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chapter, before I reached Overyssel the elusive full-
sleeved, high-waisted, tall-skirted mediaeval garment that
never was, had come to stand for something far more
important than itself. It was to crown my quest by
discovering for me the secret, or rather the rationale, of
Dutch " costume."

Dutch " costume " is " a mingle-mangle of apparel."
It is not only sporadic, surviving here and having dis-
appeared there for no apparent reason, but bits lost in
one place turn up elsewhere, a long way off, and remnants
consort with remnants, and cast-offs pick up with others
equally contemned, and doublets and breeches are " like
Guelphs and Ghibellines to one another."

Now Professor Gallee, as I have said, and a surpris-
ingly few others in Holland, have made a general survey
of this complexity, by which we are to be guided in the
expedition before us. But in whole regions the details
are still unmapped, and it is doubtful if they will not
remain so. The study of local history which at present
occupies a new generation of Dutch scholars, will in-
cidentally throw light upon it, but there does not appear
to be anyone who is undertaking a monograph on
Holland's costumes while they are still a living subject.
Yet it would be well worth the effort, as will be recog-
nised when costume is dead. The vagueness of the
literature on it is doubtless due to the fact that most
books on Holland have been written by men. It might
be suggested to the numerous ladies who distinguish



1 70 HOME LIFE IN HOLLAND

themselves at the gymnasiums and the Universities that
here is a subject, suitable for their sex though all too
modest for their talents, which is urgently awaiting the
doing before it is too late.

For Dutch costume is surely vanishing. The girl
who served my coffee at Heereveen laughed in my face
when I suggested to her that perhaps on occasion she
donned an ooryzer. It was the oude mode, the old fashion,
she told me, but she was ready to bring for my inspection
the one her mother still wore. The old fashion takes
long in conservative Holland to become obsolete. More-
over, it is costly, one thinks twice before renouncing
a helmet worth a thousand guilders, or even the silk
cap of Deventer worth thirty. And so we find the
hideous compromise of these costly head-dresses sur-
mounted by bonnets of appalling ugliness and modernity.
But already the bonnet sits in single state. The oude
mode is doomed.

This chapter provides no houppelande, and, worse,
no rationale of Dutch costume of which the houppelande
was the symbol. So far it represents a thwarted ambition.
But by such direction as it is able to give, the reader
who will retrace in it, as I now invite him to, the ex-
pedition it records, may find a way through the mingle-
mangle of costume that awaits him as he goes through
Holland.

THE FRISIAN OORYZER

We can save ourselves a long round of Zeeland by
going to Middelburg on a Thursday, for all the islands
are gathered there for that day's market.

In towns like Middelburg and Flushing, the in-
habitants dress in modern fashion ; throughout the
country, costume is confined to villages, the peasants,
the dwellers on the soil, and the fisher populations. If





WOMAN AND CHILD OF THE ISLAND OF MARKEN.
(FRISIAN)



MAN OF THE ISLAND OF MARKEN :
EVERYDAY DRESS. (FRISIAN)





MAN OF ST. WILLEBRORD, NORTH BRABANT.
(PRANKISH)



(SAXON)

THREE RACIAL INFLUENCES, FRISIAN, SAXON, AND PRANKISH DISCOVER
THEMSELVES IN DUTCH COSTUMES. ON THIS PAGE ARE EXAMPLES OF
PURE TYPES. NOW THAT THE HINDELOOPEN COSTUME HAS DISAPPEARED,
THAT OF MARKEN IS THE ONLY TRUE FRISIAN COSTUME WITH WHICH
THE OORYZER IS NOT WORN



HUNTING THE HOUPPELANDE 171

in Middelburg you meet a Walcheren hat or a Goes
shawl, be sure that the wearer is a country girl who has
taken service there, and is permitted, possibly encouraged,
by her mistress to retain the dress she wore at home.
In Friesland (to make the jump northwards that the
study of Dutch costume entails constantly) a girl could
not, up to a few years ago, get " a place in service "
unless she possessed an ooryzer (the Frisian helmet).
To go about with the hair uncovered was regarded as
indecorous. Hence it was not an unusual thing to send
round the hat for a new yzer on behalf of a girl whose
old one (as was said) " had blown into the water."

