Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Pennsylvania Dutch (german) tradition....

A distelfink is a stylized goldfinch, probably based on the German variety.  It frequently appears in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art and they represent happiness and good fortune.  The Pennsylvania Dutch often used this feature in their hex signs.  
I thought of this as soon as I saw this design by Michelle Lutzen of Stitchy Kitty.  Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was quite familiar with these signs painted on local barns.  I always thought they made everything look so colorful and bright.  So even though this design is not from a german designer, it reminded me of a Pennsylvania Dutch custom.  For those that don't know, The Pennsylvania Dutch are the descendants of Germanic peoples who emigrated to the U.S. (primarily to Pennsylvania), from Southwestern Germany and Switzerland. The origin of the word 'Dutch' is a "folk-rendering" of the Pennsylvania Dutch's own self-designation Deitsch.  
I can proudly say I have roots in the Pennsylvania Dutch community and that this part of Pennsylvania will always be "home" to me.
 The Distelfink

A familiar site in Pennsylvania Dutch country.
Blessings as always,
Barbara

4 comments:

Carolyn said...

Oh I just love this! I love all the history, too. I didn't know about all of it, and also about the painting on the barns, etc. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and the history of the Pennsylvania Dutch. :)

StitchinSweetSue said...

Hi Barbara, my heart skipped a beat on your earlier post when you mentioned German (my heritage:) Frakturs, decorated blanket chests and PA Dutch folkart in general speak strongly to me. Thx for sharing this design, it's new to me.

Tatkis said...

Such an interesting story and very original bird! Beautiful!

Best wishes,
Tatyana

Bekca said...

Thank you for teaching me something new :) It's a gorgeous piece and I have to say I really enjoy reading about your new theme of international desgins. Keep it up!