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Subcultural Body Style and Identity

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

Each subculture member has individual lived body experiences, which collectively create the generalizations about the subculture’s identity. These generalizations are then further extended to collective ideas about identity regarding the individual member, the specific subculture, and the entirety of all subcultures to some degree. The subcultural body becomes an amalgam of experiences—for example, piercings, tattoos, spiky hair, and propensity toward pain. Furthermore, each subculture has unwrit

‘Gestus’ Manifests ‘Habitus’: Dress and the Mormon

Douglas J. Davies

Source: Dressed to Impress. Looking the Part 2011

Book chapter

The essential base of the Mormon approach to dress begins in what might appear strange to some non-Mormons, in that the body, itself, is a form of dress. According to LDS ideology there existed, eternally, what is called intelligence. This intelligence came to take a form through a birth, brought about by the Heavenly Father in the context of eternity, and resulting in a spirit-child with a spirit-body. This is set within an underlying scheme called the plan of salvation. It involves spirit-child

Yoruba in Nigeria and Diaspora

Rowland Abiodun

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Yoruba people number well over thirty million from about sixteen ancient kingdoms. They spread all over southwestern Nigeria and extend well into the neighboring countries of Benin and Togo. The Yoruba have been urbanized since the first millennium c.e. and are well known for their fine artistic achievements, especially the naturalistic life-size bronze heads and terra-cotta sculptures of Ile-Ife. In addition to being among the most accomplished carvers in wood and ivory in Africa, the Yoruba

Benin

Joseph C.E. Adande

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of Benin is bounded in the south by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by Niger and Burkina Faso, in the east by Nigeria, and in the west by Togo. Thus, it naturally shares both history and culture with the peoples of these neighboring countries. In Benin, clothing, regardless of definition, is as complex and varied as its numerous linguistic groups. In the Benin Republic, Vodun adepts and masquerade performers dress primarily to please their gods and offer them the appropriate manifes

Missionary Dress in Samoa

Prue Ahrens

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The first European Christian missionaries to establish a station in the South Pacific were members of the London Missionary Society (LMS) who arrived in Tahiti in 1797. Over the next one hundred years a number of European Christian denominations established missions there. For example, mission stations were established in Tonga by Wesleyans (1826) and Marists (1832), and in the Gilberts and Ellice Islands (now Kiribati and Tuvalu) by the LMS (1877) and the Catholic Sacred Heart Mission (1881). In

Headdresses and Hairdos

Mary Jo Arnoldi

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Headwear has been an important feature of everyday wear and ceremonial display in Africa from ancient times to the present day. Hats and hairstyles can mark or celebrate changes in the life cycle, denote a person’s status in the community, signal membership in a religious or initiation society, designate key participants at rituals and festivals, or identify political and religious leaders and occupational specialists. Hats designed for daily wear provide pragmatic solutions to the problem of phy

Body Modification and Body Art

Lisa Aronson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The U.S. anthropologist Enid Schildkrout characterizes the body as a “site where culture is inscribed (and) a place where the individual is defined and inserted into the cultural landscape.” Cultures throughout the African continent use the transformed body as means for expressing identities, norms, values, and aesthetic principles through a wide range of body art media, including everything from scarification, tattooing, painting, and oiling the skin to styling the hair and reshaping designated

West Africa

Lisa Aronson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

West African markets are well known for their tightly packed displays of textiles in rich arrays of colors and patterns, and tailors on their sewing machines can be heard everywhere sewing visually striking garments that seldom go unnoticed when worn in public. So vital and richly varied are textiles in West Africa that even prominent contemporary artists such as El Anatsui from Ghana and Nigeria and Yinka Shonibare from Nigeria are inspired by them as powerful mediums for discourse on historical

Fashion under Socialism

Djurdja Bartlett

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The relationship between dress and Socialism started in Soviet Russia following the 1917 Communist Revolution. When Soviet-style Socialism was introduced in East Europe in 1948, dress became an important ideological and practical issue in the countries under Soviet political control. However, the styles of garments, and the discourses in which they were embedded, were not homogeneous in the Soviet Union and the East European countries during the seventy-two years of Communist rule. Both similarit

Hair

Geraldine Biddle-Perry and Sarah Cheang

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Across cultures, the symbolic and material management of hair on bodies, faces and heads is intrinsic to human adornment and hygiene, ritualized belief, and commercial enterprise. Fashions in hair can display an enormous and shifting range of aesthetic and social conventions. A wide variety of primary and secondary sources provides an overview of key debates and theories that describe, inform, and develop our understanding of the styling and management of human hair as a powerful vehicle for soci

Occult Dress

Thomas A. Bilstad and Theresa M. Winge

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Occult beliefs promote nudity as occult dress, because clothing is believed to impede the flow of magical energies through the body from the surrounding environment. Wicca practitioners and witches have traditionally performed rites in the nude to show their devotion to the Wiccan goddess. Due to modesty or weather, some occultists wear robes or tunics with bare feet and no undergarments. This latter dress is believed to still allow the flow of magical energies. Many covens and magical groups hav

Jewelry of Malaysia

Mohammed Kassim Bin Haji Ali

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Beads were one of the earliest forms of manufactured body ornaments worn by indigenous groups in Malaysia. Some beads found in Borneo can be dated to the Metal Age. Earlier glass and stone beads that came from as far away as Egypt and Mesopotamia through bartering have become very valuable and are much sought after in the early twenty-first century; in earlier times they were sometimes used as currency. The ancient tradition remains strong, and status and wealth are measured according to the numb

