Mary Anne’s costume comes from the Gudbrandsdal, a beautiful broad valley in the central eastern part of Norway. This valley is rich in ancient lore and peasant tradition. Here can be found the farm and grave of the legendary Peer Gynt. Here, too, lies the charming town of Lillehammer at the entrance to the valley. Lillehammer is the home of Maihaugen open air museum, a collection of old Norwegian buildings, the largest of its kind in Europe. Sigrid Undset, Norway's well-known authoress, has her home just out of Lillehammer.
In the early 18th century, great prosperity was brought to this valley; the royal highway ran through on its way to the shrine of St. Olav in Trondheim, bringing to the valley the influence and money of all who traveled through. Consequently, their costumes show the European and urban fashion influence.
The woman’s bunad, consisting of a Rondastakk [striped skirt] worn with a checked bodice, has a particularly strong tradition in Norway, and has been worn in the north of Gudbrandsdal ever since the 1830s. Its name derives from ‘rond’, an old Norwegian word for ‘stripe’.
Tailors were often employed to cut and sew the bodices, as it was difficult to achieve a good fit while at the same time keeping an attractive and evenly checked pattern. The fabric is a striped two-shaft cotton and wool twill, woven with a cotton warp and wool weft, and this can still be hand-woven in the traditional way. The pattern varies according to local traditions, and each farm often had its own pattern. There is a wide choice of stripe combinations for the skirt fabric. Also, there is what is known as a ‘pressed crease’ about
Linda’s costume belongs to the Nordiska group. It is so old the date when it was acquired is not known. (Nordiska Folkdancers has been in existence for over 60 years.) It is from the Gudbrandsdal valley in Norway.
Once visiting Norwegians gave us more information about the costume. The wavy line on the bottom of the skirt apparently indicates on which farm, or village in the Gudbrandsdal valley the costume was made.