"How is the Wäberlyt?
Si schigge d & # 39; Schiffli and häär,
and the fool, the esch black.
And so it is. "
So the members of the guild sing every year to Webern during their guildet dinner. As the Knigge claims, they wear dark suits, up to the official guild tie. Nobody knows exactly how the fabric is made for a suit or tie. The traditional ones are no longer associated with their original craft. And yet the weaver's guild is struggling today to be more than a club in the city.
It all started 750 years ago when Bishop Heinrich von Neuchatel issued a guild bill for the weavers of Basel. In it were the tasks that the city lord found the guild brothers. Besides the quality assurance and training of young people, the defense of the city was one of them. Especially the weavers' guild fulfilled the duties of a suburban society until the 18th century by offering peace and quiet in the neighborhood.
Since 1360, the Zunfthaus de Weber in the Steinenvorstadt. "The location outside the city walls was unusual, but substances had to be dried and bleached on the sunny slopes of Elisabeth Hill", says guild master Thomas Hediger.
Traditions and rituals remain
The political influence of the weaving guild grew especially in the 16th century, when more and more silk and velvet weavers from abroad came to settle in the city and introduced new technologies. Power acquired the weavers until about the middle of the 19th century, when the establishment of the state and the freedom of trade was introduced. From the guild to Webern, however, an industry that still forms the city grew: "With the industrialization of the weaving and dyeing of the chemistry of Basel," Hediger said. "We can still be proud of that."
After 750 years there are no more linen weavers in Basel, no gray clothes and no stands. Members no longer appeal through the profession, but through the family, through music or friends. What remains are rituals and traditions such as drinking from the "Gryffe Cup" or the handshake of the master over the guild banner.
In the guild special value is attached to the fact that the approximately 250 members are involved and help where they are needed. It is the first thing the newcomers learn by their "Guild-goddess." "It works pretty well," says Hediger. During the guild dinner or other occasions he can always count on his guild brothers.
In exchange for their efforts, the guilds have a network that supports them during the crisis. "In the case of financial, occupational or health problems, the brothers of the guild can turn to the guild-keeper," Hediger says. This helps quickly and discreetly. Another setting in problematic situations is the action "guild brothers in need", which is shared by all guilds.
Besides helping each other, the guilds also connect to the city. "One guild plant trees, the other guilds playgrounds, the third guild works for seniors, which is often not noticed by the public," Hediger explains with regret.The Webern guild helps to celebrate young citizens, welcomes newcomers and allocates money to social and cultural institutions and finances itself largely through the income from the rent of the guildhall.
"We need to work together more in the future to be more consciously perceived," Hediger says. It is also important for him to return to the origin of the guild after the anniversary. Members must know where the story of the Basel weavers is about. Silver cups, coats of arms and symbols may not be everything that remains after 750 years.
The jubilee celebration begins on Saturday at 9.45 am with a ceremony in the Martinskirche. Then there is an aperitif in the Barfüsserkirche, from where a big parade starts at 12.30. The procession is attended by delegates from all guilds and a sisters' guild from Zurich.