© Text and photo Laila Duran.
In Kautokeino in Finnmarken, Norway, the Sami folk costumes are very much influenced by trends. Mixing the traditional colors, fabrics and cut of the garments with personal taste makes a variation that are both trendy and traditional at the same time. This young lady is wearing her new kirtle, made for her confirmation, decorated with hundreds of meters of ribbon on the holbi, hem, using the red, white and blue colors mixed with silver threads.
To the left is the holbi of an old kirtle. Like all folk costumes, the old costumes has a greater variation of colors since the ribbons and fabric was hard to come by. What was available was used without the concern of matching colors. The new ribbons with metallic threads came into fashion about twenty years ago. Today most of the newly made kirtles has several silver (or gold) ribbons stitched to hem, cuff and boot lacing.
Old and new kirtle cuff.
Also in the silver brooches you can see the development. The top brooch is from a time when all kinds of silver was used as decoration. Brooches made by silversmiths where made in the cities. What you see here is a brooch made from gilded coins and it was not as complex to make as the new ones are. The creativity is wonderful and the simple star shape makes is both personal and very decorative.
These ladies has the holbi decorated with ribbons in many colors but without the metallic element.
Today the kirtles of men and children are also decorated with lots and lots of silver and gold metallic ribbons.
A boy dressed in a very fashionable kirtle in untraditional colors.
They are all wearing the same Kautokeino kirtle and still no kirtle is the same. The panels, the ribbons, the design of the belts, the silver clutches and boots, even the tussles on the shoe laces are of personal taste. The variation of the Sami kirtles are limitless.
My greatest thanks to the Pulk family in Kautokeino for sharing and showing me their families traditional clothing.
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