Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Another Dutch X


Posted by Picasa



Special interests > Art & culture > Mills > Language


The language


In days gone by windmills were a dominating factor in Holland, highly due to their huge number. However, times have changed; the arrival of steam engines, diesel engines and, finally, electricity, resulted in many mills becoming redundant. Polder mills were often replaced by pumping stations; industrial mills by factories. Fortunately, there are still about 1,000 mills scattered throughout Holland. As a result, the 'windmill language' tradition has not disappeared!

WINDMILL LANGUAGE
For centuries windmills played an important role in the local community: farmers not only visited them with their grain but also with the latest gossip. Because windmills were visible from afar, changes to their appearance were soon noticed. Important events in the community, such as births, deaths, marriages and other festivities were signaled by the position of the sails and the manner in which they were hung. Furthermore, by using certain signals the miller could for example call for the millhand to come, communicate that the mill was temporarily not working or that the miller urgently required work. Even today the mills mark festivities and sorrowful occasions, using the 'windmill language'.
I am afraid I don't know what this position means, but it doesn't mean death or birth. Anyway it's another X. Don't forget to go to Mrs Nesbitt's place, for there are some spectacular and impressive X's. Some bloggers are very inventive.

21 comments:

Texas Travelers said...

It's Wednesday....
You've made a play.
"X" marks the spot,
And I like yours a lot,
It's really fine....
Come visit mine,

Troy (author of bad verse)
Martha (better half)

Kelly said...

Very interesting! We have a windmill here in Geneva, and it is actually in operation. I wonder if the volunteer millers are aware of the "language" though! Thank you for sharing this!

Mental P Mama said...

Perfect X!

Kelly said...

Thank you for your visit! To follow up on your commment on my blog, I did post a small photo of the windmill in Geneva on April 7, but if you would like to see the whole thing, email me, and I would love to send you some photos! I will try to get back down that way again in the next week or two to post another one.

Kelly said...

This position means the miller is taking a longer break.

Judy said...

A wonderful post. :)
I learned something about windmills today. Thanks!

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh a great X. The windmill language is very intriguing. Really enjoyed this post Wil.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Ahh... fantastic photo... great pick for the X. Love the information posted. Great read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kelly said...

The position of your mill, sorry, Wil! I read that if the sails make a plus sign, the miller is taking a short break. An X means a longer break.

PATRICIJA said...

hello,

janice thomson informed me about your blog because I was those days for couple of days in The Netherlands and I posted some photos about your country. So I dropped by and have seen how many (to me now more familiar) photos from your beautiful country there are on your blog.

p.s. I was especially charmed with the windmills. they look really nice.

hug, p

AphotoAday said...

Cool, I would have never thought of that...
Wishing you a great X day...

Gary said...

A great X, right there in plain sight.
Gary

VP said...

Very good - I also found a pictorial X for today :)

nonizamboni said...

I had no idea there was a language for windmills. And I love the photos of your native land throughout your blog--made all the more touching to me by your time 'away from home.'

Kevin Heads said...

A most thought provoking post and a super x

Katney said...

You gathered a great selection fo X photos. I hope that there will always be windmills in Holland.

Louis la Vache said...

PERFECT!!!!

"Louis" buried deeper than his cowbell in a work project for the next few weeks. He'll visit, but may not linger long enough to say 'hi.'

Diana said...

very cool X. thanks for the info.

Isadora said...

Nice reminder of a simple life.

Aileni said...

I didn't see this post yesterday - it is really the obvious choice for you, isn't it.
I wonder if the old semaphore stations were inspired by windmill language.
Nice post.

leslie said...

This is perfect for X!!! I'm late but I managed a bit of something. :D