The Norwegian Bunad is the traditional folk dress of Norwegians. The designs differ from area to area, and also for occasion such as the bride’s bunad.
Called a “drakt”, a bunad is more of a costume and not worn every day. But recent years have seen a come-back in the use of bunads for festivities and special events. Bunads can cost $3500 and up depending on the design, accessories and jewelry. So, for most, it’s a one-time investment. It’s a pleasure, though, to see the bunads on 17. Mai – the national independence day – at Christmas, weddings and other celebrations.
While the modern bunads are rooted in traditional folk costumes, the designs we see today are mostly introduced in the past hundred years or so. Each district in Norway has their own, distinctive design, and you typically wear a bunad from the area your family harkens from, or where you currently reside. Bunads are handmade and of exceptional quality, thus the price. And because you are wearing a highly traditionally, highly respected outfit, stiletto heels, nylons and other “modern” accessories are out of place.
Bridal bunads are usually also from your district but include extra touches such as crowns and larger, more intricate traditional jewelry called “sølje” meaning silver. Sølje is often passed down from generation to generation. Buttons and belts are also silver or gold so you can understand the investment.
NorskeBunader.no is a great site to look up bunad districts but you’ll need to know a little Norwegian to understand the site. Feeling rich today? Then you can also order your bunad on this website…
Here’s the link to the women’s bunader organized by districts:
Which one is your favorite? Every Norwegian has their own opinion about the nicest bunad!