Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as an eco-designer, an artist, as a teacher and as a researcher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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By spotogspindel | May 17, 2009

The 17th of May is Norway´s independence day. The main ingredients in the celebration are:  big parades of children and families in national-costumes (bunad), waiving flags, shouting “Hurra!”  marching to the bands,  and afterwards games and lots of ice-cream and chocolate and hot-dogs. I posted some pictures below of  the traditional costumes.


This is what it´s all about: kids eating as much ice-cream as possible! This girl is dressed in a handmade Sunnhordlands-bunad. (Which is the region where I live)


Another picture of some friends of mine. The ladies wearing Sunnhordlands-bunad, the little girl in a modern commercial variation, the man on the left is in a Gudbrandsdals-bunad, the man on the right I think is called a Østerdals-bunad. Both men are from the eastern part of Norway, the women from the west. The women both have the womens-/wife-belt with the gold on leather. There are a number of different variations on the traditional costumes, from region to region, but also there are variations within the same region.


Here I am in my bunad. Because I have made part of it myself, it is totally unique (Yay!) The apron is wowen, and is a worn by married women. The girls would wear white aprons. The skirt and vest are wool, the shirt linen. It is the jacket that makes this bunad rare. A friend of mine who was very interested in traditional costumes found an old painting from a neighbour-island, where the women had woolen arms underneath the vests. So she made a copy based on this 16th century watercolor painting. And I made mine based on hers. As far as I know, we are only 4-5 people who have this jacket. There should be more, as it is very practical. It keeps me warm, and I don´t have to iron the shirt-arms (who will wrinkle if you look at them!)


Making the cuffs, I visited a local museum, and found this pattern on an old pair of suspendors. I liked the pattern and the colors so much, I made a new belt (I wanted to hang on to the embroidered girls belt instead of the metal womens belt) and the “chest-piece” (bringeduk). All embroidered in wool. 


… and mounted on raw-silk. Making part of my own bunad makes it a lot more to wear, and certainly more personal. 


Here is a detail of the white-on-white embroidery on my shirts collar. My Mom made this for me for my confirmation. I would never have the patience! The golden broach is an antique i inherited from a grand-aunt. 


When I was young, there were very strict rules on what was allowed or accepted as a national costume. but in the old days (like a couple of hundred years ago) people would use what they had, and what they liked. And I think this is what people are realizing more and more now, and why a lot more options are being accepted. It certainly makes the day more colorful, when there is more variation.  Below is a blue variation of a Sunnhordlands-bunad. 


17th of May is the day you will find most people wearing bunad in norway. But it will also be used on formal occasion like weddings, confirmations (a lot of young girls get their bunad for their confirmation), balls, or if you are invited to the King and Queen (yes, it does happen to some). Some people use it more often too, for Christmas or birthday-parties. 


I just have to add a final picture from my local village Innvær (if it is big enough to be called that). It is a small place, and we don´t have a band, so the 17th of May-committee cleverly constructed this “band-on-wheels”, which now fronts the parade along with the big flag.  


Axel says it´s nice being here, it´s a bit like Aidenfield in the BBC-production “Heartbeat”.

Topics: Diverse | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “17.mai”

  1. Birgitte Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 17:49

    Så fint å se bilder fra 17. mai, og så fine bilder også! (Forresten, Bjørn Håvard har på seg en Østerdalsbunad. Nydelig bunad!)

  2. spotogspindel Says:
    May 18th, 2009 at 17:54

    Takk for hjelpa! Du veit, eg har ikkje heilt oversikt over Austlandet… det er så stort 🙂

  3. Deirdra Doan Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 01:05

    It is so interesting seeing you in your traditional clothing…wow…I wonder what my family dress might be..guess I need to find out sometime.
    You have made a amazing out fit…and I love that woven black and white apron. Thank you for all the detailed photo’s.
    I am looking forward to coming and visiting you some day. Next summer we want to do a tour of Europe again.

    Very funny band for the parade!!!

    We have a couple Scandinavian festivals in Oregon. Up in North part on the river and the beach is a town called Astoria. It was settled by many Finnish and Norwegians..Swedish and Danish. It was a large fishing and timber town. http://www.astoriascanfest.com/images.htm
    I went one year and the Dancers from Denmark came in there wonderful outfits. The Dancing was so beautiful…compared to little American children..trying their best …which is what it is often like. We also have a big Scandinavian festival south of me. Junction City…so it is part of my heritage too in Oregon. http://junctioncity.com/news/festival/

  4. the 17th of May | Spindelmaker Janne Robberstad Says:
    May 19th, 2010 at 22:28

    […] See here for close-ups of the bunad. […]

  5. andrew from oz Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 05:09

    Hey there is only one blonde in these photos 🙂

    Wow Janne, you are very talented. And patient.

    You are so lucky to have a culture.
    In Australia we are young.
    Our only culture is to be brainwashed that we are english, when in fact we are Irish and Scottish and Welsh – with english thrown in.

    Then again, I don’t know about wearing a kilt with my knees.

    Your speech is very good, even the santised version 🙂