If there is ever a region that deserves a closer look, Appenzellerland in eastern Switzerland is it. Think farms dotting the green hills, idyllic houses from centuries past, and colorful traditions.
We have recently dug into a wonderful publication about the two Appenzell cantons. As part of our research into Swiss New Year's customs, we came across "Inne ond Osse - Osse ond Inne". The author and photographer, Rudolf Hug, has kindly provided a stunning photograph of the Räuchle tradition of Appenzell Innerrhoden - along with a copy of his book.
An intimate look at Appenzell customs
With a keen eye for details, Hug has been documenting the customs and traditions of Switzerland. He writes in the introduction to this publication that the two semi cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden and Appenzell Innerrhoden were especially unique. The reason being that its residents have found ways of cultivating age-old traditions alongside their modern lifestyles.
With his professional Nikon camera and own family roots in the region, Rudolf Hug has gained intimate access to his subjects. In no less than 286 photographs and insightful captions, Hug describes intricate customs such as Silvesterchlausen or Stobete.
Among the many Appenzell customs he covers, Hug dedicates a chapter to Iefahre. The annual procession to alpine pastures is eye-candy for photographers:
One of my favorite chapters describes the intricacies of alpine life. Dictated by the rhythm of nature, farmers spend their days with herding and dairy production.
Appenzell folklore would not be complete without string music. Hug introduces two popular ensembles and explains the different yodeling styles.
This book is a page turner - quite literally.
How to fit two neighboring cantons with distinct cultures into one book? Hug had the ingenious idea of creating two books in one: hold it one way and you are looking at an "inside-out" view about Appenzell Innerrhoden.
Flip the book and you are looking at an "outside-in" view, showcasing Appenzell Ausserrhoden. I am still fascinated by this simple yet clever way of covering two themes in one book...
Inne ond Osse - Osse ond Inne - Brauchtum Appenzell (Rudolf Hug)
English/German, 164 pages
CHF 39.50 - Order a copy