All Things Norwegian

Last weekend was the 57th Little Norway Festival in Petersburg – our first one.  The town was stuffed to the gills with visitors and past residents back in town for the festivities and the high school reunions – there wasn’t an empty hotel or guest room anywhere.  We heard great things about the Festival, but were not quite prepared for the extent of the Norwegian-ness!  It will take more than one Blog entry to show it all to you…

We began our Festival experience by attending “Shipwreck on Cannery Island”, an original play written and performed by the Mitkof Mummers Theater Company.  It involved Vikings and a cannery run by (who else?) Norwegians.  I didn’t take any photos – I was laughing too hard – but it was just outstanding… a great way to kick things off.

20150427 5825 real rosemaling rThe next morning Jim and I took a little 1-hour rosemaling class – rosemaling is a type of decorative painting, primarily from Norway.  There are examples of rosemaling all around town – on the harbormaster’s office, building trim, company signs, and this beautiful wooden plate that hangs in the Library just to name a few examples.  We didn’t expect to become competent rosemalers in an hour, but we thought it would be fun to give it a try.  20150515 5833 rosemaling class rWe all had a lot of fun, and we came away with a much greater appreciation for the skill and experience of real rosemalers.  Regardless, our little samples are displayed proudly on the refrigerator.

20150515 5192 bunad show glo rThe next major event was the Scandinavian Style Show and luncheon, and we were advised to line up to buy our tickets early – which I was happy to do since I wanted a good spot to take photographs.  The show was narrated by our talented harbormaster Glo, and the models showed off about 75 different bunad – traditional Norwegian folk costumes, as well as costumes from Sweden and the northernmost Sami people.  What was truly amazing was to learn how many of these stunning costumes had been made for people in town by Glo – expert seamstress, bunad historian, and gifted embroiderer.  20150515 5220 bunad woman r20150515 5193 bunad cynthia r20150515 5258 bunad man r20150515 5210 bunad little girl r20150515 5230 bunad boys r20150515 5236 bunad little girl looking rMany of the garments Glo made took 1-2 years to complete, and as I was photographing the different styles from various regions I realized how much beauty was in the detail. 20150515 5238 bunad purse and solje detail r20150515 5233 bunad back embroidery detail r20150515 5243 bunad petersburg embroidery detail rIt was wonderful to see so many people involved in the show – some ladies had made their bunad from kits purchased in Norway, working together to help one another.  It was interesting to hear about the ways that a child’s bunad is constructed to allow for growth and modification as the child grows, and all the children (and men!) were good sports about modeling.20150515 5255 bunad marilyn and baby rThese are Swedish bunader…20150515 5269 bunad sweden rAnd this is an example of the Sami costume:20150515 5274 bunad sami rThis little gal in a knitted dress was my favorite.20150515 5277 bunad toddler knitted dress rEven though it was a warm sunny day, many people were wearing their traditional Dale of Norway sweaters, and in the afterglow of the fashion show I finally got Jim to choose a Dale sweater for himself.  It’s “Petersburg formal wear” – appropriate for just about any occasion, and it looks great on him.20150515 5280 bunad fashion show group rThere’s lots more of the Festival to show, but that will have to wait for the next post.

1 thought on “All Things Norwegian

  1. You really have gotten to know that town well, love it & all the costumes! Want to see Jim in his sweater! Now cast off the lines & have fun cruising! We’re hauling out in less than an hr. so you will have more fun!

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