Norwegian Folk Costumes
In the 19th century the original folk costumes largely went out of use, but in several of the Nordic countries we have examples of traditions that have survived into this century.
Most countries, both in and outside Europe, had their folk costumes. In their original form, they were the normal clothes worn by women and men everyday and on festive and
formal occasions. They were adapted to suit the place and the working and social conditions of the time. They developed local characteristics, but were also influenced by
other fashion trends, That is how, for example, the tight-fitting trousers worn with stockings originating in the Spanish court and the waistcoat from France were
incorporated in the costumes of the Norwegian valleys.
In a country like Norway, however, with its strictly demarcated country districts, conditions were favorably for individual expression. The history of Norwegian folk
costumes is thus an important part of Norway's cultural history.
As folk costume traditions crumbled about the middle of the 19th century the work of keeping festive costume traditions alive began.
In Norway they were given the Norse name of bunad. These are costumes for festive and formal occasions based on folk costumes. In a way, bunad.s cami lie seen as the
last stage in the evolution of folk costumes. They give the wearer a feeling of belonging and appear to be growing more and more popular as the years go by.
They are worn at family celebrations and at festive gatherings, both private and public.