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Introduction

Tracht Guidelines

 

Purpose

To give Gauverband member Vereine and those Vereine considering membership

• A guide to what is proper, authentic, appropriate, accurate, and correct wearing of the Tracht

• A summary of the differences among the Trachten of Bayern and Tirol

 

Vereine may, of course, set their own rules.  For instance, while Trachten jewelry may correctly be worn at the choosing of the wearer, a Verein may set more restrictive rules such as prescribing the exact necklace or tie holder worn.

 

How does this Article relate to the Preisplatteln rules?

The rules for judging Tracht during Preisplatteln are contained in Preisplatteln Rules, Article V-Judging Tracht.  Article V is geared towards the single purpose of judging Tracht during Preisplatteln and is, by necessity, broader and more general.  Article V does not judge whether Tracht is worn properly or authentically, it judges only whether it is worn uniformly.

 

What is Tracht?

Tracht comes from the word "Tragen" meaning "to wear."  Thus, Tracht means that which one wears.  In the more narrow context of a Gauverband, it means the garments that we wear to represent and preserve a particular time period in Bavarian/Tirolean history and a particular community standing.  That time period is generally the mid- to late 1800s; Tracht has, however, undergone minor changes since that time.  The community standing is that of the rural folk in the mountainous regions.  At one time, the Tracht, or clothing worn, was an individual’s choice of colors, fabrics, metals, etc.

As the regional Tracht began to fade in the late 1800s in rural Bayern, Vereine formed for the specific purpose of preserving the Tracht and other parts of the heritage (song, dance, dialect).  The Vereine have made the Tracht more uniform, i.e., all the members wear the same color ties, skirts, Spenser, socks, etc., but the details of the Tracht, such as jewelry or lace patterns, are left to the individual's choosing.

 

Regions in Bayern

Each region within Bayern and Tirol has its own distinctive Tracht.  The regions are loosely defined within natural boundaries of mountains, valleys, and rivers.  Transportation during the mid- to late 1800s was difficult, so the people stayed within these borders.  The clothing also reflects the general economic standing of an area.  For instance, the Allgäu region was mainly a farm area and the people were quite poor‑‑-the simplicity of the Tracht reflects this fact. 

 

In general, each regional Tracht may be broken down into somewhat of a hierarchy:

            I. Regional Tracht

                        A. Occasion-Dependent Tracht

                                    1. Holiday or High Fest days

                                    2. Sunday

                                    3. Dance

                                                a. Formal

                                                b. Informal

                                    4. Mourning

                                    5. Everyday

                                    6. Work Tracht, such as worn by tradesmen

                        B. Variations within the region

                                    1. Details: color, number of rows of ribbon on skirt/Spenser

                                    2. Vereine specialties such as Stickerei

 

While the Trachten of the different regions may appear similar to the untrained eye, care must be taken that elements of one Tracht are not "mixed" with elements of another Tracht simply because we like them.  Just as an individual should not mix the elements of two or more Trachten, neither should a Verein adopt the Tracht of one region for its men and the Tracht of another region for its women.

 

These Guidelines concentrate on the most widely worn Bavarian Trachten of the mountainous areas, namely:

                        Miesbacher Tracht

                        Werdenfelser Tracht

                        Chiemgauer Tracht

                        Allgäuer Tracht

 

Mention is made of certain parts of the Tracht of some regions because these are worn in our Gauverband in Vereine that wear "mixed" regional Trachten.  Those areas include:

Berchtesgadener Tracht - because the Gauverband Nordamerika has little experience with this complete Tracht, it is not covered extensively in this Article but may be added in the future.

Oberer Lechtal - heavily influenced by Werdenfelser Tracht

Lechtaler Tracht - heavily influenced by Miesbacher Tracht and, in some areas, by the Allgäuer Tracht

Tiroler Trachten - because the Gauverband Nordamerika has little experience with the numerous Trachten worn in Tirol, they are not covered extensively in these Guidelines but may be added in the future.

           

In writing these Guidelines, thought was also given to what is currently accepted in the Gauverband Nordamerika.  We recognize that the commitment to Tracht and what it stands for takes time to learn about and develop.  Some items of Tracht are expensive or not as readily available in North America as they are in Bayern.  Where possible, an attempt has been made to mention acceptable alternatives or interim solutions. 

 

For those who have the opportunity to travel to Bayern and to wear Tracht there, it is imperative to know how to wear the Tracht properly so as not to embarrass yourselves, your hosts, and your own Gauverband.

 

What is not included in this Article?

The Trachten of the non-mountainous regions of Bayern and the Trachten of the city folk are not included in this Article.  Not only are they are far too diverse to describe, they are also not included in the Gauverband's Constitution.

 

How will these Guidelines be Updated?

These Guidelines are being maintained under the direction of the Gau Bylaws Committee and the Executive Board.  Any suggestions for changes or questions on the content should be directed to the Gauverband Officers.

 

The Guidelines will be updated on an as-needed basis but no more than every two years for a Delegates Meeting.

 

Every attempt has been made to insure the accuracy of these Guidelines through thorough research.  All variations and nuances of a Tracht cannot possibly be described.  Please feel free to discuss your questions with the Gau Bylaws Committee Chairman or any other Board member.

 

Who may use these Guidelines?

These Guidelines may be used by the member Vereine of the Gauverband Nordamerika and by applicants to the Gauverband Nordamerika as a reference document.  The copyright should be respected, and the Guidelines and Gauverband Nordamerika should be credited if the information is used for any written articles, etc.

