© Text and photo Laila Duran.
During the past weeks we have visited two museums and the first one was Setesdals Museet in central Norway. We spent three days at Rygnestadtunet for the photo shoot. Curator Randi Gåserud Myrum had prepared the most exquisite selection of bunads from Setesdalen including this everyday costumes I am going to show you in this entry. Local women came to show their bunads as well as their handy crafts. Special dishes, typical for the area, where brought and we set a festive table in the beautiful main room in one of the houses from this 15th century farm.
The spinning wheel was invented in the late middle ages. It speeded up the production of yarn which before that had to be spun on a spindle that was turned with the hand. Still the preparation of yarn was the most time consuming part of the textile production. The spinning wheel is driven by a pedal as it this leaves both hands free to handle the carded wool.
The spindle wheel makes the spindle rotate which twists the wool into a yarn and winds it up on a bobbin.
Wool waiting to be carded.
The roll of carded wool, called rowing, is held in the left hand while the wool fibers are pulled out to create the yarn with the wright hand.
Today we often think of white as a color for festive occasions but in Setesdalen the natural white bunads are everyday and working wear. Note how she has put the ribbons tied to her plaits under the belt. While working the plaits sometimes came off, and to make sure she does not loose the ribbons they are fastened this way.
Outdoor weaving on a simple vertical loom. During summer the temperature was pleasant and the light good for many long hours. Pattern woolen bands are made on the vertical loom where the warp is held in tension with loom weights. The shed is opened with a shed rod and a heddle rod operated with the hands. This device has been used for weaving since the Iron Age in Scandinavia. The pattern is picked up with the fingers and the weft is beaten in with an iron knife.
Wooden boxes full of colorful woven and braided bands of wool, used as various decoration on the Setesdalen bunad. The festive belts in red, green and white are a feature detail on the costume. The patterns are made without any design drawings; instead they were memorized and varied freely by the weaver.
To keep up the spirits and get a break, a traditional soup is served. She is wearing her work outfit with an off white printed wool head kerchief.
Carrots, cabbage, potatoes and meat are some of the ingredients in this filling and very tasty soup. With every meal the “flatbröd”, the flat bread is served.
Thanks to the cooperation of Setesdal Museet there will be several pages in the next book in the series Scandinavian Folklore about Setesdalen, one of the oldest bunad-eras in Norway. From the museum textile collection we are able to show how a newborn child was getting dressed for baptism and the ceremonial wrap that would follow the child through it´s whole life. For these shoots we used the beautiful settings from the interiors of the old houses of Rygnestadtunet from the 15th century.
For more information about the Setesdalsmuseet please visit: www.setesdalsmuseet.no
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