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


Lotje

Cultural Living Heritage | the last of their kind
A series in the making about endangered pet breeds

Lotje, a young lady of 2 years and pregnant for the first time. She is a model for me as an ode to the endangered Zeeland milk sheep / Frysk molkskiep (Frisian milk sheep).


The dairy sheep was common in the meadow areas along the North Sea coast up to the Wadden Sea. This ran back to the coasts from Friesland to Zeeland. There was talk of the Frisian dairy sheep and the Zeeland dairy sheep, but the similarity between the breeds is so great that only one dairy sheep breed is distinguished today: the Frisian-Zeeland dairy sheep. In fact, the breed is named after the region in which it occurs. (This is what I have gradually come across in my search…)

Dairy sheep are large white sheep. They have a long and slender neck, the nose is slightly curved and the ears are light and wide, the bare 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.

The typical dual-purpose breed, primarily aimed at dairy, then wool, but also meat, became economically less interesting in the second half of the twentieth century with the emergence of typical meat breeds such as the Texel. In addition, wool production became less profitable due to the production of synthetic fibers and the import of cheap wool from Australia. In recent years, the interest in making Frisian-Zeeland sheep cheese has increased slightly, resulting in an increase in the number of professional sheep milkers to 25, about half of which are organic. That’s a bright spot. But she is still on the list of rare pet breeds under ‘endangered’.

Because the Zeeland and the Frisian milk sheep are identical, I have incorporated recognition for both provinces in the landscape. The landscape has Zeeland elements such as the farm on the left, the dike and the mill ‘De Koe’ from Veere and Frisian elements such as the head-neck-hull farm with owl sign on the right. Of course, the Dutch milk sheep had to be full of wool in a beautiful winter landscape. I had to wait for a while, but luckily we had snow this year!

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

*data Foundation Rare Pet Breeds registered studbook.

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 in the making
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 50 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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