyed the story behind the little boy. Thanks for sharing that.