StampNews.com is glad to introduce to our readers’ attention the Pauper tradition stamps by Posti the themes of which are the pauperess of Soini and the paupers of Alajärvi and Hauho. Stamps depicting the churches of these localities were also published in a miniature sheet consisting of six stamps.
The stamps were designed by Anssi Kähärä.
A pauper is a painted wooden sculpture attached to the church wall, with a slot in the chest for donating money. They already acted as pioneers of basic service before the development of the social security system and the oldest of them date from the 17th century. Paupers were popular attractions in their localities.
Finnish paupers are a unique phenomenon even in international terms and corresponding statues are not found elsewhere in the world. There are still slightly over 140 wooden paupers in Finland, and one pauperess in Soini. More than a hundred of them are still faithfully standing in place.