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30th April 2002

The Tappen Players of Münster

Tapper-meister trophy

The Tapper-meister trophy

2001/2002 winner, Theodor Werlen

2001/2002 winner, Theodor Werlen

Erich Zehner

Trophy maker, Erich Zehner

The local school of the remote village of Münster in the Wallis (Valais) region of Switzerland was the venue for the final meeting in the 2001/2002 season of the Tapper Club. All seven members of the club were present, to enjoy their final game of the year with their invited guests. .

The undisputed Tapper-Meister for the year was Theodor Werlen, who was presented with the fine wooden trophy, hand-made by Erich Zehner, another member of the club and local craftsman. Tappen players
Game in progress at the school house. Players visible from left; Theodor Werlen, Karl Werlen, Edgar Werlen, John McLeod. Other players (not visible); Adrian Weger, Clemenz Kiechler, Erich Zehner and Hermann Kummer.

As their guests for the evening, John McLeod and myself were treated to expert tuition in the game, which is played by only a very small number of people in the region. The members of this club are mostly between 70 and 80 years old, the only young man being Edgar Werlen, for whom the game is a family tradition. It is to be hoped that he will pass it on to his three daughters to help ensure the continued survival of the game.

The tradition of Tappen playing is celebrated in a painting by artist Albert Nyfeler (1883-1969). This painting is on display, together with many other works by this fine artist, and other local artists at the Kunsthaus in Naters.

Tappen players painting
Tappen players in Lötschental by Albert Nyfeler. Comparison with the picture above indicates that things have not changed too much, apart from the hats and the beards.

John McLeod's web site describes the rules of a game called Troggu which is a very similar game played in Visp.

Sally Prime - 10th May 2002