My wife, daughters and grandaughters have returned to wearing their head covered to Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary and Stations of the Cross. Now I wonder if I can get them to wear the style of coif from our ansestral region... Hmm. These pictures cover the south west of France, Bretagne and the coastal areas of the Pays de Loire.

I present some prints and photos of French women wearing their tradional coifs.
Right...Bretagne Grande Coiffe also called a Cornet.
This might be worn at Weddings, feasts, any special occasion.

Left, A native of the country from Beuzec, Lanriec or Trégunc.
Below more Bretagne coifs

From the Pays de Retz, a region on the west coast of France, south of the Loire.
Machecoul below...

...and Pornic Coifs right.

Below, A print from Racinette showing traditional headress of the French women of 19th century, and
A similar plate showing headress of the 18th century. below

As I find more plates I will place them in a blog article. I have found some in an antique book store just begging me to buy them and take them home. I believe that sometimes as we become more modern we lose a very important part of ourselves.


de Brantigny

1 comment:

Catherine Delors said...

What a great topic for a post, Richard!

About French regional costumes, and women's dress in particular, they became fixed in the 19th century. What strikes me is the huge differences between places no more than a dozen miles apart. You also had distinctive types of coifs for certain occupations, such as fishwives. In places such as Normandy and Brittany there was (and still is) a great deal of hostility between peasants and people who make a living off the sea. That was reflected in different ways of dressing, even in the same town. Also maidens did not always wear the same type of headdress as married women.

Some Normandy coifs resemble those from Pornic you show in this post. For another example, see this:
Probably the most popular type in Normandy. It is so high that it has to be supported by a wire armature.
The one on the picture is clearly a modern copy, but the antique ones are worth small fortunes.