Putting on a habit
Traditional costume in the villages of the Amöneburger Basin in around 1940
Exquisite needlework and coarse everyday wear: the sartorial traditions in Catholic villages of the Marburg region are a multifaceted topic. This is also why the exhibits and displays cover a wide ground. In a large display case, two young village beauties pose for a town photographer in their Sunday best, with gleaming silk aprons, elaborately embroidered, and eye-catching colourful fichus. Right next to them, we encounter a woman doing stable chores in her worn work clothes. These contrasting images give a vivid impression of the fact that the way people dress cannot be properly understood without some knowledge of their life and working conditions. A video station shows a recording from the last wedding in Catholic folk costume in Schröck near Marburg in 1965. Why wearing traditional costume may have helped you gain employment as a maid in Marburg is explained in a listening station, which invites the visitors to take a seat and gain insight into the living and working conditions of young women from the villages, who had to negotiate the urban space and lifestyle that was completely alien to them.
The Hessenpark Open Air Museum has over the years acquired a valuable collection of traditional Catholic dress from the Marburg region, which is presented here. A church scene recreated by the entrance provides a suitable frame: 17 mannequins sit on old church benches from the Catholic parish church of St. Mary’s in Roßdorf near Amöneburg. The large number of faithfully compiled traditional dress ensembles is both impressive and quite unique.