Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Niños de la Revolución Sandinista

Socialist revolutionaries the world over adopted the red neckerchief; whether Soviet, Chinese, Korean or Nicaraguan:

Image:Los Carlitos pag 73.jpg
"Sandinista children: Toño, Delia and Rodolfo are in the Association of Sandinista Children. Sandinista children use a neckerchief. They participate in the revolution and are very studious."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Henry Ford's Neckerchief

One of the world's best known capitalists and anti-semitics is not the first person you'd picture when thinking of neckerchiefs, but yes, Henry Ford too was a believer, proudly wearing a necker on his holidays!
Henry Ford in cowboy hat and neckerchief, poses outside his tent. 
edison cowboy
Henry Ford clowns while Thomas Edison beams during a rest stop on a camping trip. This picture is probably the only one ever taken of Ford with a cigarette. The auto king and Edison both abhorred the use of "little white slavers," as they called cigarettes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Okay, I haven't always spoken overly respectful about Idaho (but what do you expect, with a people choosing 'Famous Potatoes' as the slogan for their licence plates?), but these vintage pictures from the 1950's give me a very different perspective on the state. No, not the picture above, despite the prominent neckerchief,

I was thinking of the creative bandana-use here (above). 
The same ski bums below, in their old snow slopes beater in Sun Valley, ID.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Wishing Tree

wishing tree is believed to make wishes come true - a belief, custom that is shared in many countries across the world, although the "procedure" often varies. 
I have seen a good number of wishing trees when working in (the Republic of) Georgia, and can't believe I never made any pictures of these beautiful trees, loaded with handkerchiefs in varied stages of decomposition... The way I remember, people would come to the Wishing Tree, tie their hankie to one of it's branches and make a wish. The hankies stay, resulting over time in a very colourful tree! 

In Scotland they have an alternative to this custom, nailing coins to the tree, but that's another story...

The -much undervalued- Georgian film director Tengiz Abuladze made the beautiful film The Wishing Tree; quote:
Poetry, vivid imagery and allegory mark the nearly two-dozen episodes of this epic tale about human life and its troubles, set in the Georgian village of Kachetien near the turn of the century. One continuing thread concerns a young woman, in love with one man, who is married off to another by the village elders. When she is caught meeting her true love, she is paraded through the village for public abuse and ridicule, during which globs of mud are hurled at her. Many vividly drawn and eccentric village characters are portrayed, from simpletons to fortune-tellers, and their dreams reveal what each would consider to be happiness in this life. The well-regarded director of this film, Tengiz Abuladze, was known for his visually sophisticated and symbolically rich works. The Wishing Tree is based on a tale told in blank verse by Georgi Leonidze.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Penis Neckerchief?

Who am I to censor neckerchief-related material?

The following information, on how to create a penis out of a neckerchief comes from Russia. 

If this is your thing at the dinner table, brightening up a Thanksgiving or Christmas family dinner, than enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From 'Bandanas!' to 'Neckers'

Nothing new, really. 

The old
changed into "Neckers" @, but contents and style remain the same: a more-than-bi-weekly-updated blog on neckerchiefs, bandanas and scarfs with all the political, historical, cultural, ethnic and criminological background behind it!


Maria Silva Cruz, "La Libertaria"

