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03/30

The people of Noordwest-Veluwe

23/23

The people of Noordwest-Veluwe

23/23

The people of Noordwest-Veluwe

Where Mysterious Spirits Roam

Inhospitable, impenetrable and inhabited by magical beings you’d better avoid: for centuries, this was the commonly held belief about the Veluwe, where a dark, dense, age-old forest once led into boggy marshland, a veil of mist lingering on even the sunniest of days. The first settlers felled the trees and filled in the ponds, creating heathland and, later, sand drifts; their villages lonely islands in a sea of desolate land.

Jimmy Nelson App 0:57
Alie, Nienke & Rhodé | Noordwest-Veluwe, Gelderland | The Netherlands, 2021

Stripping the bark

The month of May heralded better times: it was the season for stripping the bark from oak trees. Entire families, children included, would use short, blunt hatchets to pare down the tree trunks, their regular tapping ringing through the forest from the crack of dawn until late in the evening, six days a week.

Noordwest-Veluwe, Gelderland | The Netherlands, 2021
Jannie van de Poll | Noordwest-Veluwe, Gelderland | The Netherlands, 2021
Nienke de Weerd | Noordwest-Veluwe, Gelderland | The Netherlands, 2021
Urk, Flevoland | The Netherlands, 2021
Stories

The Legend of Eibertje

There’s something afoot in the forest between Vierhouten and Nunspeet. Spirits and devious elves are on the prowl. Some say that even the devil himself appears from time to time. So stay away if you can!

Eibertje, however, had no choice. Every week, the poor old woman had to go to market to sell the eggs her hens had laid and earn a few pennies to tide her over. But she no longer had the strength to take the safer, established roundabout route−she followed a shortcut across the heath. Trembling and praying each time, the old woman eventually wore down a familiar track: Eibertje’s path.

Legend has it that anyone who treads that path will hear Eibertje whispering short prayers to ward off evil.

Her spirit also lives on in the area through Eibertje’s Day. Celebrated on the Friday after Ascension, it is a day when traditional crafts such as broom and clog making are demonstrated, and local groups don traditional costumes to perform old folk dances in Eibertje’s honour

Noordwest-Veluwe, Gelderland | The Netherlands, 2021
03/30

The people of Noordwest-Veluwe