Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Norway - Bunad

A girl wearing bunad, the traditional costume of Fusa in Norway.

Sent by Kari, a postcrosser from Norway.

This is from Wikipedia : Bunad is an umbrella term encompassing, in its broadest sense, a range of both traditional rural garments (mostly dating to the 19th and 18th centuries) as well modern 20th century folk costumes. In its narrow sense the word Bunad does only refer to garments constructed in the early 20th century very loosely based on tradition. The word Bunad in itself is a 20th century invention.

The Bunad movement has its root in 19th century national romanticism, which included an interest for traditional folk garments not only in Norway, but also in neighbouring countries such as Denmark and notably Germany. However, in Norway national romanticist ideas had a more lasting impact, as seen in the use of folk inspired costumes.

The designs are typically elaborate, with embroidery, scarves, shawls and hand-made silver or gold jewelry known as sølje. There are bunads both for men and women, although women's bunads are more diverse and popular. However, according to daily manager Turid Liss Agersborg at Husfliden Oslo, they now produce and sell more men’s bunads than women’s for the first time in history. The male customers are often characterized as urban and modern, and range between the ages of 20 and 40 years old.

A number of books on the history of bunads recount the story of how once when on holiday in Hardanger with her Danish husband the British Princess Maud of Wales thought that the Hardanger bunads worn by the women in Hardanger were so beautiful that she had one made for her. At that time she could have had no inkling that a decade and a half later she would return to Norway as its queen, the matriarch of a new dynasty of Norwegian kings. She later wore this Hardanger bunad at numerous public appearances in Norway, a tradition maintained by the present Queen Sonja, the Crown Princess Mette Marit and Princess Martha Louise, although Queen Sonya and her daughter wear the East Telemark bunads, Telemark being the ancestral county of the Queen's own family.

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