Man and woman from South Beveland. The shape of the woman’s hat shows that they are Roman Catholics.
Woman 19 x 9 x 6.5 cm
Man 19 x 6 x 6 cm
Date when acquired
The Netherlands, A present from my parents.
Plastic with movable arms and legs and eyes. The man has moulded plastic hair, whilst the woman has a roll of blonde hair above her forehead.
The woman has a highly starched white lace square-shaped hat with wings standing out from the sides of her head. At the sides of her head by her temples are square gold ornaments (kissers).
She is wearing a long black skirt and three-quarter-sleeved blouse made of linen. Under the blouse she is wearing a cotton floral bib (kraplap) with pink and green flowers. Around her shoulders is a shawl made of the same material which is tucked in to the waistband of her apron at the front. Her apron is made of black and white linen woven in stripes of geometrical forms. On her feet are the typical hand-carved plain wooden clogs.
The man is wearing his “Sunday Best” suit, which comes from ca. 1905. This is a black linen suit with a blue and white striped vest underneath it. Around his waist is a wide cummerbund which has two brass studs on it. On his head is a typical flat cap with a little peak at the front made of the same material as his suit. He is wearing clogs on his feet, too.
Around the necks of both the man and woman are red bands with a gold spiral hanging down at the front. Possibly they represent the coral chokers (edelkraal) worn in the Netherlands even though they are made of material.
Zeeland is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south-western region of the country. Originally, Zeeland covering the large delta of three large rivers (Maas, Rhine and Scheldt) consisted of a lot of islands and because the people were separated by water, each island developed its own typical costume. From the Middles Ages onwards, the islands became connected by dams and land reclamation projects; however, the differences between the costumes did not disappear.
The most distinctive feature of Zeeland’s costume are the large white lace caps. From the onset of the Protestant Reformation (16th century), the Dutch population became divided into Protestants (about two-thirds) and Roman Catholics (ca. one-third). To show their religious differences, the Protestant women on the former islands North and South Beveland wear shell-shaped caps, while Roman-Catholic women wear square-shaped ones like the one on this female doll. The hats are typically decorated with square gold kissers at the side of the head (see Netherlands I text).
The woman is wearing one version of the South Beveland costume. The other version is an even more colourful costume with blue skirt and bodice, striped apron, checked bib and orange plaid scarf. The workday clothes for men consisted of brown trousers with a red and white striped jacket.
Source(s) of information
Picture of Protestant hat: Zeeland – protestant: blog.seniorennet.nl