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Batch CCXCI. Schwarzwald, Thursday October 19, 2017 NO. 47
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The Straw Top Hat

Timeless Traditions

© Sebastian Wehrle

Whoever hears the word “Black Forest” thinks instinctively of the renowned cuckoo clock and sees pass before their spiritual eyes the hustle and bustle of the “Fasnet period” (or generally speaking: Fasching, Carnival or a time in which to dress up and celebrate all sorts of traditions). Besides this tradition, the beautiful community of Schönwald in the Black Forest-Baar area celebrates another one: cylindrical straw hats, which were worn by women in imitation of the modern French top hats. When straw weaving was introduced, headpieces became increasingly inventive, and – especially when this craft first began – were often created by the whole family at home.

In Schönwald and the surrounding communities, the said top hat was even more popular than its famous relative: the Bollenhut. Also worn on holidays, it adorned the female wearers, complementing their flattering traditional dress.

Over the course of the past decades, the role of traditional dress has increasingly declined, whereby it is now being revived (key word: fast-moving age, return to values and traditions). If we consider here that the original word stem from the Old High German traht means as much as “that what is worn”, one may casually formulate “tradition” as “that what should always be worn again and again” – for not only this photo shows that this tradition dresses exceptionally.

* Photo: Photographer Sebastian Wehrle from Freiamt and fashion designer Jochen Scherzinger from Gütenbach are the creators of the Fabulous Black Forest picture series, which showcases the Straw Top Hat in such a unique way.

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