Dress Reforms of the Early Twentieth Century in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan

Derek Bryce

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

During the 1920s and 1930s, three states—Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan—embarked on a series of wide-ranging programmatic reforms designed to transform their respective societies fundamentally. Often called “modernization from above” because of their association with authoritarian elites, these reforms attempted to impose changes in state, economic, and sociocultural spheres that favored broadly Western models and to replace or restrict the practice of corresponding traditional, indigenous, or Isl

The Turban and Male Headgear

Beverly Chico

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The turban is a widely used headdress created by winding a piece of cloth, such as linen, cotton, or silk, around the head and sometimes over a cap. Turbans vary greatly in shape, size, folds, and color; the fabric used differs in its length and width. Assigned numerous meanings, turbans have represented religious symbolism, political power, social status, and fashion consciousness. They can also fulfill practical functions, such as providing protection against natural elements like heat, cold, w

Tibetan Jewelry

John Clarke

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In Tibet before the Chinese invasion, jewelry, together with ornamented objects used in everyday life such as purses and chatelaines, formed the most visible statements of a person’s wealth and status. The nobility, consisting of a relatively small number of families, was able to afford the most lavishly decorated and finely worked pieces. Laymen drawn from the upper class, together with monastic officials with whom they worked in tandem, formed part of the Dalai Lama’s government. Since the time

Masquerade, Theater, Dance Costumes

Herbert M. Cole

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

African masquerades, perhaps the continent’s premier art form, play grandly with illusion, ambivalence, and paradox. Masks and masquerades are both more, and less, than what they appear to be. Their illusionist play can be comic and lighthearted, or deeply serious, but always it is creative and imaginative, art and artifice. Never is it ordinary, and usually it is deeply meaningful and sometimes powerfully instrumental. Masquerades both create and help organize values and knowledge, and they are

Rites of Passage and Ritual Traditions of the Shan

Susan Conway

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Shan State is bordered by China, Tibet, Laos, and Thailand. The Shan belong to the Tai ethnic groups. Their rulers came from prominent local families, but they usually had to present tribute payments to more powerful monarchs. The major Shan religion is Theravada Buddhism, which assimilated ancient spirit religions. The Shan make textiles and cultivate cotton. They have for centuries imported Chinese and Burmese raw silk and other luxury fabrics. Exotic court dress identified rulers with the gods

Rites of Passage and Rituals in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia

Susan Conway

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The people of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are united by their proximity to the Mekong River and its tributaries. Indigenous and imported fabrics are worn for dress associated with religious ceremonies and other rituals. In societies where Hinduism has made an impact, particularly Thailand and Cambodia, children undergo a tonsure ceremony marking the passage from childhood to adolescence. If the ceremony is performed for a male member of the royal family, court affiliates dressed as guar

Court Dress of Thailand: History and Symbolic Significance

Susan Conway

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

According to ancient Buddhist chronicles, Thai royalty descended from heaven. Rule by divine right flourished, reinforced by the Khmer belief that kings were manifestations of Brahmanical gods. Thai royalty adopted Hindu court rituals, while Buddhist monks performed rites reflecting the belief that the king is a bodhisattva (a reincarnated Buddha who is a spiritual guide). Early figurines of boddhisatva wear long draped cloth and elaborate jewelry. Sumptuary laws reinforced belief in the king as

Afghan Jewelry

M. Catherine Daly

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Jewelry has long played an important role in Afghan dress. It has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years and follows the ancient trading routes that wove through Afghanistan. What is considered to be Afghan ethnic or indigenous jewelry at the beginning of the twenty-first century is frequently referred to as nomadic jewelry. As in the case of Afghan dress, Afghan jewelry research is fraught with challenges, since many personally owned pieces were sold during the Soviet occupatio

Jewelry in Indonesia

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The vast Indonesian archipelago is a chain of 13,667 islands. The Indonesians call their country Tanah Air Kita, “our homeland,” literally “our land and water.” The nation comprises 365 ethnic and tribal groups, each with its own language, cultural traditions, beliefs, ritual observations, and social norms. Thus, throughout the archipelago, a large number of cultural expressions have evolved over the millennia, many of which are still in use in the early twenty-first century. Even small islands h

Rites of Passage and Rituals in India

Jasleen Dhamija

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Indians are conscious of a deep connection between woven fabrics and their inner lives, viewing textiles as a second skin through which socio-religious and cultural history is absorbed into the wearer’s psyche. Weaving is one of the oldest technologies, and the terminology associated with it has been used to express philosophical concepts that are equally ancient. For example, the word sutra, originating from sut (thread) and meaning “to string together,” is used for the stringing together of the

Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Brethren

Jean L. Druesedow

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Anabaptists derive their name because the early practitioners of this branch of Protestantism sought to be rebaptized as adults although they had been baptized as children. There are four major Anabaptist groups: Hutterites, Mennonites, Brethren, and Amish, with subgroups within each category. Dress is an important means used by many Anabaptist groups to define their affiliation with a particular church, indicate their humility and willingness to submit to church discipline, and demonstrate their

Ainu

Chisato O. Dubreuil

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, live throughout Japan, but most are concentrated on the northernmost island of Hokkaido (formally known as Ezo). The definition of the word Ainu is “the people” or “humans.” Their homeland, Ainu-mosir (the Land of Humans), originally included southern Sakhalin, the lower Amur River region, the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kurile Islands, Hokkaido, and at least the Tohoku region of Japan’s main island, Honshū. While there are no known full-

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