Tag Archives: repression

Destructive Identities

DRAFT a later version will be contributed to Wikipedia

What fascinated me in the story of the Kuhreihen was the deep and even destructive longing for identity and belonging. Looking backwards it seems like in order to protect its members the Swiss army chose to repress its soldiers instead of helping them express and release their distress. In this drawing I chose to describe […]

A Ranz des Vaches or Kuhreihen is a simple melody traditionally played on the horn by the Swiss Alpine herdsmen as they drove their cattle to or from the pasture. The Kureihen was linked to the Swiss nostalgia and Homesickness (also known as mal du Suisse "Swiss illness" or Schweizerheimweh "Swiss homesickness").


Singing of Kuhreihen was forbidden to Swiss mercenaries because they led to nostalgia to the point of desertion, illness or death. The 1767 Dictionnaire de Musique by Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims that Swiss mercenaries were threatened with severe punishment to prevent them from singing their Swiss songs.

Dec 30th, 2010