September 28, 2015

1923 NETHERLANDS (Netherlands / Utrecht) - Women from Spakenburg in traditional garb

Spakenburg, formally called Bunschoten-Spakenburg since its fusion with Bunschoten, was for centuries a fishermen village located on the coast of what was then the Zuiderzee (a shallow bay on the North Sea). In the early 1900's the prosperous fishing harbor boasted over 200 ships, but the closing of the Zuiderzee and reclaiming of land brought an end to that. No commercial fishing is now done, but heritage wooden vessels are still being built and repaired here. It is also one of the few places left in the Netherlands where some women still wear local traditional garb.

The most iconic part of this costume is the kraplap, a rectangle of fabric with a hole in the middle, which is put over the head, practically a shirt without the sides and the sleeves. It is present in many of Dutch traditional costumes, but in Spakenburg it has become larger and starched. It is brightly flowered, even often hand painted, except the periods of mourning (when is black and dark purple). The older ones were made of Indian chintz, and some ladies still have pieces of fabric from generations past which they still use in their costume.

The kraplap is worn together with two pieces of checkered fabric, white stripes on red. The front one has horizontal and vertical stripes and is pinned on the kraplap. The back one has the same type of stripes as the first, but with diagonal stripes. This one is stiffened with a piece of carton and tied together with a piece of string underneath the front of the kraplap. Aside from the kraplap, a black t-shirt is worn with checkered fabric sleeves pinned on with safety pins.

A black skirt is worn, with over it an apron. On work days the apron is of checkered fabric, on sundays only the top is of checkered fabric and starched, and the bottom is dark blue. The hair is rolled up over a hair-rat and worn in a bun underneath a starched white lace cap. Nowadays there are no children wearing the costume any more, except on special occasions, but they used to wear their own version of the costume. The girls wore a smaller kraplap, had a large black hat and a checkered apron dress.

About the stamp
The stamp is one personalized and showing Lewis, the cat of my friend who sent me this postcard.

Bunschoten-Spakenburg Holland - Holland Voice
Traditional Costume – Bunschoten & Spakenburg - Atelier Nostalgia

Sender: Wilma van Vegten (direct swap)
Sent from Leiden (South Holland / Netherlands), on 25.09.2015

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