Traditional Costume – Marken

I already wrote a post about the costume traditionally worn on the island of Marken a while back. My dance group has a large collection of traditional costumes for performances, and Marken is included in this collection. I have to wear this costume in a while, so I already took it home and had the opportunity to show the different layers a costume is composed of. Every aspect of such a costume was important, and when the whole thing is worn together it can be difficult to still see the separate garments. I photographed all pieces on my dress-form, just to give an idea of the amazing amount of detail which went into the clothing!

 

The firs piece of clothing is a shirt, which is usually called the ‘Mouwen’, which means ‘sleeves’. This is because only the sleeves will actually show when the whole costume is worn. This is also why the main part of the shirt is made out of a different (cheaper) fabric. Nobody would see it, so why bother? The sleeves are made of a white/red striped fabric, as well as a small piece over the shoulder because this will also show. The sleeves are somewhere between long and 3/4 length and have a small split at the end.

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Next up is the under-skirt. This skirt is made of a very specific striped fabric, with orange, blue, green, white and yellow stripes. The same fabric is used in the over-skirts in the town of Volendam. The skirt is made of wool and the fabric is pleated onto the waist-band. It reaches to about mid-kalf. There’s also a slit with the pocket in this skirt. The pocket should be placed so that the pocket-slit of the over skirt falls in the same place (on these photo’s I put the under-skirt on wrong, sorry).

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Next is the bodice, (which can also be worn under the underskirt) which is a lightly-boned underbust type of corset. It’s not meant to be laced tight, but just for decoration and a bit of support. I suspect that it’s a left-over of Victorian clothing in this costume,  although I’m not entirely sure. The bodice is made of black wool and embroiderd with flowers (can be tulips as in this one, but also roses for instance). Colors can also vary, with orange being worn mostly on queens/kings-day, and darker (blue, purple) colors being used for mourning. The bodices are (of course) completely hand-embroidered and they lace in the front.

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After this comes the over-skirt. Again made of wool, black this time with the hem and pocket bound with red. The skirt has cartridge-pleats at the sides and back and lies flat in the front, where it also closes. (an apron will cover the gap). The pleats extend quite far down, which gives a lovely effect.

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Over the bodice, a jacket is worn. The front is of red wool, the back made of silk varying from blue to brown/green colors. It closes with hooks in the front. Over this jacket, a piece of fabric is pinned, called the ‘beuk’. It’s usually a bright, flowered fabric and is just pinned on with safety pins.

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An apron is worn which coveres the gap in the front of the skirts. It’s made of blue cotton with a red checkered top. There’s a bit of lace separating the fabrics (look at those little ducks!). The fabric of the apron is kept tightly folded so that there’s a square pattern of folds in the fabric. So no, I didn’t forget to iron it, it’s supposed to look like this.

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Finally, a ribbon is attached with hooks to the apron and wrapped around the waist. The end is attatched with a safety pin.

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The head-piece consists of multiple caps of both lace and flowered fabric (the same as the beuk in this case).

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And a picture of the whole costume put together!

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Traditional Costume – Marken

This post will be about the traditional costume of Marken. Marken is a small town on what used to be an island in the inland sea the ‘Zuiderzee’. Around 1930, the ‘Afsluitdijk’ was built, a very large dike (or levee), which closed off the entire Zuiderzee from the North sea, making it into two very large inland lakes now called the ‘IJsselmeer’ and the ‘Markermeer’. This had a large impact also on the village of Marken, as the people lived off the sea. In the 1950s, the island was connected to the mainland with another dike  officially making Marken a peninsula.

A map of the Markermeer and IJsselmeer, including Marken.

Because it was an island for so long, the costume of Marken is quite different from many other traditional costumes in the Netherlands. It is, for instance, the only costume with a corset-like bodice.

The costume exists of a colorful striped underskirt and a dark over-skirt, a blue apron with a checkered top, a shirt with either dark blue (winter) or striped sleeves, an embroidered corset, and a red over-jacket with a square of flowered fabric pinned on. All together, the costume of Marken is very bright and colorful. The following are some images to get an idea of how the costume is built up.

This is the shirt worn under the corset and jacket. Only the sleeves show, so only these were made in the more expensive striped fabric.

Over this shirt, a corset, or bodice was worn. I always think it’s a shame that you can only see a hint of it between the skirt and the jacket, because they’re usually very beautiful.

This dressform is not wearing the overskirt or the jacket, so you can see the corset.

A shorter corset. This one has darker colors and purple, so is worn in mourning.

The red jacket, which is blue at the back, is worn over the shirt and corset.

This was called a ‘bouw’, and was pinned on the center of the jacket. It was always made of flowered cotton.

A drawing including the over-skirt, bouw, apron and the headwear.

Girls wore almost the same as their mothers, boys were also in skirts until a certain age. They could be distinguished from the girls as they wore a checkered instead of a flowered ‘bouw’, and a slightly different hat.

Little boys, 1943

The Marken costume has many variations, most noticeably those for weddings and Pentecost. These are some beautiful pictures of variations of the costume.

A bride costume, for the afternoon church service.

A bride, in the morning.

Pentecost costume

Daily wear for heavy mourning in summer.

The costume also has a very distinctive traditional hairstyle. A large part of the hair is brought forward and cut into bangs, and two large pieces are kept long at the sides to fall down in curls. The back is shaved off and is hidden below the hat. Obviously, this hairstyle only works if you wear the traditional head wear. This is what it looks like without the headdress.

Today, only 6 women still wear the costume and all of them are over 90 years old, which means that the costume will disappear from daily life very soon. The people on Marken still wear the costume on special occasions though, the most noticeable being Koninginnendag (the day when the Dutch celebrate the birthday of the queen), where they dress up in the orange version of the costume. (as orange is the color of our royal house)

The marching-band on Koninginnendag

A little girl on Koninginnendag