These costumes, belonging to George and Julie, come from Hardanger, the area surrounding the Hardanger Fjord on the southwest coast of Norway. Hardanger lies in the fylke (county) of Hordaland. Bergen, founded founded by King Olaf in 1070 A.D. and the second largest city on Norway, is also in this fylke, so the Hardanger bunad is often used in the city of Bergen. It is interesting to know that Bergen was the residence of Norwegian kings and monastic activity for several years. German merchants in the 13th and 14th centuries were attracted to the city as a trading center and port. Now Bergen is a great fish market with its principal trade the exportation of dried fish, fish oils, herring and fish roe, and it is Seattle's sister city.
The Hardanger Fjord is one of Norway's largest and best know fjords, and considered by many to be the loveliest. The Hardanger women produce some of the finest cut-thread embroidery known.
The Hardanger bunad costume for ladies is probably the most famous or most frequently seen of the Norwegian bunader.
It is from an area near Bergen, Norway. In the latter part of the 19ths century, it became the national costume and was copied all over Norway.
The embroidery on the blouse and apron is called Hardanger lace and is famous from this area of Norway. Within the Hardanger district the costume can be put together in different ways. The breast plate and belt, as well as the bands hanging from the belt can be woven or beaded, and the design can differ from bunad to bunad.
A hat is usually worn with the bunad, but the hat for a married woman is a heavily starched, very large, very complicated on and would not stay on very well while doing some of the dances done by this group. Incidentally, Julie sewed this entire bunad herself!!!
There are three characteristic parts to this costume:
1. Jacket -- The black wool jacket is edged in green wool and has a stand-up collar; lapels and cuffs are edged in green wool.
2. Vest-The vest is red wool, edged in green wool, and is double-breasted, fastened with 2 rows of pewter buttons.
3. Trousers -- The knee length trousers are black wool with pewter buttons and a pewter buckle fastening at the knee.
Other parts of the costume are a white cotton, long sleeved shirt, hand knit black and white designed knee length wool stockings with hand-woven ties, black bunad shoes with pewter buckles and jewelry consisting of a pewter brooch to wear at neck of shirt and pewter cuff links.