July 27, 2015

1786 GERMANY (Baden-Württemberg) - Women with Bollenhut

A Bollenhut is a formal headdress worn since about c.1750 by Protestant women as part of their local costume (Tracht) in three neighbouring villages of Gutach, Kirnbach and Hornberg-Reichenbach, in Black Forest (a great forested mountain range in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, bounded by the Rhine valley to the west and south). With its woollen pompoms, the picturesque-looking red Bollenhut has become a symbol of the Black Forest as a whole, despite its very local origins. The red pom-poms and white brim of the Bollenhut also is said to have inspired the top layer of the Black Forest Cake.

The broad-brimmed, whitewashed straw hat bears 14 prominent, woollen, pompoms arranged in the shape of a cross. Only 11 pompoms are visible, however, because three are covered by those on top. Red pompons are for spinsters, and the black ones for married women. The red Bollenhut may first be worn by girls at their confirmation. A silk mob cap is worn underneath the Bollenhut, tied under the chin. Young girls before confirmation (Gutach and several neighbouring parishes were part of Württemberg until 1804 and were Evangelical, unlike the majority of the Black Forest) and old women only wore the mob cap.

It takes about one week and two kilograms of wool to make one of the hats. Today the Bollenhut and associated Schwarzwalder Trachten (the traditional costumes in the Black Forest) are still worn on holidays and for traditional events. They may be seen all year round e.g. in the Black Forest Costume Museum in Haslach im Kinzigtal (in the postcard). This museum was opened in 1980 in the renovated convent building of a former Capuchin abbey, and portrays the history and development of traditional folk costume in the Black Forest and its surrounding regions.

About the stamp
The stamp, illustrating St. Peter's Cathedral of Regensburg, is part of a series of two, about which I wrote here.

Bollenhut - Wikipedia

Sender: Katrin Fraenkler (direct swap)
Sent from Eisleben (Saxony-Anhalt / Germany), on 10.05.2013

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