Lake Siljan Mirrors the Past

Lake Siljan Mirrors the Past in the Life of the Present, Rattvik Costumes in Dalecarlia, Sweden.
Though Sweden and Norway lie side by side they are not at all alike. The climate of the two countries differs very much and the occupations and customs of the people vary greatly.

In the west central part of Sweden we come into Dalecarlia, one of the oldest divisions of Sweden. It is one of Sweden's prettiest and most interesting rural sections and one where all the ancient manners and traditions of the Swedish race survive.

The Dalecarlians are a sturdy race and very industrious. They early became prominent in the history of Sweden. At least twice did the Dalecarlians drive out their enemies; the last time when they came to the assistance of Gustavus Vasa about four hundred years ago when he freed the country from Denmark.

The women, as we can see by this charming picture before us, still cling to their old-style dress and their costumes make a brilliant flash of color. Those of each parish differ slightly from the dress of all other parishes. The dress of the Rattvik girls consists of a white waist, with full white sleeves, a colored girdle fastened with silver or gilded chains and profuse ornaments, a short dark skirt, a high, close-fitting, lace-trimmed, white cap, and red stockings. Over the short skirt is worn a long apron, usually with red and blue stripes. Kerchiefs of brilliant colors are worn about the throat.

Lake Siljan that mirrors this quaint picture is idyllically beautiful and a favorite setting for Swedish pictures and Swedish romances. It covers an area of about 110 square miles and about it are clustered many pretty towns and villages. It is often called Sweden's forest jewel.

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