VIMOUTIERS ... yesterdays


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Norman Scenes - Le Grand Bazar - The clogs - Cotton bonnet - The domino game - Notgeld - the bus - the horse-drawn carriage - Sand quarries



Cotton Bonnet


"The great vogue of the cotton bonnet started towards the end of the XVIIe century, but it is then a middle-class hairstyle, for night... Middle-class men often cover it with an envelope of fabric which they tie and adorn with a node of tinted ribbon, like Argan in the Hypochondriac (Le Malade imaginaire by Moliere)... However the cotton bonnet was soon adopted by craftsmen and Norman peasants were to adopt it in their turn, towards the middle of the XVIIIe century... For the man working in fields, it is an adherent hairstyle which one can double, tightening the head well, covering the ears and preserving them against intense cold. Under the first Empire, the cotton bonnet was in such a favour that Norman women adopted it also with pleasure. That did not prevent from wearing the beautiful caps... on Sundays. But ...



The cotton bonnet which the female coquettery would enjoliver, was then so very fashionable that women wore it ... even in Churches! The clergy protested against this negligence in the behaviour and fulminated against the cotton bonnet, qualified as an "abominable hairstyle".


Thence in those days, there were in Normandy two parties ...


 Pros and cons 

"For cotton bonnet"


"Against cotton bonnet"



on-line translators


How did men and women, especially all over Normandy, adopt this universal fashion of the "pacific cascameche"? Well, because since old times, the cotton bonnet was manufactured in Falaise, which, before being the city of William-the-Conqueror, was the capital of the cotton bonnet !" Source G.Dubosc, 1929

A few lovely Norman Ladies !

















































Online translators : hereunder the text in the pop-ups   :




Miss Amelie Bosquet, who was a lady and could have her own idea, wrote in “La Normandie illustrée” newspaper :

"Never cotton bonnet spoiled pretty faces and the young female farmers, the dairy ones on their donkeys, the engaging villagers going to the market, were even more attractive with this bonnet of a charming rusticity. All these white bonnets which did not fly away over the mills, in the middle of green lands, would offer on the contrary, an animated and happy cheerfulness to the country parties."





But, Galleron, who also described Normandy, did not fear to say:

"The hairstyle of the women here is what strikes more the foreigner. He can see the cotton bonnet on almost all the heads: sometimes dirty and retaining unkempt hair which escapes in neglect, sometimes covered with a rather badly folded cap.
Women must have little self-esteem to preserve this fashion which deprives them of any grace. A Venus wearing a cotton bonnet would have difficulties in being looked at. Besides this hairstyle gives to a female face something of shameless, which disgusts involuntarily... There are even some women who wear brown or unbleached cotton bonnets ! ...
It is impossible to depict the unpleasant impression which one feel at the sight of such a hairstyle !"