 

 

TRACHTLER

 

HATS - TRACHTLER

General:  Trachten hats are green, most commonly velour.  The Hutschmuck or hat ornament (feather or Gamsbart) varies by region and by Verein within the region, although all men within the Verein wear the same hat ornament.  The hat ornament holder is at the choosing of the individual.  For festive occasions, a flower and/or greenery of the wearer's choosing is worn tucked behind the cord on the left side.  The exact placement of the hat ornament also varies by region and by Verein within the region, although all Trachtler within a Verein wear the hat ornament the same way.  Men's hats in all regions are worn "squarely" on the head, i.e., front/back/sides fairly level.

Only Verein pins, Ehren pins, or Gauverband pins are worn on the hat--usually no more than a few and never any plastic pins.  A Trachtenhut should never be used as a "Wanderhut" to display numerous pins.

Protocol:  Men always take their hats off in church or during worship outdoors (except flag carriers/attendants while they are attending the flag or musicians who are playing in a large standing band; seated musicians remove hats).  Otherwise, the hat is worn at all times, indoors and out.  (The hat once was a sign of a free man.)  Men do not wear their hats in their own or someone else's home.  During meals, it is customary to remove the hat if at all practical.

Miesbach: Green Scheibling.  Gamsbart, Roagaspit, Reiherfedern, Schneidhaken; eagle feather is not used in the Miesbach-Tegernsee area.

Werdenfels: Green plush hat, Werdenfelser style, with a Spielhahnfeder, eagle feather, or Gamsbart.

Chiemgau: Chiemgauer Spitzenhut.  Often has upturned side brims.  Hats have tall crown.  Gamsbart or Spielhahnfeder.

Allgäu: Green velour hat in Allgäuer style with Gamsbart, Spielhahnfeder, or (occasionally) eagle feather.  It has a tapered, rounded crown and is called a “Spitz.”

Lechtal/Oberer Lechtal: Lechtaler style hat (green, plush, slightly higher crown than a Miesbacher hat).  Some Vereine wear the Miesbacher hat.  Oberer Lechtal--Eagle feather or Gamsbart.

 

TIES & TIE HOLDERS

General: Two types of ties exist: A large square of mono-colored cloth (usually silk) folded over and held in place at the neck by either a ring or a broach; or a crocheted tie held in place with either a broach (most often used) or a ring (less frequently used).  The crocheted ties are generally the same color within a Verein but the patterns may vary and use of a ribbon woven through the crochet work may vary.  Cloth ties are the same color and fabric within a Verein.  Ties may or may not color coordinate with the ladies Tracht.

Miesbach: Cloth (usually silk in either solid color of blue, red, or green) or crocheted.

Werdenfels: Silk tie (large square) with long fringe - silk is large plaid pattern in blended, not contrasting, colors.  Tie is draped round the neck and pulled through a silver ring at the neckline.  The fringe hangs down past the waistline.  Tie is distinctive to this region.

Chiemgau: Silk in a solid color.  Held in place with broach or ring.  The tie is worn with Festtracht; often no ties are worn with Tanztracht.  If no tie is worn, the man often wears a broach at the neck.

Allgäu: Men do not wear ties.  Shirt is unbuttoned at the top.

Cashmereties with flower prints: Occasionally seen with Lechtaler Tracht

 

LEDERHOSEN

General: Lederhosen in Bayern are black with Stickerei (embroidery) on the flap and legs.  Stickerei is either gold, a shade of green, or multi-colored (seen during the 1930s but almost never seen in Bayern today).  Color of Stickerei is distinctive to a region or to a Verein and should be the same within that Verein.  Minor variations in the "scene" of the Stickerei are acceptable because it is handwork.  Within a Verein, the men typically have the same design on their Lederhosen, although differences are accepted.   The style may be either Kurze (to the knee or slightly shorter) or Bundhosen.  The bottom sides of the kurze Lederhosen tie with wool bands that are the same color as the stitching.  In some parts of the Allgäu, the Lederhosen are well above the knee; the men hit their bare thighs when they Schuhplattl.

"Plattlerhosen" or “Schlaghosen” are rarely seen outside the Chiemgau and are worn only by young dancers.  These Hosen are very fitted on the legs, have no embroidery on the legs (embroidery on the flap only), and are known for their crisp, sharp sound when hit.  Plattlerhosen are not considered true Tracht and remain controversial in Bayern.

Bundhosen may be worn for Schuhplatteln but generally are not in Bayern, mainly because Kurze are easier to plattl in.  However, Bundhosen are worn for non-(Schuhplattler)-dance occasions such as to meetings, a Vereinsabend or Volkstanzabend, etc.  Bundhosen in brown or black are seen with Tiroler Tracht almost exclusively.  The cut of the Hosen and the color and style of the Stickerei depend on the region.  Note that this is only a brief discussion of Bundhosen.

 

VEST

General: Green wool or cloth with red piping.  Pockets are either straight or "Schwalbentaschen."  The back of the vest is either very dark green or black taffeta.  Buttons are silver.  (Only the Lechtaler Tracht has green or wine red vests depending on the Verein.)  A vest chain of the wearer's choosing is worn across the opening near the Quersteg.

In Bayern, no pins of any kind are worn on the vest.  Verein pins are generally worn on the hat; officer pins or Ehren pins are worn on the man's Trachtenjoppe (jacket).

A general rule-of-thumb:  Vests and belts are never worn at the same time in Bayern.

Miesbach: Green with red piping.

Werdenfels: Vests are not worn.

Chiemgau: Vests are not typically worn (rarely for dancing); some Vereine do wear a green vest with red piping for non-dance occasions.  (Vests are worn with Festtracht when Lederhosen are not worn, see “Other Gebirgstracht--Trachtler.”)

Allgäu: Green with red piping.  Vests are optional and not worn by all Vereine.

