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Music and Dance in Bunad at Folk Museum in Norway

Folk Music and Dance in Bunad at The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History – The Folk Museum – was on the program. In beautiful warm summer weather, my wife DianeCA and I had another quality time and as always we love to share with. I’ll get back to this great, Open Air Museum later – now let’s get straight to some cultural highlights from Norway:

The Bunad:
Norway Bunad & Folk Music #1

A Bunad is our traditional costume, typically of rural origin and local to different districts. It’s a result of both cultural evolution and organized efforts to discover and modernize older patterns. The designs are elaborate, with embroidery, scarves, shawls and hand-made silver or gold jewellery – both for men and women.

It’s common to wear Bunad at various celebrations, such as: Weddings, 17th of May National Day and even accepted as proper gala attire in recent years – so its use has reached far outside folk dancing and music.
Norway Bunad & Folk Music #5

Norway Folk Music:
Unlike many other European countries, Norway has an unbroken folk music tradition. Instrumental music is most commonly played on the fiddle or on the Hardanger Fiddle – Harding Fele – which is considered the national instrument of Norway. The Harding Fiddle is a violin with four or five sympathetic strings. It is beautifully decorated and is constructed somewhat differently from an ordinary violin. The traditional music with its associated dances has resisted all the changing fashions of music through the ages and is today firmly embedded in the country’s culture. In contrast to many other countries, this type of music and dance has never fallen entirely out of use and in many parts of the country an unbroken tradition still lives on:
Norway Bunad & Folk Music #8

Since it has been passed along continuously from generation to generation, there has been no need for a folk music revival. Norway has a strong and active body of folk musicians and dancers. This, together with in–depth research and professional collections and archives, has meant that the variations and dialects have been retained and developed into a rich variety of both music and dance. They start very young – as a true reflection of the Norwegian soul itself – and we saw the most adorable troupes:
Norway Bunad & Folk Music #9

Live Folk music and Dance:
Besides taking a lot of pics, I also shot some vids with my new Cannon G11. I’ve edited them all into one video– a potpourri – and hope you enjoy it and get an idea of what I’d like to share through this post:

As a visitor, you will not search in vain for the exotic and folklore–inspired image of Norway in which music, song and dance emerges directly from the landscape – wild and mysterious.

Experience for yourself at OsloBG:
Oslo Blog Gathering by RennyBA’s TerellaRead more about this Folk Museum on my post: Lefse and rural farmhouse from Norway. Also read my wife’s review of the same day: Folk Dance and living history at Norwegian Folk Museum.
This museum is located at Bygdøy Island – 20 min by boat on the fjord from Oslo. Here you also find: The Viking Ships Museum, Norway Maritime Museum and Kon Tiki Museum.
Remember also; with the Oslo Pass, included in the Oslo Blog Gathering, you get free boat transportation and free entrance. This island is TorAa’s old stomping ground, as he was born and raised on Bygdøy so I am sure he will be happy to give you a personal tour around the island and tell you some of its little secrets during the gathering.

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  1. Reminds me of country and western kind of music. Not the dances, but the music.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a terrific day. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

  2. I love the bunads. I have several photos of my mom in hers.

    I love the folk dancing. My parents were part of a dance group with the Sons of Norway in the US. I learned one dance called the “shottish” (wrong spelling I’m sure but that’s how it sounds).

  3. Excellent report my dear Renny.
    Walking around in this large open air museum brings you centuries back on a cultural history of Norwegian life, work and architecture. Besides, the museum next door houses the Viking Ships.
    I’m born and grew up in this neighbourhood and will be happy to walk around with our great blogger-friends. Depending on the weather, it is also a chance to stay at the Beaches nearby.
    So I say, Welcome tol Oslo and Bygdoy

  4. Lovely to see traditional dress of the country. I’m not really sure what we, in England, call traditional dress – maybe the “hoodie” in modern times?

  5. This is Norwegian Folk tradition in a museum – a live one, though.

    I experienced the May 17 celebration in Brooklyn this year, bunads and all. It put it all in quite another, historical perspective.

  6. Hey Renny,

    Your Folk costumes are similar to ours (in Portugal). Particularly the ones from the North and centre of the country (male garments from Fadango folk dance).

    It is funny how our cultures can be so different and yet so similar – it does make me proud of being European :D!

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Ah… what can I say? simply beautiful! Of course, I might be somewhat biased since it’s so similar to Swedish folk music too :-)

    Yes, I’m grabbing Tor for sure in August! I want to go to Bygdoy! Especially the Viking Ship Museum! I looooove boats and Vikings, what a combo :-P

  8. Thanks for sharing with us the Norway’s traditions. I love the beautiful and so well decorated bunads. I remember a pic, Tor posted with Ingelin and baby, wearing it. The harding fiddle looks a marvelous instrument! I hope I will have the chance to discover the Norvegian folklore in august in the reality!!!! We can’t wait now!

  9. What fun, Renny. I am so ready to dance in public (something Astrid and I do every night here at home at supper time). :) Our souls were made for dancing.

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