On market-day, however, Middelburg exhibits all the
variety of costume (and it is great) which Zeeland
possesses from Axel to Brouwershaven, and a skilled eye
can tell at a glance from which island, and even corner
of an island, each peasant has come. Take that woman
there, for example : her hat proclaims that she is a native
of Walcheren. It is of very fine straw, trimmed with
wide white ribbon, and white streamers of the same
material, fastened to the lining, are brought round in
front. (I must crave pardon for a lack of skill in the
terminology of millinery : I cannot, unfortunately, if this
chapter is to be done, follow John Winthrop in writing
of dress to Margaret Tyndale, and " medle with noe
particulars.") I see another Walcheren woman close by,
and she has blue streamers, attached to the hat by a
little hook of gold, hanging down her back. The
significance of blue instead of white is hid from
me.

Before the hat is put on, I am instructed, elaborate
preparations are necessary. First, the hair is gathered
and rolled upon the forehead, and is bound tightly in its
place there by a small hood or cap of white linen. In
this is fastened by pins a band of gold, the use of which



i;2 HOME LIFE IN HOLLAND

will be explained later. Next comes the muts, some-
thing like a Scots mutch, of very stiffly starched white
linen. To enable this muts to fit tightly in spite of its
stiff starching, there is a pleated inset : you can see the
village girls as you pass sitting indoors working this
inset, pleating it tightly with their finger-nails on a board.
Over this cap comes the hat, which, however, is by many
worn only at church.

The head-ornaments of this woman are numerous,
and you may be sure that they are of real gold. The
Dutch peasant does not wear sham jewelry. To the
band of gold already mentioned, there are attached
firmly at the temples, but hanging free, corkscrew-
looking ornaments (krullen) of gold. These have
pendants of gold embossed, each with a tiny pearl drop.
On special occasions, perhaps on the special occasion of
the kermis only, she will wear on her forehead a plate
of flat gold, beautifully worked, curved to the shape of
the head, and tapered to a point which is stuck into the
hair at the side. This ornament (of which more later) is
known as the voornaald. The necklace is of blood-red
coral, and has a gold clasp. I am reminded that in
olden days all Dutch children wore coral bracelets
many do still : it was one of the nurse's duties to see
that they were not wanting, and that the peony-seeds
were duly round the neck, to help the teething and to
ward off convulsions.

The Walcheren jacket or bodice, generally of black
material, has short sleeves, with bands of broad velvet
that grip the arm tightly. Its peculiarity is that it is
fashioned of one piece, which is pleated into shape a
very handsome shape often. It is cut low, even for
winter wear sometimes, and pointed in front, and nowa-
days a kerchief is always worn under it, but in such a
manner as to allow the highly coloured plastron (beuk)



HUNTING THE HOUPPELANDE 173

to be seen. This beuk is the Urker kraplap. Under that
again, if you accept my authorities, is a black chemise-
petticoat (hemdroK), which in most cases is never taken
off, night or day, until it is worn out ! Save where
it peeps out at the foot, the skirt, generally of blue
and white stripe, is entirely covered by an apron of
dark-coloured stuff, blue on weekdays, black on Sundays
as a rule, fastened at the back by a gold hook. The
shoes are of leather, with a black-and-white leather bow
set low upon the instep, and in the centre of the bow
there is a silver buckle, worked somewhat in the manner
of the well-known Zeeland buttons. These buttons and
certain hats are among the ancient traces of men's
costume which survive in Zeeland more freely than in
any other part of the country.

Now, looking round the market-place, we can dis-
tinguish Walcheren ' women at once, though probably
each of the seventeen villages in the island affects some
slight distinction in dress. Yonder is a woman of West
Kapelle, for example, as can be seen by a peculiarity in
the dressing of the hair. This woman, again, who wears
above the muts a cap of transparent material and
singular shape, comes from the immediate neighbourhood
of Middelburg itself. The Arnemuiden fisher-girls, selling
shrimps and sea-kail, are not, like their neighbours here,
in market or Sunday costume, but in the workaday garb
in which they gather their harvest. They have put their
bare feet into leather shoes, however; Dutch peasants
seldom come into the towns in klompen, though the
Zandvoort women do, since the Haarlem magistrates will
not permit them to enter barefoot. If, however, there is
a peasant (not a fisher) from Arnemuiden here, you will
find her clad, with only the slightest modification, in
Nieuwland dress.

