Category Archives: Folk costumes

As it is getting closer to Syttende Mai it is time to look bunad that you may not have seen before…


Svalbard Islands….a special place and unique bunad!


This costume has wonderful designs that depict the fauna you would find on the Svalbard Islands… which are located in the Artic Ocean half way from the coast of Norway and the North Pole.



Lillehammer located in the Oppland Fylke (a part of the Gudbrandsdalen region) therefore many times you will see people from this area of Norway wearing the Gudbrandsdalen bunad ! Shown here is one specifically from Lillehammer,  it is available from Husflid



Hønefoss is located in the Romerike region in the Fylke of Buskerud…

buskerud map with some cities

Møre og Romsdal….Nordmøre region bunad

Møre og Romsdal….Nordmøre region bunad

Nordmore info

map with color counties

Møre and Romsdal in mid center Norway on the western coast

More and Romsdal

Check out the list of the major areas within Møre og Romsdal……


Nordmøre silver

Nordmore silver

Additional Nordmøre silver…

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Very interesting bunad you notice there is some variety to it….a difference in the color of the vest (either green or red usually made out of brocade) which can have a trim made out of silver: either woven silver braid or silver lace or some will have gold tone….the skirt has wonderful pleating done on the top of the woolen skirt in a technique that is hand done. You will notice on one version had a nice hand done red trim on the bottom (also shown in a photo)

There is  variety in apron: woven plaid that comes in a what could be called “Christmas type” colors bright green and red as well as a more subdued green (almost a grey green/teal) with a more muted red. As well as a white apron that can have a woven “bird design” or an open weave design.

The blouse is shown with a diamond design all done by hand.

It features a black “pixie” type hat thought to be worn only by un-married girls and then the white hat worn by married women.

The standard metal/silver belt is also mainly worn by married women but lately many non-married women also wear this beautiful belt with a distinctive design.

The silver/sølje is much like what is worn in other areas in Møre og Romsdal with this bunad wearing a very distinctive pin/earrings.

**** Some of the photos come from the website of as well as….please under stand that these are some of the places to  purchase the bunad you see….as well as other places in Norway. As I have mentioned before you can also look at for used bunad but you will have to work out the details of how to pay in Norwegian Krone and have it shipped to the US….also the silver you have seen on this page come from various websites such as: and

what is a bunad? what is a festdrakt? do I own a folkdrakt?


I often hear folks say…I have a new bunad…or I just inherited a bunad and then I see what they have and I realize they do not own an ekte bunad.

What they have is often a Festdrakt or a Folkedrakt.

What is the difference….oh boy that is the $ 1 million question.

You must go to the Norwegian Council of Folk Costume or

” Norsk Institut for Bunad og folkedrakt”

If you were to google the name (Norsk Institut for Bunad og folkedrakt) and wanted to find out what they write about it on the Internet  here is some of what you will find…..

“Costume and folk costume council

Costume and folk costume Council (BFR) is a state-appointed counsel, who shall be an advisory body for the national costumes and folk costume work at the Norwegian Institute of costumes and disguises (NBF). General Manager of NBF’s secretary costume and folk costume council.


  • 1. Purpose   Costume and folk costume Council (hereafter Council) shall promote, preserve and perpetuate the use and the making of costumes in Norway, as an expression of cultural identity and as carrier of distinctive qualities.

Cultural heritage is not exact .  All cultural forms evolve through interaction between tradition and new impulses.Norway is characterized by a large diversity that gives us a dynamic and living culture. In this diversity requires the knowledge and insight to facilitate the development of the traditional cultural expressions we want to protect, so that they can live on in a dynamic and meaningful interaction with notida human.

  • 2 .Status Council hosted appointed by the Ministry of Culture and is an advisory body for the work of the Norwegian Institute for costumes and disguises (hereinafter the Institute) and the Ministry of Culture.

1. The institute is part of Valdresmusea through an agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Valdresmusea, January 2008.

  •  3 .Organization The Council shall have five members and two alternate members. Ministry appoints one of the members of the Council to chair. Members and alternate members shall have a term of four years. . No council members can have continuous term of more than eight years.

The Institute serves as secretariat to the Council and participate in all meetings.  Minutes should be sent Council members and deputies. Remuneration of Council members is established by Valdresmusea and should be in a reasonable relation to the work that came with them recruited. The new appointment sit Council members are appointed to the new.

