Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three girls in national costumes

Three girls in national costumes, ca 1880s

I love the national costumes and every time I find an old photo with someone wearing one it just begs to be shared. The three women shown in this old picture are wearing costumes from about the 1880s . At first I thought these were all Norwegian costumes and I busily set about trying to identify the regions but when I compared the one on the right with the Jølster bunad from Sogn og Fjordane (see below) I realized that the stripes on the apron were going the wrong direction. The Jølster stripes are vertical and these are horizontal. One of the Swedish costumes has horizontal stripes! Then I could not find anything that resembled the one on the left, with the white work on the apron and the floral pattern on the underskirt, amongst the Norwegian costumes leading me to believe that these three girls are more than likely supposed to be representing Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
You can see the subtle differences in the colors and stripes in other pictures of the Jølster bunad.

Modern day postcard showing young girl in national costume on a Fjord horse with view of Jølster, Norway in the background.

Jølster girls with a man in a small boat, ca 1900

This is an Axel Eliassen postcard showing two girls from Jølster with a man in a small boat. The caption says “Sandfjord” and "Piger fra Jølster" (girls from Jølster). The hats remind me a little of the pointed caps a princess always wears in fairy tales.

Three Swedish girls, ca 1900

This is another Axel Eliassen postcard from circa 1900. The costumes look amazingly similar to the Jølster bunad but the card says it is Swedish. Notice the horizontal stripes and the colors are slightly different as well on the Swedish costume. The caps are very close to the same in appearance but I think the Swedish cap is a bit more pointed and the Jølster cap a little more rounded on the top. Also the Swedish girls are wearing scarves around their necks while the Norwegian girls are not.

In a future post I’ll share some pictures of antique Hardanger lace and another picture of girls wearing the Hardanger costume as well as photos of a child’s bunad from Telemark.


If any of our Norwegian cousins can more positively identify the costumes, I would happy to learn more.

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