 

HOSENTRÄGER

General: There are two styles of Hosenträger:  with Quersteg (crosspiece at the chest) and without Quersteg.  The Träger predominantly worn with Kurze have a Quersteg that is embroidered and shows in the opening of the man's vest.  The Träger without a Quersteg are predominantly worn with Bundhosen.  All men within the Verein should wear the same style Träger.  Following describes Hosenträger worn with Kurze:

Miesbach: Black leather with Quersteg embroidered with the Bavarian crest, wearer's initials, or sometimes Federkielstickerei. 

Werdenfels: Colorfully embroidered suspenders and Quersteg -- usually with Edelweiss, Enzian, Alpenrosen; often needlepoint.  Very distinctive to this region.

Chiemgau: Black leather with no embroidery except on the Quersteg -- often Federkielstickerei.  Some Vereine wear brown leather Träger with a black, embroidered Quersteg.

Allgäu: Green with large Edelweiss embroidered on the suspenders and the Quersteg.  Distinctive to this region.  In the Westallgäu, the Hosenträger are similar to those worn in Werdenfels.

 

BELTS

General: In Bayern, vests and belts are not worn together. Within a Verein, the men either all wear or do not wear a belt.  However, the belt itself may differ among the men.  The Stickerei and the design may be at the individual’s discretion.  Often times, a belt is a family heirloom, much as Trachtenschmuck is handed down.

Miesbach: No belt is worn.

Werdenfels: Belt may or may not be worn depending on the Verein.

Chiemgau: Wide belt, usually with Federkielstickerei.  Distinctive to the region.

Allgäu: No belt is worn.

 

SHIRT

General: Shirts are white linen, long sleeved, with vertical pleats in front.  Sleeves are typically worn buttoned at the wrist; may be worn rolled up to dance.  In the Allgäu, sleeves are always rolled up.  In the Chiemgau, the Plattler always has his sleeves rolled up.

 

SOCKS

General: Men's socks are either white or gray with green trim at the top and/or embroidery. Various designs on the foldover at the top and/or the back and/or the sides exist, but all men within a Verein wear the same design.

Miesbach: Either Loferl (half socks, also called Wadlstrümpfe or Hösl) or knee socks.  Socks are made of either white or gray wool with green trim at the folded-over top.

Werdenfels: Gray calf socks with green stripes around the foldover.  Or green and white diamond patterned half socks called Loferl or Pfousen.  Men are barefoot in their shoes.

Chiemgau: Calf socks (called Loiferl) or knee socks with foldover, green stitching.

Allgäu: Gray with green stripes (usually three) at the foldover.  No embroidery except sometimes Edelweiss are embroidered along the foldover.

Berchtesgaden: White or gray calf socks with green decoration.  The decoration is actually a length of crocheted chain that is laid in a pattern and sewn in place.  A tie and tassels at the side top of the sock is distinctive to the region.  There is no foldover at the top of the sock.  The part of the sock worn in the shoe is called "Vorfüss" and is trimmed in green.

 

TRACHTENJOPPE - JACKETS

General: The Trachtenjoppe is worn all the time when the men are not dancing.  Each region has its own distinctive style jacket, and the colors range from light gray to charcoal gray to green-blue, depending on the region.  In most regions, the jackets have Stickerei on the front and Stickerei or appliques on the lapels and cuffs.  Allgäuer jackets (called “Kittl”) have no Stickerei or appliques.  Care should be taken to wear the right type of jacket for the regional Tracht. 

 

OTHER GEBIRGSTRACHT - TRACHTLER

General: Men also wear long black cloth trousers and black socks to funerals or to church or other religious occasions.  The other parts of the Tracht (vest, tie, shirt, hat) remain the same.  See also “Mourning Tracht” and “Folklore.”



 

TRACHTLERINNEN

 

HATS - TRACHTLERIN

General: Hats are green, most commonly velour.  The hat ornament (feather or Gamsbart) varies by region and by Verein within the region, although all the women within the Verein wear the same ornament.  The hat ornament holder is at the choosing of the individual.  For festive occasions, a flower and/or greenery of the wearer's choosing is worn tucked behind the cord on the left side.  The exact placement of the hat ornament also varies by region and by Verein within the region, although all Trachtlerinnen within a Verein wear the hat ornament the same way.  The hats are worn relatively "square" on the head; i.e., front/sides/back are level.  If an elastic band holds the hat in place, the elastic should go around the back of the head (small girls may wear their elastic under their chins).

Only Verein pins, Ehren pins, or Gauverband pins are worn on the hat--usually no more than a few and never any plastic pins.  A Trachtenhut should never be used as a "Wanderhut" to display numerous pins.

Protocol: Hats are worn at all times, including in church.  (Although not all occasions call for a hat, if the hat is worn, it stays on the head as long as a Trachtlerin is wearing her Tracht.)

Miesbach: With the Seidenwasch: Schnurhut - crown is wrapped in silver or gold cording with two Quasten (tassels) which hang over the hat trim in back.  With Leinenwasch, Spensergwand, and Mieder mit dem Almakittl: Green velour, shallow Miesbacher hat, usually with a Gamsbart.  The hat may be worn tilted slightly forward.

Werdenfels: Wide, green plush Werdenfelser style hat with eagle feather.  (A Schnurhut is also worn for very festive occasions—it has gold cord around the crown and gold embroidery on the underside of the brim, and gold tassels.  Possibly worn only by married women.)

Chiemgau: With Festtracht: A Miesbacher-style hat worn back off the forehead or tipped back, sitting almost on the crown of the head. Eagle feather.  Or--A Chiemgauer hat, a tall crowned hat, is also worn with an eagle feather; the brim is sometimes turned up slightly at the sides.  For dancing and less festive occasions - sometimes no hat is worn.  See hair for a discussion of the Gretlfrisur - a style distinctive to this region.