  •  4. Tasks of the costume and folk costume council  The Council shall ensure that efforts to preserve the cultural expression costumes and disguises represent, are advocating in the best possible manner in the country.  The Council, its activities lay emphasis on the following tasks:
  • Adding Prepared for the collection, documentation, restoration, research, preservation, and dissemination within the costume and folk costume academic area •  Helping to increase awareness, interest and understanding of costume and folk costume as cultural expression •  Contribute to increased knowledge tilverking and use of traditional Norwegian costumes and disguises •  seeks to facilitate the development and revitalization within the costume and folk costume academic area • • Encourage the development of multi-cultural meeting places

The Council shall act as professional advice and support for the Institute in their management of the costume and folk costume professional work.  The Council shall: •  Assess Goal achievement and comment on the annual report from the Institute •  Contribute to the preparation of plans and budgets for the department, in consultation with Valdresmusea •  Comment on appointment of the Head of the Department and participate in the process in consultation with Valdresmusea

The Council will provide advice to the Ministry by: •  Commenting on the annual report from the Institute and provide an overall assessment of the work and Goal achievement in both the Institute and the Council •  Comment on the part of the annual budget application from Valdresmusea concerning work at research institute

The Council shall initiate public debate and comment publicly on issues costumes and disguises.

  • 5. Changes in guidelines  Culture Ministry to change the guidelines.  Valdresmusea be consulted  in connection with the proposed amendments.”



They have also determined categories for each “level” as such for bunad and they are determined as:

The National Bunad Council Bunad- og Folkedraktrådet , the authority on national costumes appointed by the government, has developed five categories to grade modern day bunads according to ‘authentic’ regional folk clothing:

Category 1 – a bunad that represents a ‘final’ link’ in the development of a folk costume.  This is basically an original folk costume that has taken on the function of a bunad.

Category 2 – a bunad that has a background in a particular folk costume that is out of use but not forgotten.  It is generally reconstructed from first-hand knowledge.

Category 3 – a bunad that has been reconstructed from preserved folk garments which reflect the actually time and region of the piece.  Pictures and writings are used as sources in reconstruction.

Category 4 – a bunad that has been made based on random and incomplete folk material.  Missing peices have been designed to match the style of the materials.

Category 5 – a bunad that has been completely or partically ‘freely composed’.  It was the 1800s bunad movement that has given these types of bunad their status.

New ‘bunads’ that are being designed every year, must go through the strict judgement process of the National Bunad Council in order to be classified as a proper ‘bunad’.  The council is very strict in making sure new additions follow closely the traditions and history of the area.  Because of this, many designs today, even though they have the same function as a bunad, generally don’t make the cut and thus can not be called ‘bunads’.  They recieve the name ‘festive costumes’ or drakt instead.


All that being said there are many “bunads” that have been in existence for many years such as ones from Oslo (since the late 1940’s) and Bergen (since the early 1950’s) which are still considered drakt and you will often here them called bunad but they are called Oslodrakt ….much cause for debate for those who live in the U.S and in Norway….

oslo mother and daughter





bergensdrakt_dame_modellBergen Lady in White Bunad

From Bergen

There are many other very popular bunad/costumes that are also drakts and they are:

Lundeby and Graffer

graffer-bunadrosen-06 Rekontr_Graffer_monster_kva_large blaa-graffer-blomst 450010_01-568x1024 450030_02-568x1024 Grafferbunad imagesO7CJPYEK


1 4 embroidery embroidery3 embroidery5 embroridery4 3 ladies and a child in a Lundeby Full photo of Lundeby Lundeby Lady Lundeby white lundeby3Nlite lundeby3Vstor


Now you want to know what  Festdrakt and Folkedrakt look like…well that will have to come in another blog as we have talked about this before and I have posted photos and I  talk about this many times…and each time I discuss this topic no matter where I go and how long we talk about it the last question everyone ask me is:

“What is the difference between a bunad and drakt ? “


They will say: “I have my bunad on today”

and this is what they are wearing:

Every Day Costume in red

Although this is very nice….it is NOT a bunad…it is a Folkedrakt…one that makes a great deal of sense if you live where it is very warm. It is fun to wear at festival and please enjoy wearing it. Just remember to call it as it is…your folkedrakt !!!!!

