Their design is based on regional folk costumes that were on the verge of disappearing.
All of a sudden people wanted to preserve everything that was old and traditional including the old costumes. Rural peasant customs were valued as that which was genuinely Norwegian, and it was these rural areas that had the strongest folk costume traditions. People in the cities had long been influenced by foreign fashion trends.
The first national costumes (bunader in Norwegian) were clearly related to the most familiar folk costumes. Where knowledge of old traditions was uncertain, inspiration was drawn from separate parts of costumes or from other regional elements like rose painting, wood carving or embroidery.
There are hundreds of different bunads, each valley or town has its own,some in several varieties and colour.
In recent years, interest in Norwegian bunads and folk costumes has steadily been increasing. This is especially apparent on Norway's national day on 17 May, when there is an incredible show of gorgeous costumes from all over the country.
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The Norwegian national costumes came into existence about 100 years ago when a wave of national romanticism swept across the country.
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