Allgäu: Allgäuer style with eagle feather.  The hat is worn off the forehead, on the crown of the head.  Not all Vereine wear hats all the time—it is occasion dependent; the more festive the occasion, the more likely the hat is worn.

Lechtal/Oberer Lechtal: Lechtaler or Miesbacher style, depending on the Verein; with eagle feather.

 

MIEDER, MIEDER PINS, MIEDER CHAIN, MIEDERSTECKER, COINS and CHARMS

General: Black, “Steif” or Halbsteif” (stiff or half-stiff) or velvet.  The bottom "flaps" of the Mieder are worn under the skirt.  Silver chain and silver hooks.  The wearer may choose her own Miederstecker (holds the end of the Mieder chain and is woven through the chain on the front of the Mieder) and Mieder pins (for the garland, if worn).  All women within a Verein need not wear the same jewelry or the same amount of jewelry.

Miederstecker: Many types of Miederstecker are available -- ranging from simple silver only to silver with large "head" with gold filigree work and semi-precious stones.

Garlands/Mieder Pins: Mieder pins hold the garland in place.  The garlands (how many loops, length of loops, whether or not a charm is worn at the bottom of the loop) may vary within the group but usually look similar to one another.  Garlands are generally worn only with Festtracht and not when dancing.

Coins/Charms: Coins and charms appropriate to Tracht are chosen by the wearer and worn on the Mieder chain.  The number of coins/charms worn may vary within the group; there is no set minimum/maximum number.  (Note: this does not constitute a “Charivari.”)

Miesbach: Same as General but Mieder is not velvet.

Werdenfels: Same as General

Chiemgau: Same as “General” but Mieder is not velvet. The garland is formed into very short and numerous loops and may be worn for dancing.  Typically, the ladies wear numerous coins and charms on the Mieder chain.

Allgäu: Same as “General” – Mieder is most often velvet.  No garland is worn.  Only one strand of Mieder chain.  Typically, the ladies wear few coins and charms on the Mieder chain.  The bottom "flaps" of the Mieder are worn on top of the skirt.

 

FLOWERS IN THE MIEDER

General: Women wear only real flowers in the front of the Mieder.  The flowers may be any flower from the garden and need not be the same type or color among the women.  Additional greenery may be any type of fern. 

Allgäu: Either no flowers or just one flower with a little greenery.

 

SKIRTS, SPENSER (or Janker), SCHMIESEL

General: The skirt and Spenser (sometimes called a Janker, it is the “jacket” worn under the Mieder--only the long sleeves are visible) are the same color and fabric.  The Spenser is worn with Festtracht and Tanztracht, although not for every occasion and not in every region.  The Spenser has long sleeves that are gathered between the elbow and the shoulder.  The skirt has 0-3 bands of black ribbon near the hemline (velvet or silk, depending on the region); a zig-zag edge at the hemline is also seen on some Trachten.  Sometimes the underside of the hem is a different color.  However, all skirts within one Verein have the same details. (Because so many variations exist, even within a particular region, no attempt will be made here to explain all the details.  Do not use this as your sole guideline--care and more research are needed to make the skirt and Janker properly.)

"Bell" of the skirt: The bell of the skirt when turning should be the same among the women.  This is accomplished (in large part) by making the hem depth the same; by making the fabric width the same, and making the distance from the bottom of the hem to the floor the same for all women.

Length: Rule of thumb is "1 Masskrug vom Boden" or the height of a Masskrug (1 liter beer stein) from the floor (about 8” or 20 cm, measured without shoes on).  The Werdenfelser, Chiemgauer, and Allgäuer Trachten skirt lengths are to the bottom of the calf or a bit longer.  With all Trachten, the women wear their skirts the same distance from the floor.

Schmiesel: The Schmiesel (also called a Vorhemd or front shirt) is a white linen dickey with lace across the front.  It is worn under the Spenser/Janker (sometimes over it, depending on the way the garments are cut/designed)—only the lace on the front shows.  No blouse is worn when the Janker is worn, so the Schmiesel serves the "visual" purpose of the blouse.  A pin/broach may be worn in the center of the Schmiesel as decoration (it does not hold the shawl in place).

Miesbach: Blue, red, and green are the predominant colors.  The skirt is pleated at the waist but pleats are not pressed; length is 1 Masskrug vom Boden (about 8” or 22 cm, measured without shoes on), fabric is wool (mono-color) or silk (mono-color or woven-in pattern).  With Leinenwasch (linen shawl/apron), only wool skirts/Spenser; with Seidenwasch (silk shawl/apron), either wool or silk skirt/Spenser. 

Werdenfels: The color is usually a shade of red or blue.  Skirts are pleated but pleats are not pressed.  Length: about bottom of the calf.

Chiemgau: The color is usually black but red and green are also worn.  The skirt is gathered.  Length: about bottom of the calf.  The bell of the skirt is distinctive -- it goes almost straight out from the waist with only a very small hem that "bells" only slightly when the girl turns.  Distinctive to the region.  A Spenser/Janker is worn with Festtracht but may not be worn with Tanztracht.

Allgäu: No Spenser/Janker is worn.  Majority of skirts are gray but red, black, or blue are worn by a very few Vereine.  Skirts are gathered and are at least calf length.

Oberer Lechtal: No Spenser/Janker is worn.  See more under "Shawls, Aprons, Shawl Pins."

Lechtal: Spenser/Janker is worn. 

 

SHAWLS, APRONS, SHAWL PINS

General: The shawl and apron are nearly always made of the same fabric, usually pastel-colored silk with a woven-in floral pattern (see exceptions below).  Aprons are only slightly shorter than the skirt.  Shawl pins are at the choice of the wearer.  Front shawl pins are nearly always stickpins with acorn or other heads of the wearer’s choice.  Pins to secure the apron to the skirt are almost never seen.

