Schwalm Costume – The Shoe Buckles

The Schwalm buckle shoes were closed with buckles. There were different buckles for special uses.
unterschiedliche Schuhschnallen
For everyday life women wore pearl buckles. On the surface of these buckles, there was a beady decoration which was created at the foundry.
Perlschnalle
On Sundays, holidays and special festivities the coloured “Eckenschnallen” (corner buckles) were worn. They were the same for men and women, the only difference being in the size. The buckle maker soldered pieces of copper sheet (also as heart or tulip shapes) or added copper rivets. Also the remaining brass areas were decorated with fine chiseling.
bunte Eckenschnalle
In mourning or for grave occasions, oval buckles (also called “mourning buckles”, “round buckles” or “plain buckles”) were worn. These buckles had holes on each side. Women´s oval buckles had 12 round holes, men´s oval buckles had 8, not always round holes.
Trauerschnalle für Frauen
The outside ear of the shoe was turned as wide as possible so to still be able to slide through the heart of the buckle
äußeres Ohr, durchgesteckt
and then the ear was folded so that the tip of the ear was lying on the opposite side of the shoe tongue. Thereby the tip of the heart clawed into the ear.
äußeres Ohr, eingeschlagen
The inside ear was passed through the buckle. The tongue of the buckle bored through the ear and positioned it
inneres Ohr, durchgesteckt
so that the ear was draped at the outside of the shoe.
Remember, the Schwalm shoe fits either the left or right foot. This buckle treatment meant that no matter which foot the shoe was worn on, the ear could be draped to the outside of the foot.
drapiertes Ohr
In mourning the inside ear was only passed through the first part of the buckle. The ear part was then laid under the other side of the buckle.
inneres Ohr, untergesteckt

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