Found in Translation: Becoming a "Montivagant"


Do you ever chase the horizon? Those oh so special places of wind blasted landscapes and wonderful wide skies — the playing ground of the gods themselves. Do you lose yourself in the mountains, stroll over clifftops high and wander through valleys low. There really is some incredibly special, yet virtually intangible quality of these distant places… Know what we are talking about? Then you just might be a montivagant.

Credits: jennson

According to the Dauntless Jaunter montivagant refers to ‘a thing which is wandering over hills and mountains’. The French word ‘mont’ means ‘mountain’, and ‘-vagant’, meaning ‘to wander’, sharing the same etymology of vagabond.

These concepts and themes that make up the word montivagant are best encapsulated by Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog.

Painting: Wanderer Above the Mist by Caspar David Friedrich

A man wearing a dark green overcoat gazes out at a world draped in fog; his hair caught in the wind, a cane by the right hand, left leg one step ahead, totally faceless but there are emotions when we look at the wanderer in Friedrich’s painting. According to Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination author and historian Robert McFarlane, mountain wandering and a return to an untamed state of nature is a common theme of the Western Romantic Movement — one that is of self-reflection and the uncertainness of the future.

Like Friedrich’s wanderer, the _montivagant_is one that lets himself be lost and guided by the mountain’s secrets — it could be a spectacular view of a landscape below, the clear constellations at night, the diverse foliage tucked within the forests, or even a sea of fog. Being a montivagant would mean you are often captivated by the natural mysteries of the mountain.

Perhaps you can recreate your own version of this powerful painting by taking your own picture from your next hike.

Credits: pan_dre, neja, joyceyjoyce, satomi, murdoc_niccals & anpank

Upload your most montivagant portrait when you take your next mountain conquest in your LomoHome.

2018-09-27 #culture #found-in-translation #montivagant


  1. lizkoppert
    lizkoppert ·

    @lomodesbro, kinda like what we were talking about re: the Kaikoura coast.

  2. lomodesbro
    lomodesbro ·

    that is a very interesting concept and connection Liz, roll on summer

  3. rqlevy
    rqlevy ·

    Interesting, though I wish the title didnt limit the concept to "man" as Im sure women embody this as well

  4. cielsan
    cielsan ·

    Hi @rqlevy! Thank you for calling this out and you are right! Definitely should make the title more encompassing. My sincere apologies as well for missing this key idea. How does "Becoming a Montivagant" sound? :)

  5. rqlevy
    rqlevy ·

    @cielsan much better! thank you!!

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