© Text and photo Laila Duran.
One of the most beautiful sights in Norway this time of year is the Hardanger fjord. With mountain tops covered with snow and the hill dressed in pink and white with flowers from the apple and cherry threes there are no wonder tourists from all over the world seek out the little town of Utne.
This is the second time I visit Curator Agnete Sivertsen at the Hardanger Folkemuseum. This time she and her colleagues had prepared three spectacular brides for the book “Kronbruden”, The Crowned Bride. One of them I am going to show you here.
In the surrounding of the main building where visitors can see the Hardanger bunad collections there is also an Open-Air Museum with several buildings; the oldest ones are from the 15th Century. The bride looks lovely and set in the exact right place we get an impression of what it might have looked like some hundred years ago.
The white Hardanger embroidery is famous but the entire bridal Bunad is decorated with the finest stitches. Here are the black silk embroidery used on the collar, front and cuffs of the shift.
The bodice of the costume, opplut, is stitched to the skirt. Around the waist a short jackets-skirt is placed in the same fabric as the bodies and fastened at the front. To keep the jacket-skirt in place a tight belt is fastened around the waist.
The hem of the skirt is in black velvet, trimmed with floral wool ribbon and glass bead embroidery. Silver maler (the round floral shaped coins) is stitched all around the skirt, even under the apron, where a less fortunate bride might have chosen not to decorate with silver.
From her spectacular crown five silk ribbons edged with glass beads are hanging. In Scandinavia a belt decorated with silver was often a present from the husband to his new bride on the wedding day.
One of the three crowns from Hardanger featured in the book has seven little silver swans holding a chain; the circle is a symbol of eternity.
Curator Agnete Sivertsen dressed in her Bunad and the characteristic head rail from Hardanger. Two women where brudekoner, older ladies of the family, that dressed the bride in her home on the morning before the ceremony. More of these beautiful bridal costumes will be shown in the book KRONBRUDEN. The release is expected to be in early spring of 2014. Text in English and Swedish/Norwegian.
For more information about the Hardanger Folkemuseum please visit http://www.hardangerogvossmuseum.no/english/news-and-events.aspx
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