German Boys' Headwear: Alpine Shepherd Beanies

Figure 1.--Here two German boys, probably brothers, look to be at some kind of recreatiinal park with log buildings, perhps a Black Forrest attraction. Notice their beanie caps. We rarely see city boys earing these caps, espcially in suits. They were more associated with shepherd boys in Alpine areas. Pergaps the park sold thm to visitors. They are more associated with Switzerland, but we also see them in Germany and Austria. The snapshot is undated, but may have been taken about 1940.

We notice boys in Alpine areas, especially shepherd boys, wearing brightly colored beanies. We are not sure what they were called in the Alpine areas. Perhaps our German readers will know. We notice them mostly in Switzerland, but also see them in Austria and Germany. Some were done in colored sections, often with red an importnt part of the color combinations. Others were one in solid colors with embrodered Alpine designs such an Edelweiss. Most of the images show these caps ir rural areas, often worn by boys herding goats and other livestock. This is alittle surprising because they do not seem a very practical cap without a brim or ear flaps for weather th boys might encounterwhile outdoors carrying for livestok. We have also found a few impages of city boys wearing them in Grmany, even boys dressed up in suits. We suggest this was primarily boys in Bavaria and other southern states. They were also worn with Tracht. Men would wear Alpine hatsand boys these beanies. After Wotld war II these beanies generally disappeared, at keast in Gemany. Boys wering Tracht tended to wear the Alpone hats like their fathers. Today if you do an internet search for 'Alpine beabis' what cones up is mostly stocking caps,an indicator as to how these beanies hve gone out of style.


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Created: March 5, 2002
Last updated: 4:31 PM 6/22/2011