May 17th from Brooklyn, NY and lots of beautiful bunad, festdrakts etc


Sandes Folkedancers

Sandnes Folkedanslag

Folk Dance Group from Sandnes Norway was invited to march

in the May 17th Parade in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn New York on

Sunday May 18th 2014

assorted bunaderanother bunad

Rogaland and one from Sotra in Hordaland…

dancers and band taking photos

These are the folk dancers from Norway at the Syttende Mai Parade in Brooklyn NY 2014


Three Members of the “Brooklyn Norwegian Facebook Page” one in her Vest Agder bunad from Norway and another in his drakt (also from Norway) &  the owner of the

Nordic Deli in Brooklyn in her Vest Agder bunad

close up of committee

The Norwegian American 17th of May committee….again the owner of the Nordic Deli in Brooklyn in her West Agder Bunad and another committee member in her Oslodrakt

little girl in bunadChildren on Sidelines10254005_842160925812418_8076058814504530829_nflags

Everyone of all ages dresses up for the big event…

The parade has taken place for over 60 years in the Bay Ridge Community in Brooklyn and although many of the Norwegian community have moved from the area they all come back for the day….

Miss NorwayMiss Norway in car

This is the Miss Norway of 2014

Miss Sweden and Miss Norway

Miss Norway 2014 and Miss Sweden Day 2014

2014-05-18 Norwegian Day Parade 039 brooklyn blog spot

Many wear Festdrakt for the event as well as their special bunad as there is a Lundeby on the right…


the child has a wonderful Hallingdal on (carrying the flag)

BB 4

She has a wonderful Hardanger…

music as you walk10344781_842160459145798_6173106979713144453_n

Smorgasbandet also preforms during the parade:

visit their website to listen to some of the best accordion music also if you would like to schedule them for your next event

dancers marching


good looking mens bunad

Me and Mary

a Gudbrandsdalen, a couple of Festdrakt and a bunad from Mandal….

The parade has marched in the same general area for many years…..

1960s 17 May Parade Deb Nan Jane Pop at 58th and 8th St in Brooklyn

this is the parade from approx. 1959 with a Hallingdal on the young girl and a Oslo drakt on her grandmother holding her hand…


The Sons of Norway Brooklyn Lodge from the mid ’50’s

1961 May Deb and Susan

Another shot from the Syttende Mai Parade in Brooklyn in the late 1950’s

1960 Miss Norway - Jane Carolyn Deb

Miss Norway of Greater New York from 1960

Wonderful memories from parades of the past and this years parade….you will need to make plans to be in Brooklyn for the Syttende Mai Parade…as everyone is welcome to attend and it is well worth the trip!!!!

Syttende Celebrations in the US… time to wear your Norwegian bunad…find one and join the celebration


Claimed to be the largest May 17th Celebration in the US is in

Stoughton, Wisconsin

Dancers from Stoughton Wisconsin


bunad show

42 Annual Norse Costume Style Show on May 17th

at 2:30 PM in Stoughton, Wi




DC picnic

dc big event




One of the biggest parades in the country will be in Ballard, Washington

it starts at 6:00 PM on Saturday May 17th see the link below to get the parade route and all the info


A parade in the east for Syttende Mai over 60 years running is in Brooklyn this year it will be

on Sunday May 18th at 1:30 PM

Parade in Brooklyn


Norwegian Seamen’s Church in New York City

on Saturday May 17th starting at 12:00 noon 52nd Street see link below:

read about Norwegians in the NYC area at the link listed below:

If you have other May 17th Celebrations you would like to have listed here send me a message and I will post them…..

Vest Agder such good looking headwear and beautiful handwork….



West Agder silver


Vest Agder is the southern most area of Norway and it has a group of the prettiest bunad…as you can see in the photo above they have basic style is a separate bodice (although it is attached to the skirt at the sides with woven bands) Side bands

and in the back with a most unique  method:


This is from the bunad that is worn in the Mandal area of Agder.

Here is a great photo of the many of the features of the wonderful bunad of this area and it includes a wedding crown.


Sirdal is an area in the northern area of Vest Agder and the bunad from that area is not seen quite as often from this area

sirdalsbunad_465496dSirdal and Nordslands The Sirdal is on the left (it is a Nordlands bunad on the right)

As you may have seen in the photo of the sølje shown at the beginning of the post… it looks much like that from Telemark as well Aust AgderWest Agder LadyIt features a large bol in bright silver and the neck pin is very distinctive you may look at it on the website at:

I find the best place to see more about the costumes from this area is to look check out the link at:

young girl West Agder

vestagderbunaden-dameWest Agder Stripe in Green

Bunader by county; Nordland:Troms: Finnmark


map with color counties

Nordlands cities


1. Nordsland

2. Ofoten

3. Lofoten


Troms map

Troms cities



2. Kvænangen

3. Kåfjord

4. Skjervøy

5. Karlsøy


Finnmark map

Finnmark cities


1. Finnmark

Hopefully you have found the city or municipality that you are from in Norway and then located the bunad from that area. If you would like more information on a particular bunad please contact me. Or you can look it up in one of the books mentioned in previous blogs.