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Hat

(354 words)

Author(s): Emily Price
Part of the traditional pilgrim costume was a shallow-browed hat of wool or straw, secured with two strings fastening under the chin, and particularly characterized by a broad, upturned brim. Pilgrim guidebooks advised the wearing of a hat against the sun and harsh weather. Hats also served to display pilgrim badges. An example of a pilgrim’s hat survives from sixteenth-century Nuremberg: the hat is of black wool felt, and has a wide front brim to which many scallop shells and other badges were …

Staff

(515 words)

Author(s): Emily Price
The pilgrim’s staff ( baculus) was a heavy wooden walking stick ending in a metal spike or foot.  Similar staves had been used by the itinerant monks of Egypt as early as the fourth century, as well as by ordinary travelers. Medieval pilgrims, however, often had their staves and scrips blessed before beginning their journeys, a ritual comparable to the ordination of priests and the dubbing of knights (see also Pilgrim Prayers and Knighting of Pilgrims). The earliest record of these blessings occurs …

Scrip

(463 words)

Author(s): Emily Price
The scrip ( pera) was a wallet or pouch, commonly made of leather and attached to a belt, in which a pilgrim carried food, money, relics, and official documents. Along with the staff, the scrip evolved from everyday travel gear into a standard pilgrim attribute (see also Pilgrim Costume). Pilgrims often had their staves and scrips blessed before beginning their journeys, a ritual comparable to the ordination of priests and the dubbing of knights (see also Pilgrim Prayers and Knighting of Pilgrims).…