Culture and Tradition Meeting 2019

The Röllelibutz and its history

„Butz“ - sometimes also mistakenly written as „Putz“ - means a wrapped or mummed person or
mask. In a German dictionary from 1860, a „Butz“ is described as a „spectre, mummed being“
and the „Butzenmann“ as a „bugbear and monster“.

The name „Rollelibutz“ comes from the „Rölleliband“ ribbons the figure wear around their hips.
Previously, this „Rölleliband“ was a set of horse bells with many bright, ringing bells that were
used for sleigh riding etc.

In 1919, the Röllelibutzen Verein was founded. During this year, there was another local govern-
ment ban, but this did not stop a Röllelibutzen procession - in this newly founded association,
order and discipline was focused on very heavily. The Röllelibutzen Verein had already set itself
the goal at the time of amusing the population once a year with Carnival festivities and perfor-

The most striking part of the Röllelibutzen costume is the hat. It is helmet-like and adorned with
glass balls, colourful ribbons, flowers and feathers. Many changes have been made to the hat
over time - if you look at the hats from 1900, it can be seen that these were much smaller and
adorned with larger flowers and balls (sometimes Christmas tree baubles). Originally, it was only
allowed to be a simple felt hat that was adorned with colourful ribbons, baubles, flowers etc.
every Carnival. It is probably a competition to find the „nicest“ hat that led to today‘s design. A
standardisation also occurred when the hats were no longer being self-made, but by just 2 or 3

City Altstätten
Rheintaler Kulturstiftung
St.Galler Kulturförderung