Monday, November 19, 2007

eight tones to the palomars

At a distance, my first sight of what I was to learn was the ruins of a spanish palomar (above, 1-3) seemed a giant pine cone or pomegranate - a part of the larger group of fecund symbols that then reappeared in the hands of the Black Madonna and Christ Child in the Cathedral of Santiago - a group of symbols that may include the "pigeon pod" seating arrangement in the certainly phallic shaped jet airplane that brought us to and from Spain. For reference (I am only the messenger!): "Thyrsus" or espanol "Tirso" as in St. Thyrsus/Tirso, popular in Iberia.

The palomar is probably my most important "archetype" found walking the Camino - such information is proving very hard to find on the "information highway" and is yet outside my rational understanding - certainly, Jung and his ilk must have noted palomars - phallic cones full of nesting "seed" pairs. Having asked that evening in the refugio as to what it was that I had photographed, I understood that I had for several days collected photos of strange circular outbuildings with phallic points around the roof's edge (#4,7 crown of thorns and several following) with the Christian cross over the single door (#7, compare with #8 from Scotland).

Compare "dovecotes" with "palomars", specifically, "palomars of Palencia" and the "colombier" - a popular French surname as well as the name for towns. And the earlier egyptian dove cote - this reference mentions that "The dovecotes were often situated in an outlying farmstead, where they either occupied part of some outbuilding, or stood alone, frequently adjacent to a vineyard or garden. The latter was a convenient location, since pigeon dung was largely used to fertilize land used for these purposes." All the palomars we walked past were set off and away from any other buildings - in our unaware haste, I did not notice any adjoining vineyards or gardens, but I imagine there were or once was. A number of references point out that only the noblepersons were allowed to build and maintain palomars - too typical of sacred and semi-sacred inventions. (Strangely, as a child and not of noble birth, I keep racing pigeons for a dozen years - very curious.)

Says a Dutchman! from Wild - "No flatter country than Zamora. And to see these remarkable buildings, pigeonries, 'palomars', in the quivering heat at these plains, that is really a first class experience. The pigeonries once were built for the manure, which was used as fertiser on the fields. Their shapes are mostly round, but also square ones exist in Zamora, and the latter ones almost look like chinese buildings..."

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