'Kleiekotzer' [bran gargoyle ]

About the object

The Black Forest abounds with superstitions about the baleful influence of witches, demons and spirits and the harm that might befall one. Flour was one of the staple foods and needed special protection. To this end, the grinding box was fitted with a so-call »Kleiekotzer« (literally »bran-spewer«), through the mouth of which the bran would spew forth, while the flour remained in the grinder behind it. The grotesquely-featured, face-shaped mask helps to keep malevolent spirits at bay.

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