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Marken is an island in the IJsselmeer Lake. A storm surge in the 13th century separated the village from the mainland. The local people are a close-knit community. The main reason for this was their centuries-long isolation. The typically Marken houses and the traditional costume are reminiscent of the past. The dike which was constructed in 1957 once more links the island to the mainland.
Source of income
Before the former Zuyder Zee was closed off and became the IJsselmeer Lake, the local people made their money with fishing. Now many people work outside Marken. These days tourism is a major source of income.
The village consists of two districts, the Harbor district and the Church district, and eight surrounding mounds. In the old days the island was flooded quite regularly. For this reason, houses were built on stilts and on mounds. Most of the houses are painted dark green and most side-walls project.
Traditional costume of Marken
In summer the women wear a striped underskirt during the week. They don a full, black skirt and a black apron over this. Over the jacket with striped sleeves, they wear an embroidered bodice and a kind of bolero. A floral wrap is pinned to the front of the bolero. These days, the women usually only wear a small bonnet made of lace, cambric and chintz. The men of the island wear a smock and knickerbockers. The youngest children of the island hardly ever wear traditional costume. Boys and girls do sometimes wear skirts and bonnets, in a wide range of patterns and colors.