October 2, 2014

1261, 1262 SWITZERLAND (Appenzell Innerrhoden) - Little herders

Settlement of the Appenzell region (in the northeast of Switzerland, entirely surrounded by the Canton of St. Gallen) began along the River Glatt during the 7th century. Herisau was first mentioned in 907, while the name of Appenzell (from the Latin abbatis cella, which means abbey cell) first appears in 1071. It joined the Old Swiss Confederacy as the 13th canton in 1513, and in 1597 it was divided into two half-cantons on denominational grounds: Appenzell Ausserrhoden is the Protestant part; Appenzell Innerrhoden is Catholic.

Known as the most authentic of Swiss villages, Appenzell is also the birthplace of yodeling, alphorn blowing, talerschwingen (the rolling of a coin around the inside of an earthenware bowl to create a rhythm) and alpstobede (herdmen’s sports). Cattle breeding and dairy farming are the main agricultural activities in Appenzell, so that for the rural people the most important events of the year aren't Christmas or Easter, but the times when the cows are moved up to mountain pastures or brought home.

Even in nowadays, on these occasions the locals dress in traditional costumes. The men wear white shirts, red vests (Broschttuäch) with square silver buttons, fancy braces decorated with embossed silver plates, yellow knicker-type pants, knee high white stockings and black buckled shoes. Around his hips they wraps a colourful kerchief folded into a triangle. The snake-shaped golden earring is typical for Appenzell men. On feast days and special occasions a golden Schüefli (a tiny cream ladle) is added. Some still smoke the typical Lendaueli pipe with its silver decorated lid.


About the stamps
The stamp is part of a series depicting vegetable blossoms, about which I wrote here.

Appenzellerland - appenzell.info

Sender 1261, 1262: Rosmarie
1261: Sent from Will (St. Gallen / Switzerland), on 23.07.2014
Photo: Jan Geerk
1261: Sent from Will (St. Gallen / Switzerland), on 14.06.2014  

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