© Text, translation and photo by Laila Durán.
Many visitors to Norway believes that the famous bunads are a very old type of garment. Well, the word bunad is, but the festive costumes more than 60% of all norwegians have in their wardrobe today is, historically speaking, a rather new phenomenon. Like in most countries, norwegians wore folk costumes until the industrial revolution put an end to small scale production and people on the country side became strongly infuenced by the continental fashion in the cities.
All over Scandinavia, this occured during the second half of the 19th century, and slowly the use of folk costumes faded. Still, some areas with a very strong tradition, used their costumes until the end of the century when a new movement started to look for preservation of what was considered to be “genuine norwegian”. This is when the bunad was created.
Below, to the right, is a photo of the embroidered velvet bonnet from beginning of the 18th century used to design the embroidery on the first Valdres bunad. In the new book Broderte Bunader you will find photos of many originals that inspired the new era of festive costumes: the embroidered bunads.
Text by Anne Kristin Moe, from the New book Broderte Bunader.
In 1914 Hulda Garborg launched a design of an embroidered bunad from Valdres. The embroidery pattern she had discovered was from an old velvet bonnet, and the bunad itself looked totally different from the clothes that were previously used in the area. The dress made in dark shades of cloth, with matching embroidery on the bodice and apron, were not Hulda Garborgs invention. In Sunnmøre similar costumes were used in the second half of the 1800s, long before there were any garments called “bunad”. But the aesthetic ideal, that the Sunnmøre bunads and the Valdres bunad represented, was going be a guideline for how the bunads were made in the next 100 years. This, to the extent that people would use designs from both wood carvings and rose paintings in order to create an embroidered bunad from their hometown.
The Old Norwegian language is the language Norwegians spoke in the Viking Age, and the word “bunad” derives from “bunadr” which simply means “clothing”.
The book “Broderte Bunader” is made in cooperation with Norsk Folkemuseum.
Visit the new web site for: www.duranpublishing.com