A short biography of the iconic figure of Maria Silva Cruz, "La Libertaria," heroine of the Casas Viejas uprising, murdered by the Francoists.
Maria was born into a family of day labourers and charcoal burners in the impoverished village of Casas Viejas in Andalucia on 20 April 1915.
Her father Juan Silva Gonzalez and her uncle Jeronimo were in the CNT. Her grandmother read anarchist novels out loud to her as a young girl.
Antonio Cabanas Salvador - Gallinito – was a member of the Libertarian Youth in Casas Viejas. He was 27 in 1932, raised partly in Cadiz where he had come in contact with the anarchist movement. He taught the ideas of anarchism to a group of ten young women in Casas Viejas in 1932. He went out with Maria. She earned her nickname La Libertaria because of her red and black neckerchief. This shocked the Guardia Civil sergeant in the village who ordered her to take it off. She refused, upon which he tore it off. This did not intimidate the young women, which included her sister Catalina, her first cousin Catalina and her close friend Manolita Lago. By the end of the year they had organised a group called Amor y Armonia (Love and Harmony).
During the insurrection in Casas Viejas in 1933 (which is eloquently documented in The Anarchists of Casas Viejas by Jerome Mintz) she with Manuel Lago and Gallinito paraded the red and black flag through the town, singing revolutionary songs. Libertarian communism was proclaimed in the village. When the Guardia Civil surrounded her family’s house and killed her grandfather, “Seisdedos” (Six Fingers), setting fire to the house, she ran out, her clothes and hair ablaze, with one of her neighbour’s children shouting “Don’t shoot! It’s a boy”. She fled to her mother’s house. She was arrested on January 14th, 1933. She was imprisoned for two weeks at Medina Sidonia. She was arrested again at Medina and then transferred to Cadiz where she remained for a month.
There was massive public outrage over how the authorities had brutally crushed a rebellion of poorly armed peasants and had then shot many in cold blood. Maria was released with other anarchist prisoners.
Her mother went to Cadiz and Maria went with her. The anarchist militant Miguel Perez Cordon began to court her and after 2 months they went to Madrid to live in free union (Miguel edited the magazine CNT there). They had a son in early May 1935. Later they both returned to Andalusia. In July 1936, the couple was living in Ronda. When the fascists occupied the area Cordon took refuge in the mountains. Maria stayed at home with her son, who was a few months old. The Guardia Civil arrested her, snatching her son violently from her arms. She was shot at dawn on 23 August 1936 with two others
Miguel Perez Cordon was shot by the Francoists on the last day of the Civil War at Cartagena on 5th March 1939. Gallinito fell fighting in an anarchist militia column.
The son of Maria and Miguel is fighting for her remains to be exhumed and recognized.

Undies. Knickers, Briefs and Bikinis

There are many more attractive ways to wear your bandana than half hidden under a shirt's collar.

Creative souls and the industry have both found many uses for bandanas to cover the body's more sensitive parts; male and female, functional or attractive, lust and thought provoking or just for a laugh. 

Pablo Picasso’s Peace Dove Scarf - more than a neckerchief...

Pablo Picasso’s Peace Dove Scarf - commemorates the World Festival of Youth and Students for Peace, which took place in Berlin, in August 1951.

The twentieth century became a battleground of political imagery, one in which strongarm regimes and supposedly egalitarian allies alike learnt the potential of aesthetics to influence (if not change) opinions. In the wake of Soviet political posters and the propagandist art of the Nazis, artists such as John Heartfield (the German artist who anglicised his name in protest against anti-English sentiment) and Pablo Picasso began to lob back the odd intellectual grenade, hoping to explode the myths of ‘victory at any cost’ being espoused by both warring sides. First, Picasso depicted the human suffering of war in his legendary composition of dismembered figures, ‘Guernica’, which was painted over a couple of months in 1937 when he was supposed to be in London giving a lecture at the Royal Albert Hall. When asked by a Nazi officer, ‘Did you do that?’ of his famous picture, Picasso replied, ‘No, you did.’ Not long after, the artist was marked out as a left-wing radical, even though his depiction of a white dove – initially used in advertisements for huge socialist rallies – was widely adopted as a new symbol of peace.

As well as earning the dubious honours of round-the-clock FBI surveillance (suspect number 100-337396) and becoming the world’s most famous communist after Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, Picasso was on the receiving end of rival, CIA-funded poster campaigns showing his peacenik dove being variously syringed by black market medicines, used to disguise an enemy tank or kept on a leash by Stalin. Examples of these posters are included in the V&A’s current blockbuster exhibition tackling the subject, ‘Cold War Modern’.

Excerpt from: 'No Gods, No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism

No Gods, No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism
An excerpt from Daniel Guérin's anthology of anarchism:

In some textile plants, red and black silk neckerchiefs were produced, overprinted with anti-fascist slogans. These neckerchiefs were put on sale. "How did you come to set the price? How did you work out the profit margin?" asked one foreign, Marxist reporter. "I don't know anything about profit margin," answered the worker to whom these questions had been put. "We looked up the raw material cost in books, worked out running costs, added on a supplement by way of reserve funds, tacked on wage costs, added on a 10% supplement for the Anarchist Militia Committee and the price was set." The neckerchiefs were sold cheaper than they would have been under the old regime. Wages had been increased and the profit margin sacrosanct in bourgeois economics- was put towards the fight against fascism. 

