A girded sabre entitles any man in the Appenzell canton, in north-east Switzerland, to speak or vote at the open air Parliament meeting held each year on the last Sunday in April.
Men with sabres and musicians with instruments come out of the doors in the little streets of the village Trogen and go towards the circle where the parliamentary session is being held. Sign towards the childrensvillage Pestalozzi.
Hands with sabres and faces of the voting men.
Voting men and other people getting out of a car, which collected them in the different little villages.
Typical faces of the men of "Appenzell".
Councillor to the government in front of the government-house.
Musicians in old uniform.
Government leaves government-house, going towards the outdoor parliamentary-session-place. The parliamentary session is open.
Men voting, by holding their hands up.
The parliamentary session is finished.
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Background: A girded sabre entitles any man in the Appenzell canton, in north-east Switzerland, to speak or vote at the open air Parliament meeting held each year on the last Sunday in April.
This ancient privilege is exercised by the majority of menfolk in the canton----- the administrative district. The regional council assembles on a balcony overlooking the main square and various motions are put to the vote, and passed by popular acclaimation.
This ceremony is a remnant of the earliest form of democratic government, that was superseded by representation---- the election of members to represent interests or communities at a regional or national assembly.
Among the hundreds of sword carrying men there is usually a handful of musicians who fill in the time by playing old folk tunes and the like.