Taschentuch: Sometimes a white cotton/linen handkerchief (with or without white lace and white embroidery) folded into a triangle is worn on the front of the apron.  It can be secured in place with a small pin on the BACKside of the handkerchief (i.e., not visible from the front).  The purpose of the handkerchief is to keep the coins from rubbing against the apron and either snagging or discoloring the apron.  Wearing the handkerchief is at the discretion of the individual.

Miesbach: Leinenwasch (linen wear) or Seidenwasch (silk wear).  Both are Festtracht; Seidenwasch is considered more festive.  Within Vereine in Bayern, the women may own one or both Trachten, and the occasion dictates which is worn.  The front shawl pins are nearly always the long stickpins with acorn or other decorative head of the wearer’s choice.

Leinenwasch: White linen with cotton lace inserts or openwork embroidery.  Aprons may have horizontal pleats.  Lace/openwork embroidery pattern and the amount of lace/embroidery may vary within the group.  (Linen aprons are made the same length as the skirt and then shrink with time to be slightly shorter.  Apron lengths will vary slightly among the women due to age of fabric.)  Apron ties either at the center back or the left side towards the back.

Seidenwasch: Silk fabric (pastels only) with a woven-in flower pattern, usually large flowers.  The shawl may or may not have fringe*.  A white linen triangle edged with lace is placed beneath the shawl and pinned into place.  The long side is folded several times and attached to the Schmiesel and Mieder with stickpins.  Apron ties at the left side towards the back.

Werdenfels: Only silk shawls and aprons, pastels only.  Shawls have very long fringe (distinctive to the region).  Apron ties at the left side towards the front.

Chiemgau: Only silk shawls and aprons, almost always light blue.  Shawls have fringe.  The apron strings hold the bottom of the shawl (the "V" in the back at the waist) against the body (i.e., the shawl does not "fly out" when turning).  The shawl is loosely gathered along the shoulders (the entire sleeve is visible up to the shoulder) and secured in the back below the neck with a broach.

Allgäu: No shawl.  The apron is silk in either grass green, dark red, or dark green; no woven-in pattern (except in two Vereine where there is a small flower pattern); ties in back.  Only one Verein in the Allgäu wears a white silk apron and fringed shawl; one other wears a light pink silk apron and fringed shawl.  The shawls are worn only for very festive occasions.)

Cashmere, Flower-Printed Shawls (with silk or wool fringe) and/or Aprons: These are seen in photos of the time period early 1900s to about the 1940s.  Matching shawl/apron sets but are not worn by most modern-day Vereine in Bayern.  In the Obere Lechgau and the Lechgau, women do wear cashmere, flower-printed shawls with fringe but with solid-colored silk aprons.  If the skirt is gray, the apron is dark green (the Allgäuer influence).  If the skirt is red, the apron is pastel colored with a woven-in pattern.  In the Chiemgau, young girls wear white cashmere aprons and shawls with roses on them.

 

*Whether a fringed shawl is considered Miesbacher Tracht or not is a contentious issue.  Some purists believe the Miesbacher Tracht does not have a fringed shawl; others believe it can. 

 

BLOUSES

General: Blouses are white linen with short, puffy sleeves (either puffy or flat sleeves are worn in the Allgäu).  The cotton lace around the neckline and at the bottom of the sleeve is at the choosing of the individual.  The neckline is squared except in the Allgäu, where the neckline can also be either squared or rounded.  If the Spenser/Janker is worn, no blouse is worn (see section on “Spenser, Janker, Schmiesel”).

 

STOCKINGS

General: Women wear white, knitted stockings.  The pattern knitted into the stockings may vary within a Verein.  The stockings may be either panty hose or long stockings held up with garters.  Knee socks are not worn including with Tirolean Tracht.  In North America: White opaque nylon stockings should be avoided but are acceptable as long as they are not patterned; sheer stockings should be avoided.

Miesbach: White, knitted stockings with Tanztracht and Festtracht.  (Black stockings are worn only with Schalk and Kirchagwand – see “Other Gebrigstracht-Trachtlerinnen.”)

Werdenfels: White, knitted stockings.

Chiemgau: White, knitted stockings with Tanztracht.  (Black stockings with Kirchentracht.)

Allgäu: White, knitted stockings (predominantly).  One or two Vereine wear black stockings.

 

UNDERGARMENTS

General: Undergarments (slips and bloomers) are white linen with a ruffle trim at the bottom of each.  No ribbons or other decoration. 

Slips: The slip is made the same width and nearly the same length as the skirt to give the "bell" more body when the woman turns.  It is also proper to wear a second "modesty slip" which is straighter and does not go up when turning, and is visible when turning.  In the Allgäu, the modesty slip is worn in place of bloomers.  No modesty slip is ever worn with Chiemgauer Tracht.

Bloomers:  Bloomers are loose fitting and extend to the top of the knee.  The exception is the Chiemgauer Tracht, where the bloomers are mid-thigh and fairly fitted.  In the Allgäu, the modesty slip is worn in place of bloomers.

When standing, slips and bloomers should not show.

