June 22, 2013

0692 GERMANY (Hesse) - Schwälmer Tracht

If you find that the girl in this postcard looks like Little Red Riding Hood, you're not wrong, because the story of Brothers Grimm originates in the Schwalm, from where also come the children from the picture. The Schwalm is a small area situated in the north of the German state of Hesse, through which flows the river of the same name.

Schwälmer Tracht, the traditional costume of the region, dates back to the Protestant Reformation and consists from several above-the-knee skirts layered one over another (from three to ten, which gives them a bell shape), blouse of home-woven linen, shoulder shawl, white gusseted stockings, and the distinctive Schnatz, a little knot of hair that sits directly atop the head. On holidays and festive occasions, this top-knot is covered with a Betzel, which for young girls is a little red cap. Married women wear a green Betzel until the age of 40, which turns to lilac until the age of 50, and finally black for women over 50 or in mourning. About the boy's clothes I can't say anything.

About the stamps
All three stamps, depicting tulipe, tagetes, and lily of the valley, are part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

Looking for Little Red Riding Hood, by Mary B. Lytle - Puppentour

sender: Regina Sammet (direct swap)
sent from Rotenburg (Hesse / Germany), on 22.04.2013

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