There are many girls from Goes in the market to-day,



174 HOME LIFE IN HOLLAND

farmers' daughters, many of them, with well-plenished
wardrobes, which they are not loath to air. The
costume of South Beveland closely resembles that of
Walcheren, though it is neither so formal nor so
becoming. The voornaald is no longer so uniformly
worn. A peculiarity of it was the hanging ornaments
(strikken) attached to the square gold plates (stukkeri) on
the ooryzer, vanities distressful to Protestant sentiment,
as well as costly to maintain, whatever the wearer's
creed, and so not unlikely to lead to the disappearance of
the whole head-dress. In North Beveland and Tholen,
Schouwen and Duiveland, where it or its ornaments are
all of costume that survives, the custom already alluded
to prevails of covering these ancient traces by a bonnet
of hideous modernity. In South Beveland there is the
same or nearly the same bodice, and the same apron.
The chief differences are that a hat is not worn, and that
a shawl of colours never seen in Walcheren is pleated
low upon the neck. This shawl is the distinguishing
mark of South Beveland ; and from certain differences in
the way of wearing it, as well as in the head-ornaments
and the shape of the cap, one can tell the Protestants
from the Catholics. (In Walcheren, by the way, Roman
Catholics are found only in the towns.)

There are probably to be discovered in Middelburg
market some costumes of Dutch Flanders also. If we
see a woman dressed with an extreme simplicity, with
full skirts, sloping shoulders, and a bodice perfectly plain
save for some frilling in front, we may conclude that she
comes from Cadsand. We may be certain of it if the
tight-fitting cap, outlining the face and fastened under
the chin, is relieved by two gold ornaments, and set off
by a piece of lace hanging at the back. Yet one must
distinguish, for in Cadsand there are two distinct
costumes, as there are two religions and two races.



HUNTING THE HOUPPELANDE 175

But differences of ornamentation in the plastron, and of
the arrangement of the serre-tete, distinguish the creeds,
and the married from the unmarried, in many of the
islands. In Axel, where the head-ornaments survive,
the flowing cap falls over enormous sleeves, above a
great width of petticoat, that causes the back of the
wearer to appear uncommon small : the Dutch build
as a rule has " shuldris of a lange brede," and isn't
" smalish in the girdelstede."

So much for Zeeland ; and before we go farther let
us see what it is we have discovered there. First, and
chiefly, the metal band binding the hair, with the
voornaald and other ornaments ; in fact, the ooryzer.

Now the ooryzer is the most important piece of Dutch
costume, because it is the most distinctive in itself, and
because it is essentially Frisian.

All head-dress is a development of the dressing of
the hair, of which the modes are innumerable but the
general principles few. One of the earliest necessities in
regard to it is to prevent it flowing over the eyes, and to
prevent that you can plait it and lace it and coil it, or you
can simply bind it in position or cut it off. If binding
is the mode, the band becomes stiffer, and in time is
fashioned out of metal. And that is the ooryzer in the
earliest of its forms, as you have it in the collection
in the museum at Leeuwarden : a band of reed or ozier
for binding the hair becomes, in course of time, a metal
ring.

At Leeuwarden can be seen the development of the
ooryzer. The metal ring is cut, to adapt it more easily
to its use, and then the ends are bent, that it may be
fastened more securely on the forehead. In time the
ring becomes of precious metal, and flattened in front,
and there are added buttons (knopperi) on which to fasten
the cap, and pins (stiffen) wherewith to fix it on the



1 76 HOME LIFE IN HOLLAND

head, and other ornaments like the spirals or corkscrews,
or the small, square boeken, and the stukken. With it
was worn the frontlet, the voornaald> often jewelled.
Generally, no doubt with the prosperity of the wearers,
the serre-t$te was fashioned in gold, and increased in size
so as almost to cover the head. In this way was evolved
the ooryzer or helmet which marks the head-dress of
Friesland, Groningen, and North Holland.

Not of Zeeland, it will be observed. There the
helmet is not worn. But the rudimentary band of gold is,
and on occasion the voornaald also, and so are the krullen
(which I venture to suggest may be a development of
the horns and wire-stiffeners for the wimple ; as, indeed,
the serre-tete itself may be of the caul of gold net), and
the stiffen^ all, as we have seen in Walcheren, with some
and not others elsewhere. From which we conclude that
the Frisian strain is found in the Zeelanders ; but in them
all is mixed, as other signs tell, with the Prankish, and
possibly with a race still older: one place (Cadsand)
being pure Saxon, and an exception to all its neighbours.

In the Westland, and also in the bulb-fields farther
north, the gardeners do not wear any of the typical
costumes. They dress for their work, that is to say, as
you or I might dress to do the same work at home,
except for their wooden shoes ; and these are the correct
wear all over Holland, even among people in whose
family there never was a " costume," with which, indeed,
wooden shoes have nothing whatever to do.

We may as well settle it quite clearly in our heads
at once that costume will not survive its usefulness.
Flapping-sleeves are not suitable for work in the fields ;
hence, I take it, the tight sleeves of the Dutch peasant
women, though some distorted taste or fashion, and not
necessity, explains the ugly constriction of the female
arm here in Walcheren. It would seem that when





\Vo\IAN' OK STAPHORST, OVERYSEL.

