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I have attached a scan of the cover and photograph of a picture taken in Hannover in 1878. We believe the young lady to be a sister to my Great-Great Grandmother (Catherine Sophia Dorothea Wilkering) who immigrated to the US from Germany (Schaumburg-Lippe?) in about 1868.

While we do not know the young lady's name, my question has to do with her attire. What is the significance of her outfit with the fore-sleeves and the head covering?

enter image description here

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Folk costumes - Volkstrachten - are traditional clothing that can be highly specific to a region or even a village. The woman in your photo is wearing parts of the Oesterten-Tracht or Lindhorster_Tracht, which was characteristic of eastern Schaumburg-Lippe.

It consists of a characteristic red skirt with colored ribbon trim ("Want"), apron, sleeveless vest with applied lace, ruff (Hällschen), embroidered shawls, and knitted forearm guards ("Handschen") as well as the headgear and headscarves.

Once commonly worn, there are efforts underway to help preserve this and other regional costumes (Tracht des Jahres 2010).

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