Woldmanndli


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

On the Saturday of Chilbi weekend (Chilbis are town fairs held in many Swiss towns and villages), dozens of Woldmanndli (men of the forest) take part in a procession from Gurschenwald to Ander-matt, accompanied by a cacophony of cowbell ringing and hooting goat's horns. The tradition appeals simply as a spectacle, but its significance is also derived from a historical interpretation which since 1397 has linked the noisy procession with the maintenance of the nearby protected forest. According to the main historical narrative, the Woldmanndli represent the workers and day labourers who used to maintain and protect the local forest, the Gurschenwald, for the benefit of the village community – although small, the forest is vital for protection against avalanches. The tradition has become noticea-bly more popular in recent years. In 2004, observers counted only 25 Woldmanndli, but by 2010 the number had risen to around a hundred. Since that time, their number is stable.

Image gallery

  • The Woldmanndli on Mariahilfgasse, shortly before entering the village of Andermatt, 2011 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Young Woldmanndli at the bridge over the Reuss in the centre of Andermatt, 2009 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Cowbells of different sizes on the Woldmanndli procession, 2008 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Woldmanndli blowing into a goat's horn, 2008 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Woldmanndli enjoying a bowl of free soup after the procession, 2009 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • The Woldmanndli on Mariahilfgasse, shortly before entering the village of Andermatt, 2011 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Young Woldmanndli at the bridge over the Reuss in the centre of Andermatt, 2009 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Cowbells of different sizes on the Woldmanndli procession, 2008 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Woldmanndli blowing into a goat's horn, 2008 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf
  • Woldmanndli enjoying a bowl of free soup after the procession, 2009 © Martina Regli/Urner Wochenblatt, Altdorf

References and documentation

Publications
  • Willi Bomatter-Furger: Urchige Figuren schützen Wald. In: Neue Urner Zeitung, 17. Oktober 2007, p. 20

  • Dokumentation zur Geschichte der Woldmanndli, Privatbesitz Willi Bomatter-Furger

  • Iso Müller: Ursern im frühen Spätmittelalter 1300-1433. In: Der Geschichtsfreund 135. Stans, 1982, p. 171-241

  • Karl Oechslin: Der Wald und Lawinenverbau. In: Ursern. Das imposante Hochtal zwischen Gotthard, Furka und Oberalp in Wort und Bild. Thun, 1978, p. 119-122

  • Max Oechslin: Das Land Uri und sein Wald. In: Verhandlungen der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 114. Aarau, 1933, p. 185-196

  • Max Oechslin: Querschnitt durch das Urnerland und dessen Probleme. In: Verhandlungen der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 134. Aarau, 1954, p. 11-22

  • Eduard Wymann: Zwei Bannbriefe von 1397 und 1717 für den Wald ob Andermatt. In: 30. Historisches Neujahrsblatt. Ed. Verein für Geschichte und Alterthümer von Uri. Altdorf, 1924, p. 37-41

Documentation
  • Woldmanndli

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 29.05.2018
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