(SAXON-FRISIAN), v. 182



MAN OF ZANDVOORT, NORTH HOLLAND
(COAST FRISIAN)





WOMAN OK THE ISLAM) OF L'RK

(SAXON-KRANKISH-KKISIAN). v. 182



WOMAN OF THE ISLAND OF SCHOKLANU
(SAXON-FRANKISH-FRISIAN). 1'. 183



HERE IS ILLUSTRATED THE "MINGLE-MANGLE" OF DUTCH COSTUMES.
THE MIXED DRESS OF THE STAPHORST WOMAN, FOR EXAMPLE, IS
EXPLAINED P.Y A FRISIAN SETTLEMENT IN THE SAXON ZONE. (P. 182)



HUNTING THE HOUPPELANDE 177

skating the Frisian girl overcame her scruples against
flowing tresses. And, again, the Frisian women when
digging bait on the wadden, dress, or at least dressed, for
the business in trousers and big sea-boots. Moreover,
there must be a certain amount of isolation where
costume prevails. The multi-petticoated habit could not
survive travel : it may defy the laws of health, but it
must collapse at the demands of the Customs. And,
therefore, apart from special reasons for its absence in
their case, costume is not likely to be found, and is not,
among those engaged, as the gardeners of South
Holland are, in a highly organised industry involved
in traffic with the world without.

The costumes we are out after, be it remembered,
are those of mediaeval times, distractingly modified in the
process of descent without a doubt, but unmistakable
in their lineage nevertheless. Step over to Delft, for
example : the boer women of the wealthier class round
it are found wearing a gold helmet. But elsewhere in
South Holland, as in Delfland itself, except in these
richer farms, the head-dress is the linen cap with turned-
up peaks, called oreilles. (In some of the islands of
South Holland, I may remark, the metal head-dress is
covered entirely by the cap, which leaves visible only the
spiral pins or the buttons.) This peaked cap of Delfland
perhaps the most attractive model, and for that reason
the best known abroad is most likely a modification
of the Frisian head-dress, of which the helmet, of
course, is the essential feature. It has a pedigree of
several centuries ; and its presence in its pure form
in this little colony in a cap-wearing Province suggests
inevitably that it came here in an early migration of
Frisians.

At the Hague and at Delft we may have seen the
girls of the Orphanages, but I have purposely left their

12



178 HOME LIFE IN HOLLAND

costume until we should come to Amsterdam, to compare
it with that of the even better-known Orphanage of that
city. The last is situated in the Kalverstraat, with an
entrance in the Luciensteeg, and its inmates in their
red-and-black dress are among the best-known features
of the city's spectacle. These colours, I am informed,
have nothing to do with the town's colours ; if that is so,
many Amsterdammers are living under an illusion.
What the mediaeval significance was that they are
supposed to have, I do not know. This Burger-
Weeshuis was instituted in 1520, half a century earlier,
that is, than the Roman Catholic Maagdenhuis, close by
the Spui.

More interesting for us at this moment than their
dress is the head-dress of the orphans. Previously their
copper ooryzers belonged to the house, and they were laid
aside for silver ones which the girls bought for themselves.
From this it is concluded that at the time of the
foundation of the orphanages, early in the sixteenth
century, the ooryzer was the usual dress of the burgher
maids. Amsterdam, a city of no great antiquity, was
only a century or two before that a fisher-village, and
that it was Frisian (as the evidence of this ooryzer
suggests) is only as might be expected of any fisher-
village along the North Sea, from Sweden to Grevelingen.

In the Roman Catholic Maagdenhuis the ooryzer is
seldom or never in use now, but the usual signs of its
earlier presence are found in the silver buttons in the
muts.

I believe you will find both silver and copper
ooryzers in the Hague Orphanage, which was founded
in 1 5 64 ; at any rate, you will find ooryzers in it,
and can be sure of a Frisian tradition strong in the city
of the counts. In Delft, on the other hand, the casque
has degenerated into a few silver plates ; but again the



HUNTING THE HOUPPELANDE 179

buttons (but not the pins) of the original ooryzer
survive.

Thus in other parts of the country besides Zeeland
the serre-tete has disappeared, leaving behind remem-
brances of its wear in the buttons of gold, just as the
vanished sword-belt of the days when private gentlemen
wore swords is still kept in remembrance by the two
supporting buttons sewn on the back of our coats.

