The female Bunad from Setesdal, Aust-Agder County is one of the national costumes that have the oldest traditional use. It is one of the oldest Norwegian Bunads, and the skirt has had the same shape since the latter half of the 1600s – perhaps even longer.
For everyday use, women in Setesdal wore white wool skirts with a leather belt called lærjure, while their church clothes consisted of an extra black skirt on top of the white. A Setesdal bride however would wear several layers of skirt.
The basis for today’s female Bunad is the church clothes. The embroidery called løyesømmen may vary.
The Bunad has two skirts: One white with a black on top. The black outer skirt is made of wool, and has a stiffened edge called skore at the bottom in colors red and green.
The white skirt is also made from wool. It does not have a pleated back like the black skirt. The skore has three ribbons in black fabric. The outer skirt is so short that the ribbons are visible.
The top, also called oppluten, is very short. The black skirt connected to the black top is decorated with wool yarn embroidery, silver pattern and red fabric at the back. The white skirt has a white opplut with waistband and pillars decorated with wool yarn embroidery.
The jacket, blåkufta, is also very short and has wide sleeves. It is made of black wool with green edges in the front and at the bottom of the sleeves. It has embroideries on the shoulders and the sleeves. On the sleeves and in the back there is silver pillar embroidery. The jacket has a row of silver buttons on each side of the front and on the sleeves. It is closed by a silver chain.
The shirt is made from white cotton with a folded collar. The collar and cuffs have tatted, crochet laced or bobbin laced edges.
The headgear is a black scarf with fringes. It might be black or with embroidered or printed roses. It is tied in a knot at the center of the head. Woven ribbons may be braided into the hair. The ribbons will hang down from inside the scarf.
The belt is woven in red, yellow and green wool yarn, closed with a silver buckle, also called kåpespenne.
It is tradition to wear black, pattern knitted stockings held up by leather straps with silver buckles called spette og sprota. It is common to wear black shoes.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Source: Våre vakre bunader. Skavhaug, Kjersti (Hjemmenes forlag, 1978)
Photos from top: Dagbladet, Bunad-magasinet