The bredzon is the traditional male attire. The armaillis (cattle farmers) wear a Sunday bredzon, a capet (small hat), an attractive loyi (a leather bag carried slung over the shoulder containing salt for the cows) and they carry a walking stick.
The armailli is seen at every solemn occasion, at all the festivities. This is his home. He's at home in the cowshed, in the market, and at midnight mass. The brezdon is the supreme symbol of his belonging to Gruyère and to the farming community. From being once merely his working clothes, the bredzon has become the symbol of a people proud of their origins on the land. The armaillis' costume was first seen on a painting, dated 1840, of the "poya" (the ascent with the herd to the mountain pastures). Since then, the bredzon is without any doubt the only regional costume to have been worn throughout all the intervening years. But if it has become a symbol of Gruyère, it is not necessarily thanks to the farmers. It has always been worn by rural families who were not all that proud of what they thought of as working garb. And it was the middle classes in the 1920s who enhanced its prestige by starting to wear it on Sundays to go to mass, thereby demonstrating its importance. The start of what has now become a total reinstatement. And the textile shop in Bulle, Biner-Pinaton, will not contradict that, they confirm that there is still a strong demand for it, particularly amongst agricultural workers and musicians.
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