 

OTHER GEBIRGSTRACHT - TRACHTLERINNEN

Two Tanztrachten exist which are worn only in the Miesbach region:

  • Spensergwand: A two-piece Tracht with the bodice a solid color wool or linen; long- or short-sleeved; no gathering on the sleeves. The neckline is rounded or squared. It buttons down the front with silver buttons.  Around the waist is the Schössl (flap that covers waistband) with the back flap stiffened and laid in folds or waves.  The skirt may be either solid-colored or horizontally striped in 4-5 complimentary colors; no ribbon is worn at the hemline (note: this skirt may also be worn with the Mieder mit dem Almakittl described below).  The apron can be made of white linen with lace inserts; another white fabric with no lace; or silk, linen, or other fabric in other colors but without lace.  The apron ties at the side or at the side towards the back.  The green velour hat with Gamsbart is worn.  Either lace-up shoes or shoes with a strap and buckle can be worn.  The Spensergwand is typically worn on Sundays, lesser holidays, and less festive dances.  The Spensergwand is worn almost predominantly for Preisplatteln in regions that wear the Miesbacher Tracht.  It is also worn in some Gauverbände to meetings.
  • Mieder mit dem Almakittl: Very similar to the Miesbacher Tracht with Weisswasch (linen shawl/apron) except that the skirt is wool either in a solid color or horizontally stripped with 4-5 complimentary colors.  The Spenser/Janker is wool, usually solid colored, in one of the colors of the skirt (if stripped) or the same color as the solid-colored skirt.  The Spenser is short sleeved with the sleeves gathered and trimmed with white lace.  The Mieder with chains, charms, flowers, etc., is worn over the Spenser/Janker.  A green velour hat with Gamsbart is worn.  This Tracht is worn to festive dances but not weddings.

 

Kirchagwand: Both married and single women in the Miesbach area wear the Kirchagwand.  This Tracht consists of a bodice and skirt in a dark-colored silk or wool; long sleeves; high necked or even with a small, stand-up collar; Spenser has Schössl; buttons in front with silver buttons.  Silk apron in pastel color; black Kirchahut (similar to Miesbacher hat except the crown is smaller and somewhat pointed).  Black stockings, black tied shoes.  This Tracht is never worn for dancing.  In some areas around Miesbach, a similar Kirchagwand is worn but with a large, long-fringed shawl and a Schnurhut.

 

Halbtracht or Tanztracht: On some occasions, the ladies do not wear the Spenser/Janker or do not wear the Spenser/Janker and shawl.  This is called either Halbtracht or Tanztracht and is worn for less festive occasions, dance practice, or meetings.  This is true for Miesbacher Tracht, Chiemgauer Tracht, and Werdenfelser Tracht.  If the shawl is worn, the hat is worn.  If the shawl is not worn, the hat may or may not be worn, depending on the preference of the Verein (this custom varies by region and Verein in Bayern).  But if a hat is worn, it is worn as long as the lady is wearing her Tracht.

 

Married women wear the following Trachten, described here only briefly

 

Miesbach: Der Schalk: This is first worn on a woman’s wedding day.  The bodice and skirt are made of black silk with a woven-in flower pattern.  Ruffles and lace extend around the neckline both front and back.  The upper arm is gathered.  The Schalktuch is silk and laid on top of the white linen, ruffle-edged cloth.  Both are worn under the bodice.  The apron and Schalktuch are made of the same pastel-colored silk.  The Schnurhut has a crown wrapped in silver or gold cord.  The underside of the brim is embroidered.  Two silver or gold Quasten (tassels) hang over the edge of the hat in back.  Black stockings, Zeugstieferl (high laced boots) or tied shoes.  Flowers in the bodice and at the tassels on the hat.

 

Chiemgau: Röcklgwand: Worn by married women.  The skirt and bodice are black silk.  The bodice has long sleeves and is square-cut with ruffles, lace, and embroidery all around the neckline; the upper arm is smocked; there are silver buttons down the front. The “shawl” worn under the bodice is white silk with gold embroidery; the apron may be pastel silk.  In some areas, the “shawl” under the bodice is not embroidered and matches the apron.  Flowers are worn in the bodice in front. The Preanerhut is a short “cylinder” style hat with richly embroidered underside of brim and two gold tassels on one or both sides of the hat.  The hat “ties” at the back of the neck and two long black bands that are heavily embroidered in black hang to the hemline of the skirt.  Black wool stockings, white linen undergarments, black shoes.

 

Unmarried women in the Chiemgau wear the Festtagstracht described in the individual sections above but wear the Preanerhut and black stockings for church.

 

Werdenfels: Kirchentracht: Worn by married women.  The hat is either an Otterhaube (otter fur hat) or a Schnurhut (see description under “Hats-Trachtlerinnen”).  The dress is silk in a dark color.  The shawl has fringe and the complimentary apron is also made of silk, both in light colors, often muted plaids.  A white lace insert is worn on the front of the bodice and held in place with broaches.  No flowers are worn.  White knitted stockings and black shoes.

 

Other Regions: No unique Gebirgstracht is worn in the Allgäu either for church or by married women. In areas of the Lechtal, the Miesbacher Schalk is often seen, since the Lechtaler Tracht is heavily influenced by the Miesbacher Tracht.

 

 

TRACHTLER AND TRACHTLERINNEN

 

SHOES – TRACHTLER and TRACHTLERINNEN

General: Trachtenschuhe are black for both men and women.  Styles include shoes with buckles, flaps, laces, or straps.  All the men within one Verein should wear the same style shoe; all the women in the Verein should wear the same style shoe.  In North America: Although Trachtenschuhe should be worn, other black shoes may be worn, including for Preisplatteln according to the current Judging Rules.  If non-Trachtenschuhe are worn (either because of availability or price), the shoes should give the appearance of Trachtenschuhe.  However, both Trachtler and Trachtlerinnen should be encouraged to wear the proper shoes.

Miesbach:

Men: Halbschuhe (a low cut shoe) with laces: Worn with knee socks. Or Stiefelschuhe (short boots) with laces: Worn with calf socks. 

Women: Shoes with laces: Worn with silk shawl/apron, linen shawl/apron, Spensergwand, or Mieder mit dem Almakittl.  Shoes with strap and buckle: Worn with linen shawl/apron, Spensergwand, or Mieder mit dem Almakittl.

