December 17, 2016

0865, 2903 NETHERLANDS (Netherlands / North Holland) - Traditional costume of Volendam

0865 Two little girls from Volendam
in traditional costumes

Posted on 17.11.2013, 17.12.2016
In a song is said that "anyone who wants to see the real beauty of Holland, goes to Volendam". As a result of its insulated location, but also because of the fishermen's vitality, this village preserved its character for six centuries. The characteristic small houses, which together with the canals and the drawbridges form the most picturesque spots, present the visitor an atmosphere of geniality and romance. No wonder that in the early part of the 20th century it became something of an artists' retreat, with Picasso and Renoir spending time here. Volendam is also well known for its traditional clothing, still worn by some residents.

2903 People from Volendam in traditional costumes

The women's costume of Volendam is one of the most recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes, and is often featured on tourist postcards (although now there aren't more than 50 women wearing the costume in their daily lives). There are three variants of the costume: the everyday costume, the Sunday go to Market costume, and the costume for special occasions, called the Bruiloftsgast (wedding guest), which is the most common these days. The foundation is a  sleeveless chemise, which don't seen when the costume is completed, and a striped petticoat, long to the ankles.

Over the chemise is worn a kraplap (koplap, kralap or kroplap), a type of double bib fastened at the neck and secured on the bottom by ribbons on the front panel. Often around the neck is placed also an edelkraal, made of several strands of coral beads and an ornamental buckle. Over the kraplap is worn a kletje, a blouse of black wool with a couple of wide lappets in front. It has a square-cut neckline both front and back, edged with trim. Over the kletje is put the apron, long and full, which has a tie usually made of an ornamentally woven band.

The famous peaked lace caps are supported by the black undercaps. The caps themselves are made of two symmetrical pieces for the body of the cap, derived from the round back of the standard bonnet, and two wings, derived from the rectangular piece that makes up the top and sides of a bonnet. This high cap is a relatively modern innovation, from around the turn of the 20th century, in much the same way as the lace cap of Bigouden, in Brittany, about which I wrote here. The every day costume consists of a shirt made of printed cloth, consisting of small motifs set in lines, and a simple apron. The high lace cap is not worn, but the black undercap is.

The Volendammer man wears wide black woolen pants with a big flap in front, closed with two big silver buttons. The loose-fitting shirt is striped, with a double row of buttons, and the jacket is black or darkblue. Under the shirt the man has a red or white/black collar with two gold buttons. A black cap or a black fur hat, with three green knots at the back. Both men and women wear black leather shoes. The famous wooden shoes are indeed worn, but not to church, and not inside the house. They are very practical in mud, sand, and doing dirty work outside.

About the stamp
On the postcard 0865
The stamp is one of the two issued by Netherlands for Europa Stamps 2013, with the theme The postman van., about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 2903
The stamp is part of the series Dutch Icons, about which I wrote here.

References
Volendam - Wikipedia
Costume of Volendam, North Holland, The Netherlands - Folk Costume & Embroidery

Sender 0865: Wilma van Vegten (direct swap)
Sent from Leiden (South Holland / Netherlands), on 10.11.2013
Photo: Jos Brouwer / 1998
Sender 2903: Lisanne / Harlemin (postcrossing) NL-3658759
Sent from Oostvoorne (South Holland / Netherlands), on 08.12.2016

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