It has disappeared in Scheveningen, close by, for
another example, where the fisher- women are wearing
very clean white caps ; but over hair cut close upon the
neck, which immediately suggests another head-dress; and
surely enough in their houses you would find the casque
in which they will appear on Sunday. About the women
of Zandvoort Haarlem's seaside village my notes dis-
close nothing, except that when met in the dunes they
are walking barefoot, but carrying the sabots which the
Haarlem magistrates compel them to put on before
entering the towns. But among them also, I believe, the
ooryzer still appears.

We are, however, at Amsterdam, and pushing north-
wards for Alkmaar; and in the steam-tram thither have time
to examine on the firm-set head of a brown-faced, brown-
haired, brown-eyed, elderly boerin, a yellow straw hat (in
this case trimmed with blue) of the beautiful, turned-up
North-Holland model. The whole appearance of head
and hat in colour and ornament is perfect ; it has some-
thing in it of the orderly distinction of the North-Holland
farmhouse. Alkmaar itself is full of pitfalls in respect
of its costume ; its local peculiarities have always been
marked, and, moreover, much commented on, the type and
its variation often changing places in these descriptions.
That difficulty need not trouble us, however, since we are
concerned only with the main principles, and particularly
at this moment with the yzer. That cannot be better



i8o HOME LIFE IN HOLLAND

studied than in the shop windows of Alkmaar, where,
without impertinence, you can examine all its parts
at leisure.

Those who will to Marken maun to Marken, and
they can see there, if they know to look, one of the most
interesting examples of the mingle-mangle of costume.
For though the Marken woman wears no ooryzer, the
Markeners are pure Frisians. The noticeable thing about
her is the stuffs of which her dress is composed; they are
elaborate, and would need to be good, for many of them
are no longer in the market. For example, the bobs or
kwastjes of her neckerchief, which some believe to be old
cloister work, have been known to bring twenty-five
shillings per piece in the auction-room. The general
character of this costume, as has been said, is pure Frisian,
yet it is Frisian with the essential ooryzer left out ; the
only example of this which is to be found, now that the
still better-known Hindelopen dress has been extinct
(outside of the museums) for a third of a century. The
women on the island, except on wedding and christening
days, or in their gala costume at Easter, say, wear the
same dress Saturday and Sunday, but not so the men.
They also exhibit their Frisian type in their round, low,
felt hats ; they have, when we see them at work, a dash
of red at the shirt-neck, with buttons of gold, and wear
fairly spacious breeches. The tourist delights to notice
that boys and girls are dressed alike until the age of five.
Then, on going to school, the boy is put into breeches ;
but until seven his hair is uncut, and, generally, he and
his sister appear very much alike.

THE SAXON KORNET

So long as we had the ooryzer in view, which in a
general way of speaking was all the way to Friesland, we





MARKEN GIRL : FROM 2 TO 7 YEARS



MARKEN BOY : FROM 2 TO 5 YEARS





MARKEN BOY: AT 6 YEARS MAKKEN BOY: ABOVE 7 YEARS

THIS PAGE ILLUSTRATES THE SIMILARITY IN DRESS OF MARKEN BOYS

AND GIRLS Ul> TO THEIR SEVENTH YEAR. (P. 180.) VARIOUS STUFFS IN

M \KKENCOSTUMEARE NO LONGER MANUFACTURED OR ON THE MARKET;

THE COSTUME, THEREFORE, MUST SOON DISAPPEAR



HUNTING THE HOUPPELANDE 181

were on a definite line of search. Leeuwarden now is the
turning-point. In Groningen the voornaald never has
diamonds, whereas in Leeuwarden it is never worn with-
out them. But while the ooryzer is worn in Groningen,
and in the Reformed Orphanage there it crowns a green
costume, there is a Roman Catholic Orphanage also, in
which, surmounting a costume of blue, is a Saxon head-
dress. Groningen, with Frisians all round it, yet bears
the traces of Saxon origin. And very soon, as we strike
south, we are among the wearers of Saxon costume.

It was here that the houppelande, already sufficiently
lamented, was to have been a kind of marker, sent out
to give us direction. As it is, the cornet, of poor but
respectable ancestry, must be promoted for the duty.

Evelyn speaks of it: "A cornet with the upper pinner
dangling about her cheeks, like hounds' ears," which is
very graphic, if not convincing. Mrs. Earle, who writes
of American dress, cites " four cornet caps with lace
i, 33.," from the wardrobe of a Madam Jacob de Lange,
clearly Dutch ; and she describes these caps as having
" two points like broad horns, over which gauze or lace
was spread," the old wimple over points : but was the
cornet ever so ?

Our kornet is simply described as a cap, generally of
lace gauffered in front, with a piece of lace behind
covering the neck, and a white ribbon crossed over and



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