Werdenfels:

Men: Trachten shoes: Shoes tie in center; shoes often have flaps.

Women: Slip-on shoes with ornamental silver buckle or shoe with a double strap and button closure.

Chiemgau:

Men: Trachten shoes: Shoes tie at the sides.

Women: Generally, Trachten shoes that tie at the sides (like the men wear); also, strap and buckle.

Allgäu:

Men: Trachten shoes that tie in the center.

Women: Slip-on shoes with ornamental silver buckle.

 

JEWELRY – TRACHTLER and TRACHTLERINNENPins (Vest and Hat); Necklaces; Earrings; Watches; Charivari; Knives; Other

 

General:  Jewelry, or as it is commonly called Trachtenschmuck (whether expensive or reproduction) should be consistent with the time period of our Tracht (i.e., a style that is or imitates closely the style of jewelry worn in the late 1800s/early 1900s in Bayern/Tirol).  Jewelry and accessories should not be faddish or modern-looking.  No restrictions are made regarding the type of metal used, although it is understood that Trachtenschmuck is predominantly silver-colored with gold used as an accent. Anhänger or charms may be made of many different materials (horn, claws, hair, silver, stones, etc.) and these are likewise unrestricted except to the extent that consistency with tradition and good taste be followed.

Plastic pins should not be worn anywhere on the Tracht, including the hat and the vest (see “Hats” and “Vests”).

 

Necklaces: The Halskette is the standard necklace worn with nearly every Tracht in Bayern.  It has at least five rows of chain and a front clasp that is either oval, square, or oblong.  It fits closely around the neck.  The Florschnalle is an older neck ornament and consists of a black silk cloth wrapped around the neck and held in place with an ornamental buckle/clasp.  The Halskette or Florschnalle worn is at the choosing (and budget) of the wearer.

Young girls often wear a silver chain with a coin or other appropriate charm.  They occasionally wear a black velvet ribbon, but this is not typical.

In North America: Vereine should strive to have their ladies acquire a Halskette.  A silver chain with a coin or other appropriate charm is an acceptable alternative to a Halskette.

The black ribbon (velvet or otherwise) with a coin or charm is not appropriately worn with any Tracht except the Allgäuer, although it is allowed within the Preisplatteln rules of the Gauverband Nordamerika.

A small, simple cross on a chain (either silver or gold) may also be worn along with the Halskette.

In the Allgäu, a silver coin or an Edelweiss necklace is worn either on a silver chain or a black ribbon.

Earrings: Most earrings are silver with or without gold accents.  Garnets are the most prevalent stone.  Many types of Trachten earrings exist and they can be either post earrings or loop through the ear.  The earrings worn are at the choosing of the woman.  Some examples of unsuitable earrings: cuckoo clocks, beer steins, dancers.  Only one pair of earrings should be worn at a time.

Earrings for men are not considered proper.  Although old-time Bavarians did at one time wear an earring, in Bayern today, men’s earrings are not widely accepted.  (NOTE:  If an earring(s) is worn during Preisplatteln, judges may take off point(s) but only if the earring(s) detract from the overall appearance of the group.)  In the Allgäu (particularly in the Ostallgäu), men wear an earring in their left ear—this dates back to when the earring was worn to ward off diseases of the eye.

Charivari: Men may wear a Charivari of their own choosing.  Its original purpose was as a watch chain, so a pocket watch should be worn.  The style of chain, number of coins and charms, and use of a pocket watch may vary among the men.  The Charivari may be worn on the vest or Lederhosen, at the choosing of the individual.  All men within a Verein do not have to wear a Charivari.  Women do not wear any type of Charivari, although a small pocket watch that is tucked into the Mieder is seen in old drawings.  Note that women wear coins and charms that are very similar to those worn by the men but women wear them on their Mieder chain.

Watches: Wristwatches (because they did not exist in the late 1800s) should not be worn by either men or women.  Taschenuhren (pocket watches) may be worn.

Knives: Men should carry a knife in the knife pocket of their Lederhosen.  The length, quality, and knife handle are at the discretion of the wearer.

Broaches: With the Chiemgauer Tracht, women wear a broach on the front center of their Schmiesel as decoration (does not hold the shawl in place).

Other: Rings are at the choosing of the individuals but should be appropriate to the Tracht (wedding rings excluded).  Bracelets are not worn.

 

COSMETICS

General: Women do not wear make-up or nail polish.  At most, a touch of blush and a very light lipstick are acceptable.  Our Tracht is from the late 1800s when women did not wear make-up and this convention is still practiced in the Bavarian Trachtenvereine today.

Note: Men do not wear make-up.

 

HAIR – TRACHTLER and TRACHTLERINNEN

General: Women wear their hair (or a hairpiece) in a Schopf (bun), and the Schopf is adorned with two or more Haarnadeln (hair pins) or a Haarpfeil (a somewhat larger, more costly hair ornament).  The number and style of the Haarnadeln is at the choosing of the individual and need not be the same within the group.

No hair should be hanging down -- no spit curls, locks of hair around the ears or eyes, and no bangs.  Hair should be off the neck and worn in a Schopf.  The Schopf should be a bun or knot on the back of the head and may be achieved through braiding or twisting the hair or using a chignon foundation.  (Note: In Bayern, short hair worn with Tracht is frowned on.)

Only very young girls in some regions (Chiemgau, Berchtesgaden) wear their hair in long braids with ribbons on the ends.

With the Chiemgauer Tracht, women most often wear a Gretlfrisur, which is a large braid wrapped around the head.  At the nape of the neck, she wears a Haarspange (a wide barrette or hair ornament) that is predominantly gold with filigree work and stones.  The Haarspange is distinctive to this region and the design is at the choosing of the individual.  With the Gretlfrisr, the woman often does not wear a hat.

