Keychain figure Plastoy Bécassine with her pancake stove 61075 (2014)
Keychain figurine from Plastoy: Bécassine wearing a green dress pastiching traditional Breton, with her pancake stove.
Bécassine is a comic strip and the name of its heroine, appearing for the first time in the first issue of La Semaine de Suzette on February 2, 1905. She is considered the first female protagonist in the history of comics.
The character Bécassine is a young Breton housemaid, usually depicted wearing a green dress pastiching traditional Breton peasant costume, with lace coiffe and clogs. She is said to come from Finistère, the area most associated with traditional Breton culture. However, her clothing has non-Breton elements, reminiscent of the local costume of Picardy. She is usually portrayed without a mouth.
Seen as a stereotype and remnant of the contempt with which the Bretons were long seen, she is the typical provincial girl as seen by the more refined city people of Paris, the target audience of the young girls' magazine La Semaine de Suzette. But over the course of the stories, and coupled with the success she has, she is depicted more and more favourably. "Bécassine" is a nickname, derived from the French word for a number of birds of the family of the snipe, which is also used as a way of saying "fool" in French.
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