Thursday, April 4, 2024

Costumes of Zealand, the Netherlands part 2. Cadzand, Western Zeeuws-Vlaanderen


Hello all, 
Today I continue with my interrupted overview of the Folk Costumes of the Netherlands. Folk costumes are here called either Klederdracht or Streekdracht. I do not know if there is a distinction. 
I will continue with a discussion of the costumes of Zealand. In Standard Dutch, this region is called Zeeland, in the local dialect / language, Zeeuwse. 

The province of Zeeland is composed of a series of islands / peninsulas, as well as a strip of territory on the Flanders coast. Here are a couple of maps. The first two show Zeeland in relation to the neighboring parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. It is the southwesternmost province in the Netherlands [except for the ABC islands]

This third map shows Zeeland more closely, with all the dikes, and also shows the emblem of this region: a lion rising from the water. This makes a great deal of sense given the age old battle of the people of this region with the ocean. 

[A Dutch friend of mine once riddled me: "Why are the Dutch, on average, the tallest people in Europe?" Answer: "All the short ones drowned"]

Similar to Vorarlberg, this small region is very rich in Folk Costumes, there being 10 regional costumes remembered today, a couple of which are still living traditions. I have located them on this map. The images at the head of the article show  various of these costumes. 

1. Hulst
I have written about this costume as part of my article on Western Brabant. 

2. Axel
I have written a separate article on this costume, which would be part 1 of this series. 

3. Cadzand

4. Walcheren

5. Arnemuiden

6. South Beveland Protestant

7. South Beveland Catholic

8. North Beveland

9. Schouwen-Duiveland

10. Tholen

I will start by finishing up the costumes of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. This is the part of this province which lies on the mainland. 3 streekdrachten are remembered today, as seen in this image. 

These are, from left to right, Axel, Cadzand and Hulst. These are labelled 1 - 3 on the map above. 
As I have already written about Hulst, region 1

and Axel, region 2

I will start today with Cadzand, region 3

Here is an old painting of the costumes of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. 

The seated couple are wearing an old form of the Axel costume. The woman standing with the red shawl and straw hat with black ribbon is in the Hulst costume, not very different from the one known today. The woman on the left and the one in the center with colored kerchiefs wound around the cap are wearing a costume which has today completely disappeared. I do not know which area this represents. The remaining two, the one standing behind the man in profile, and the one on the right are in an older form of the Cadzand costume. Cadzand is in the far west of 
Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, and is the village most tightly associated with this costume, but in fact it was more widespread. This is evidenced by these images from Nieuwvliet, 


  and as far east as Biervliet.

The basic dress starts as in other parts of this region, with bloomers, 

Over this next to the skin was worn a simple chemise of linen or cotton. This might have simple embroidery at the neck, and usually had the maker's / owner's initials embroidered on it somewhere. this was not visible when fully dressed. 

Over this an underbodice, onderlijfje, was worn to support the bust. Sometimes it had hooks around the waist to support an underskirt. 

A cotton or linen  petticoat might be worn over the chemise to protect the outer garments from having to be laundered, but I do not have any images of such from this region. 

An underskirt, onderrok, would always be worn, especially with the dress version of this outfit. It provides a fuller silhouette and kept the skirt from sticking to the legs when walking. This garment provided an opportunity to engage in creative embellishment, albeit within a limited color pallete. 

Over this the skirt proper, rok, was worn. For dress it was always black, and could vary from plain black wool, perhaps with a stripe of ribbon or velvet near the hem, to something quite elaborate. The upper part was often made of a cheaper material, because it was always covered. Here are just a couple examples of more elaborate moire skirts. 

A loose pocket, zijzak, would be worn, usually over the skirt and under the apron. Here are two examples, one of utilitarian cotton, and the other of black silk. 

