By Nicolas Portnoï

Where ?

In Viller-Pottery, Belgium

When ?

During the march of Saint Rolende

Why ?

The march of Saint Rolende is a very popular folklore event in the region. It consists in disguising oneself as a soldier (Napoleonian for example), manoeuvring, firing blunderbusses, drinking and escorting the relics of Saint Rolende from village to village, from 2:00 am to night.

In this photo, the troop is stationed in the courtyard where Saint Rolende took refuge and died to escape a forced marriage. The presence of the rooster can be seen as a symbol of a form of patrioarchy that Rolende was fleeing.

The irony is that this folk march leaves very little room for women, who are confined to roles in the service of men and children.

Using Format