More on Anarchist Neckerchiefs

Various schools within the anarchist movement have adopted their own flags, colours and neckerchiefs. These flags are bisected diagonally with the right half in black for anarchy and the left half in a color representing each school's ideas. These color templates are also extended to five-pointed stars representing the same schools.

red-and-black flag is the symbol of the anarcho-syndicalist and anarcho-communist movements. Black is the traditional color of anarchism, and red is the traditional color of socialism. The red-and-black flag combines the two colors in equal parts, with a simple diagonal split. Typically, the red section is placed on the top-left corner, with the black on the bottom-right corner of the flag. This symbolizes the co-existence of anarchist and socialist ideals within the anarcho-syndicalism movement, and to symbolize the more socialistic means of the movement leading to a more anarchistic end.

black-and-yellow or black-and-gold flag is used by anarcho-capitalists and other market anarchists. The yellow is intended to symbolise gold, a commodity of exchange often used in marketplaces unrestricted by state intervention. The flag was first used in public in Colorado in 1963 at an event organised by Robert LeFevre.

black-and-green flag is used by green anarchists and anarcho-primitivists. It is generally taken to symbolize a vision of anarchism that focuses on the self-determination of all forms of life (animals, humans, bioregions) and not just humans, hence the green.

black-and-purple flag is used in association with anarcha-feminism, as is the black-and-pink flag, although the latter is more closely associated with queer anarchists. Unlike other bisected anarchist flags, it does not necessarily represent another form of anarchism, but is used to focus on opposition to the hierarchical patterns of heterosexismsexismtransphobia, and patriarchy.

black-and-white flag is used by anarcho-pacifists and, to a lesser extent, Christian anarchists.

Nazi's too...

Bund Deutschen Madel jacket from the Rhineland section of Germany
Unfortunately, not only the righteous on the political spectrum chose to wear neckerchiefs. The red and red/black neckerchief may have been one of the symbols of the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War, at the same time the Italian fascists and German Nazi's adopted their own scarfs as part of their uniforms.
The Hitler Jugend wore black neckerchiefs; the boys this rough cotton version, while the girls of the Bund Deutscher Madel had the ultra-soft velvet-like doeskin version. 

Hitler Jugend Tunic With Neck Scarf, Whistle, and Streifendienst Sleeve-band
Interesting that many present-day anarchists, often finding their inspiration in the punk movement of the 1980's, choose to wear a solid black neckerchief as well...

Italian Fascists

Not the prettiest part of neckerchiefs & bandanas, I know, but still part of the neckerchief-history. Better to get it over and done with: Fascist Youth of Italy, this time. 
Researching on their uniforms, I find it hard to see any consistency: blue, green and black neckerchiefs appear on different pictures (if any of you can shed a light on this, please comment!).
What I do find consistent, is the kind of innocence of the children portrayed; probably not on purpose, but hopefully for many children it was, innocence.

The National Bolshevik Party

The National Bolshevik Party (NBP, Russian: Национал-большевистская партия, НБП, also known as Nazbol) is a Russian political party dedicated to the ideology of National Bolshevism. The NBP is a prominent member of The Other Russia coalition of opposition parties. There are also smaller NBP groups in other countries.

In Russia, the organization has been banned, and has never been officially registered as political party. Since being banned, it has seen somewhat of a decline in membership. The NBP's preferred political activity has consisted of direct action stunts, mostly against prominent political figures.
The organization's official organ is the journal Limonka (Лимонка). The name is a play of words on Limonov and is idiomatic Russian for grenade. It was forced to change its name after the authorities banned it for "promoting extremism and hatred". 
As their name suggests, the party stands for a mix of National Socialist and Bolshevik politics, clearly emphasized by the Nazi inspired sleeve-band and logo. The party seems to be dominated by schoolchildren and young girls with lots of piercings and neckerchiefs worn in a variety of ways, judging by the photos on the party's web site.
The National Bolshevik Party advocates the creation of a Russian-dominated empire that would include all of Europe, as well as northern and central Asia. The party is vehemently opposed to American foreign policy, and believes that a Eurasian empire would be an essential counterbalance to capitalist global domination. However, when Aleksandr Dugin left the NBP to create his own party called Eurasia, the NBP lessened the emphasis on a geo-political agenda in favor of a national one, concentrating on the defence of Russian minorities in the former Soviet Union republics, and on opposition to the political regime in Russia. 

The party has replaced its aggressive Eurasianist and imperialist nationalism with a Russian territorial nationalism. It has criticized Lithuania and Estonia for degrading Russian-Soviet World War II veterans and memorials, and for legislation that banned Soviet symbols such as the hammer and sickle and the red star, which placed them on par with the swastika and other Nazi imagery.
Eduard Limonov at an NBP rally (file photo)
Eduard Limonov at an NBP rally