Monday, October 4, 2010
Norwegian Traditional Dresses
Today we spent some time at a local shopping mall (The kids have a week-long autumn break. According to our 4th grader, this is a holdover from the agricultural days when children had a school break in autumn to help with the harvest). Outside the Husflid store, known for fine Norwegian knits and woolens and other high-end souveniers) they also had a display of these traditional dresses, or Bunads. These are still worn for special occasions. When our neighbors celebrated the confirmation of their oldest son (a very big deal here-- parties and gifts like high school graduation in the US), one of their gifts to him was his own national costume (not sure what it is called for the men). It is traditional for girls to receive their costume when they are confirmed, boys often don't get one until they are older, according to my nieghbor. Parents as well as many, if not most, of the Norwegian guests at the ceremony also wear their traditional outfits.
I hope to get much better photos next spring when we celebrate 17th May--the Norwegian version of Independence Day--when all will be out for parades, etc in their traditional costumes. The bunads pictured above all looked to be hand-embroidered on wool. They are worn with a white dress blouse and some kind of brooch, usually intricate silverwork from what I can tell. The dresses above sell for $3000 to $3500 US. The type of bunad you wear is determined by where your parents lived, so there are different variations for the different regions.