With the Allgäuer Tracht, women wear their hair off the neck but often have bangs or a bit of hair around their faces.  Short hair is often seen in pictures of today’s Vereine.

Men's hair should not hang down on the collar.  Mustaches and beards are acceptable.

Neither men nor women should have unnatural hair colors or wild, faddish hairstyles.

 

MOURNING TRACHT

General: This section gives only an overview of the many variations on mourning Tracht.  Tracht worn on religious occasions varies by the occasion and may include some or all of the items below.

Men wear long black cloth trousers, black socks, black ties.  A belt (Ranzen) is not worn with trousers. Men and women do not wear hat ornaments or flowers or greenery on their hats; sometimes greenery is worn without the flowers.  Women sometimes do not wear flowers or greenery in their Mieder.  Women may wear black silk shawls and aprons and black stockings.  Jewelry is limited or not worn; sometimes a black cord is worn instead of the Mieder chain.  Note:  Black armbands are sometimes worn by Gebirgsschuetzen groups but not by Trachtler and Trachtlerinnen.

 

 

FOLKLORE (Non-Tracht)

This section is being included because nearly every Verein in the Gauverband Nordamerika has a Vereinsdirndl that is worn for less formal dance performances and the men often alter their Tracht for outdoor occasions. There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about wearing Dirndls or “dressing down” but Trachtlerinnen and Trachtler should recognize the difference between Tracht and folklore. Here is a brief discussion:

Dirndls:  The everyday wear of early Bavarians has been adapted over time to be a dress that symbolizes “being Bavarian.”  The Dirndl is not a Tracht.  The Dirndl was at one time worn daily as a work dress. Over the years, the Dirndl has undergone changes such as being worn long as an evening or wedding dress; being made of fabrics other than cotton; using zippers rather than buttons, etc.  These changes classify the Dirndl more as a fashion garment.  It is probably more appropriate to say that the Dirndl is a “folklore” garment: Its roots are in the past, but it changes over time.  Thus, it does not fit the narrow definition of Tracht and should NEVER be topped off with a Trachtenhut.

The Dirndl takes on many different styles but can be broken into two broad categories: It can be either a “mode” or fashion garment or it can be “stilecht” or in keeping with tradition, i.e., folklore.  A Dirndl that is “stilecht” is made of natural fibers, does not have a zipper (it has buttons or hooks and eyes), and is made in colors/patterns that are in keeping with the colors and color/pattern combinations worn at the turn of the century.  Polyester fabrics and machine embroidery anywhere on a Dirndl should be avoided if the Dirndl is to be “stilecht.”

Each Verein may set its own rules about the accessories worn with a Dirndl and the hairstyle worn.  But if a Verein wants to be “Treu dem guten alten Brauch,” it should consider that hair worn off the neck and a minimal use of cosmetics is in keeping with a “stilechte” Dirndl.  Since the Dirndl is folklore, this is an opportunity for a woman to wear her folklore jewelry such as a Charivari (either apron pin or apron chain) and other jewelry items such as bracelets, necklaces, or earrings that have a “Trachten flavor” but which are not authentic to the Gebirgstracht.

Men: Tracht should always be worn in its entirety.  In a Verein that wears Miesbacher Tracht, for instance, when the men do not wear their ties or the vests, they are no longer wearing Tracht—they are wearing a “Bavarian flavor” or folklore outfit.  Wearing a Miesbacher Tracht without a vest but with a tie?  Again, folklore.  When not wearing a Tracht, it would be better if the men would not wear a Trachtenhut but instead substitute another Alpine-style, non-Trachtenhut.  It is a subtle distinction, but one that should be known.

Checked Shirts: Men in Bayern do wear checked shirts with Lederhosen, but they do not typically dance while wearing them (worn for an evening at the Wirtshaus, visiting friends, running errands or working around the house).  And they do not wear Trachtenhut but instead substitute another Alpine-style, non-Trachtenhut.  Again, you are not wearing Tracht any longer.

Rautenmuster: No articles of clothing (such as shirts or ties) should be worn that have a Rautenmuster (blue and white diamond pattern) on them.  It is also poor etiquette to have a Rautenmuster handkerchief dangling from your Lederhosen.

The men and women within a Verein should be dressed similarly—either both in Tracht or both in folklore, but mixing the two is poor etiquette.

 

 

WRITTEN SOURCES OF INFORMATION

 

Lechgau Chronik

Loisachtal Chronik

Oberer Lechgau Chronik

Oberländer Trachtenvereinigung Chronik

100 Jahre Gauverband I (Chronik)

Bayrisch Land-Bayrisch Gwand

Das Jahrhundertfest der bayerischen Trachtler

Hans Seestaller: Sein Leben und Wirkenand Trachten in Bayern: Miesbach both by Toni Demmelmeier

Volkstrachten in Bayernby Paul Ernst Rattelmueller

Oberbayern: Lebendiges BrauchtumBy Roland Ackermann

Pfaffenwinkler Trachtenbuchby Irmgard Gierl

Miesbach Trachtenbuchby Irmgard Gierl

Vom echten bayerischen Lebenby Simon Aiblinger

History and Overview of the Allgäuer Tracht – paper presented by Werner Zodel, Vorstand of the Allgäuer Gauverband, reprint obtained by Lloyd Wevang

Die Gebirgstrachten im oberen Allgäuby Anton Köcheler

Alter bäuerlicher Schmuckby Gislind M. Ritz

100 Jahre Trachtenverein Miesbachand Miesbach: Wiege der Trachtenbewegung, both by Dr. Gerhard Maier

Lebendige Tracht in Tirolby Gertrud Pesendorfer

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