The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A “Padpolniki”

In many villages there was reserved a place in a cellar, called “Padpolniki” for a chance strannik, or wanderer. A strannik must agonize himself even during sleep. Hence he would not rest in a lighted and airy room, or in a bed. Among the wanderers one sometimes met men of great intelligence who, seized by a religious mania, or plagued by an accusing conscience, would abandon their palatial homes, don rags for clothes, wrap their feet in straw, and wander, praying and crossing themselves as they trudged along.

From the book, Fakers Old and New, pages 50-1.