Norwegian Folk Costumes

Figure 1.-This Norwegian CDV shows two unidentified children, probably siblings, wearing folk costumes. The portrait was taken in Skien, probnly in the 1890s.

We note a variety of Norwegian folk costumes which are today popular for fesrtive occassions. The festive garments are called Bunads. The bunad and folk costume are not synomamous. Folk costume is the general term for local dress in historical times which can be quite varied and appropriate for various activities. The bunad is a specific type of Norwegian folk costume, being the outfits worn for special festive occassions. The desisns seem to date back to the 19th century, but some may date back several centuries. Many modern Norwegians have these costumes for special occassions. There are mgany different regional styles. The designs can be with extensive embroidery, scarves, shawls and hand-made silver or gold jewellery. There are bunads designed for both men and women. Children's styles are just smaller versions of the outfits worn by adults. Women's bunads are generally more diverse and more widely worn then the men's bunads. Boys appear to wear bright vests or cut-away jackets, white shirts, black knickers and white stockings. The main bunad for girls is a long skirt. These garments originated in rural Norwegian towns and villages. Colors can very. Bunads are often worn with a brightly colored vest. Norewgians in specific cities and counties have specific designs based on historical traditions from their area. This is a little complicated. Girls or women no matter where they move wear the bunda with their home town styling. An exceotion is that a married woman may adopt the styles from their husband's town or village. We are not sure how common these outfits were. And it is not entirely clear to what extent modern Bundas are actual traditional and opposed to manufactured styles. The wearing if Bunads today for festive occassions seems more popular than it was in the 19th or even early 20th century.


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Created: 1:04 AM 3/11/2009
Last updated: 1:04 AM 3/11/2009