large edition | edition 07 + AP
edition small | edition 09


Lotje

CULTURAL LIVING HERITAGE
‘the last of their kind’

A series about endangered pet breeds


Lotje, a young lady of two and pregnant for the first time. Self-confidently, she pays tribute to the Frisian-Zeeuws milk sheep, which is threatened with extinction. Lotje and her kind once grazed in large numbers in Friesland, Zeeland and Flanders. Depending on where they were born, they were born as either a Frisian or a Zeeuws milk sheep. Because the similarities are great, we later started talking about one breed: the Frisian-Zeeuws milk sheep.

Dairy sheep are large white sheep with a long and slender neck. The nose is slightly curved and the ears are light and wide. The bald tail reaches to the hocks. The eyes are large, expressive and brown. Nose, lips and beak are pale. Furthermore, a large but narrow wedge-shaped body, few muscles and fine, sturdy legs.

This quintessential dual-purpose breed was in demand until the mid-twentieth century for the dairy, wool, and meat it produced. But with the emergence of typical meat breeds such as the Texelaar, cheap wool from Australia and synthetic fibres, ‘the Frisian Zeeuw’ became less interesting. Although there may be a turning point: Interest in Frisian-Zeeland sheep cheese is increasing, as is the number of professional sheep milkers – now 25, half of which are organic. A bright spot, but the sheep is still threatened.

“Because Lotje has Frisian-Zeeland roots, I also wanted to give the landscape a ‘double nationality’. The farm (left), the dike and mill ‘De Koe’ from Veere convey the Zeelandic language, while the head-neck-rump farm (right) with owl plate is typical Frisian. And of course I wanted to present Lotje in all its glory – and therefore full of wool – to you, in an equally beautiful white, wintery landscape. Lotje was willing and smooth. On the other hand, I had to wait a while for the winter weather.” 

Status: Endangered
Number of ewes: 450
Trend in the last 15 years: decreasing

Thanks to:
The Dutch Association of Professional Dairy Sheep
Farmers Jan Breel, Veere Zeeland
Farm Foundation
Jappie de Jong
Family Bangma, Sloten
Jeen Smit and Ilse Hendriksen, Langedijken – proud owners of Lotje
(no. 59)


 

Short about the series
CULTURAL LIVING HERITAGE
the last of their kind”

A series on rare pet breeds; the first domesticated (agricultural) pets in danger of extinction. The process of disappearing varieties and crops has accelerated greatly in the last 70 years. I want to stimulate that awareness and the discussion about animal welfare in a positive way through this project. The series should give a nice insight into the different races and their identities. An ode to the dying breed with recognition for the cultural landscape of the provinces where the breed originated or was common. By showing how it used to be or looked like, or should look like, connecting with now.

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