December 10, 2015

2109-2111 FRANCE (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) - People from Morvan

2109 Morvan - A couple in front of the fireplace
(The Galvachers from Morvan)

The Morvan, the granite heart of  Burgundy,, is a high hills massif lying to the west of the Côte d'Or escarpment, actually a northerly extension of the Massif Central, marked by a dense river network, including many artificial lakes, and by a strong afforestation. The region being poor from agricultural point of view, the inhabitants has been forced to develop associated activities. Thus, alongside the floating timber, two have gradually imposed, becoming emblematic to the area: nourrices morvandelles (wet nurses from Morvan) and the galvachers.

2110 Morvan - A woman in front of the fireplace
(The Galvachers from Morvan)

The galvachers were carters, who used to rent their pairs of oxen to carry heavy transport work, but also hauling or plowing, all requesting service activities a strong pulling power. Traditionally, they leave their villages after planting potatoes (spring) and returned to the Saint-Martin (in autumn). After the Second Empire, the emergence of the railroad initiated the decline of galvachers. The number of migrants have been decreasing gradually until the WWI to then finally disappear.

2111 Morvan - Girls chattering on the grass
(The Galvachers from Morvan)

Often isolated by the snow in winter, Morvanese learnt to live in autarky and to develop an appropriate culture. It has a strong folk musical tradition, using musical ideas from lots of other cultures and combining them to make its own. Since its creation in 1952 by Albert Jaillet, the Folkloric Group Les Galvachers du Morvan pursued to maintain tradition by reviving the folklore of the region. Its members collected songs from the old people, learned old dances, and reconstructed costume by 1780-1880 using traditional methodes.

Until around 1880-1885, the costume of the peasant women consisted from a caraco, a petticoat, a large apron, and white wool stockings. Towards the end of the period, the caraco was replaced by a bodice with tails and short sleeves. The petticoat, gathered at the waist and reaching down to mid-calf, had stripes of bright colors, red, green or blue. Sometimes, bodice and petticoat were a single piece, a dark colored dress (beige, brown, gray, or even black).

 Around 1880, the women began to wear skirts of poplin, very wide, over slightly starched petticoats, decorated with ruffles, festoons, and lace. Girls were fond of bright, cheerful colors with shades of opposition with the apron. In general, they cover their hair ever since they are 12 years old with white bonnet of fine linen, with fluted edges, tied under the chin with two bridles hiding the ears. On feet they wore sabots (clogs), covered with plush or sheepskin. Men wore baggy trousers, gathered at the waist so they didn't need suspenders; a long cardigan, a round hat with a wide brim, and sabots.

About the stamps
On the postcard 2109

The stamp is part of the series The 60s, created by Stéphane Humbert-Basset and issued on June 15, 2015 (all the stamps have the same face value: 0,74 EUR):
• The home of the radio
• The leisure
• The movie theater
• The car - It's on the postcard 2505
• France
• The fashion - It's on the postcard 2109

On the postcard 2110
The first stamp, is part of the series Portraits de régions No 10 (Portrait of Regions No 10), about which I wrote here.

The last stamp is part of the series Capitales Européennes - Riga, designed by Guillaume Sorel and issued on April 7, 2015 (all the stamps have the same face value: 0,74 EUR):
• The House of Black Heads
• The St Peter's Church
• The Cathedral of the Nativity - It's on the postcard 2110
• The National Opera of Latvia

On the postcard 2111
The first stamp belong to the definitive series Marianne de la jeunesse, about which I wrote here.

Les Galvachers du Morvan - The official website
Vie et traditions du Morvan entre le XVIIe et le XXe siècle (french) - Le MorvandiauPat     
Galvachers -

Sender 2109: Kevin Franc-Joseph
Sent from Poil (Burgundy / France), on 24.11.2015
Sender 2110: Papa Diop
Sent from ??? (??? / France), on 04.12.2015
Sender 2111: Hugues-Bernard Xavier
Sent from Poil (Burgundy / France), on 19.09.2015

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