Norwegian folk dress, bunad, can be called a piece of art – it is very pretty, authentic, mainly handmade, and needs a skilled craftswoman to make it. I'm here on Leif Ericson Day (in Cleveland, US) and I'm talking to two women who know a lot about the national costumes of Norway – Catherine Jorgensen McCutcheon and Vigdis Boge.
– Vigdis, you were actually born in Norway and, Catherine, you have this wonderful example of the local costume. Tell us about it.
– This bunad or costume comes from Norway. It was made for me by my grandmother and my aunt, with the beading already purchased. The lace around the neckline and cuffs and on the apron is called “hardanger lace”. It is a cut pattern.
– Now, Vigdis, you say you made these (elegant embroidery on the blouse)?
– Yes, these are handmade. And I come from the region of Hermansverk – the locals were known to make this. My mother was good at it and I'm not. But yeah, it's all handmade and I made It.
– And when would an outfit like this be worn?
– These are very expensive costumes and they are given to young girls or boys on special occasions. It could be their confirmation or high school graduation or wedding. Many people use the bunad for a wedding dress.
– There are about a hundred variations, if not more because each valley and each region has their own design. Some are embroidered richly. And this costume is from Western Norway.