1 / 2005

The Netherlands - Fisherman's wife bridal clog - late 19th century

If a young fisherman on the former island of Marken fancied a girl whom he would like to marry, he would carve and decorate a pair of wooden shoes for her. Acceptance of these clogs by the girl meant acceptance of the engagement. The construction of a pair elaborately carved shoes could take up to 125 hours. The future bride would wear them only around the time of the wedding and on her wedding day. After the wedding they were placed under the alcovebed as a reminder of that special occasion. The above clog however is carved with the name Volendam, which is a fisherman's village on the mainland coast of Holland just opposite Marken. It was therefore probably made by an amorous islander for a girl of Volendam.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland