Shepherds’ Budgets
Medieval French Shepherd Orients Himself by Observing the Stars

Medieval Rural Life in the Luttrell Psalter

Images of the Medieval Peasant

Shepherds are frequently depicted with a sort of waist-pouch or satchel which are sometimes referred to as a "budget" (from the French word bougette, meaning a sack); sometimes these are called “scrips” or “wallets.”

The budget seems to have been used to carry newly-shorn wool (newly-shorn locks can be seen poking out of a shepherd’s budget in Bronzino’s Adoration of the Shepherds) or other goods; sometimes a flute appears tucked between a shepherd's hip and the budget.

In some cases, it appears that the budget appears to be a sort of net bag; in others, leather.

Following are budgets as they appear in period illustrations and artwork.