The upper body garment, manteljak, was worn over the skirt and extended as far as the knee. 
Over this was worn the apron. The apron, schortje, varied, in both quality and extent of ornament. They might have a flounce. It was usually gathered into the waistband, but sometimes had a casing that extended the entire length of the top of the apron, and was gathered when put on, this type of apron was called schuifchortje. Everyday aprons, and those for girls might be of a color other than black. They were longer than the manteljak. 

Here is an example of an extremely elaborate dress apron. 

Compare some of these photos. You will note that while some of the aprons reached around the waist once and were fastened with a button or hook, others had ties that reached around and were tied in front. 

The upper body garment is called manteljak. In the older form, popular in the mid 1800's, it had a short collar or wide lapels that met in a V on the front, as well as leg-of-mutton sleeves, which were smocked at the shoulder and at the cuff. It might also be of a sober color other than black. See again this painting. 

The newer manteljak has set in cap sleeves, relatively narrow and sometimes puffed on top. It seems to always be black, at least for dress. It has a skirt that usually reaches the knee. Here is one example in detail.

In fact, the front bodice of this garment varies greatly. It may have different cuts, and is often embellished with beads, cord, lace, etc. Some examples seem to have a V cut neck with a chemisette or jabot worn underneath. 

Black woolen stockings and leather shoes are worn for dress. 

Colored stockings and / or klompen might be worn by girls or for everyday. 

The hair is put up on the back of the head, and a tight black undercap, ondermuts, is put over it. 

As you can see in this image, there are loops at the lower front of the undercap. Through these are hung a pair of mutsenbellen. These resemble earrings, but hang from the corners of the cap, not the ears. They are always of a dangle type, and can be very elaborate. For normal dress occasions, they are made of gold, perhaps with small gems. 

For periods of light mourning, they would be of silver, perhaps with black gems.

For periods of full or heavy mourning, they would be made solely from black beads or gems. 

Over the black cap would be worn the cornemuts.  This would have a frill that hung down the neck, and a piece that framed the face.  Originally, both the back of the cap and the piece around the face were fairly full, as in this old image. We can see the leg of mutton sleeves, and the mutshangers are very visible. 

In the modern costume, both the back and the piece framing the face have become smaller and tighter. The piece that frames the face is now reinforced by wire. As a result, the mutsenhanger sometimes do not hang freely, but they are still worn. 

These caps would be made of fancy lace for dress, 

Everyday caps were made of simpler fabrics. 

And caps for periods of mourning were made of plain unadorned linen. 

Straw hats adorned with ribbons might be worn for going out, similar to those in other parts of the southern Netherlands. This would be worn over the lace cap. 

In periods of mourning, the hat would be trimmed with black ribbon. 

A couple of images show a different 'going out' costume that I have no other information on. This looks like a less dressy everyday sort of outfit. This features a shorter hem and multicolored material. 

This image shows a girl wearing the meisjenmuts, a confection of black lace for girls which was common across the southern Netherlands, particularly in Brabant. 

As can be seen from many of the photos, necklaces, brooches and watch chains were worn, as well as typical Dutch coral or garnet chokers, and rings. 

One more extremely elaborate garment was sometimes worn for going out on a dressy occasion. This is a hooded cape called manteline or kapmantel. It was hooked closed at the neck, but often had a gold or silver clasp fastened somewhat further down. The hood was elaborately ornamented with tucks, lace, beads, etc. 

Men wear what looks like a very plain black suit, or a short smock with a neck kerchief. 

I will close with some more images of this outfit. 

Thank you for reading, I hope that you have found this to be interesting and informative. 

Roman K. 


Source Material:
In addition to the printed material, this website is extremely useful, showing images of items in Museum collections in the Netherlands:

Jeanine Decker et al, 'De Zeeuwse Streekdrachten', Amsterdam, 2018

Constance Nieuwhoff et al, 'Klederdrachten', Amsterdam, 1976

Jackie Craver et al, 'Dutch Costumes, a Look into the Past', Pella, IA, 2007

Constance Nieuwhoff et al, 'The Costumes of Holland', Amsterdam, 1985