The maraîchin likes to dance to the sound of the accordion or the veuze. The inhabitants of the marshes lead a simple, independent life based on rearing cattle, ducks and chickens. Discover these emblematic traditions!

Some dances you need to know

La Maraîchine

A traditional dance that originated in the marshes, it has taken several forms over the years: the ronde, or paulée, forms a circle where everyone holds hands; the courante is danced in pairs, while the Barienne, a local variant, is danced in threes. The principle of this dance is quite simple: men and women are positioned alternately, move backwards, do a polka step, jump, then move forwards again and finish with steps executed in a turn. To accompany this choreography, typical music is played on a special instrument: the veuze!

The brioche dance

Less well known than the Maraîchine, but just as emblematic!

This dance is performed at ceremonies, usually weddings. Traditionally, at midnight, everyone gathers in the centre of the room. Two by two, the guests and the bride and groom carry a bun weighing up to 30 kg at arm's length on a stretcher (with four handles) and perform a dance step to a traditional tune. At the same time, the other guests pass underneath the bun. The best part is when, after this choreography, the brioche is eaten.

This traditional dance is still performed at many Vendée weddings today!

Music and song

La Veuze

A traditional instrument of the Pays guérandais and the Pays maraîchin, it is played by a "veuzou" during the famous "maraîchine", sometimes in the centre of the circle and sometimes on the outside. The veuze, whose ancestor is the medieval bagpipe, is a double-reed bagpipe sounding an octave lower than the biniou. This long-forgotten instrument enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the 1970s, thanks to a number of enthusiasts and associations! Come along to the traditional dances in the various towns and villages in our region to discover this bewitching instrument!

The songs

Traditional songs were just as important as dance and music! They were passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition alone. Among the stories told, those about a miller in love, the departure of sailors and everyday life were the most common. The songs of the Maraîchins took a variety of forms: songs, short dance songs, children's formulas, chimes... Today, they are part of the cultural heritage of the Vendée and serve as the collective memory of our region.

Now you're ready to discover our region, rich in character sites that dot the landscape. Stop off at the Bourrine à Rosalieat Moulin de Rairé or to Daviaud to immerse yourself in our local heritage.

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