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Early History of Dress and Fashion in the Nordic Countries

Eva B. Andersson, Margarita Gleba, Ulla Mannering and Marianne Vedeler

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Nordic countries comprise Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Aaland, Finland, Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland. The northernmost part of Germany and the Norse community on Greenland are also considered here to be within this cultural area. Denmark has abundant Bronze and Early Iron Age finds, while Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Greenland have yielded more medieval material. From about 4200 b.c.e., textiles appear at Danish sites; Early Bronze Age graves have yielded complete garments, including women’

Malawi

Barbara W. Blackmun

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

Encyclopedia entry

Landlocked Malawi is situated in southeast Africa. It has a large lake, a varied topography and climate, and a diverse population. Dress traditions reflect the country’s checkered history, involving foreign influence through migration, trade, and invasion. Nguni warriors from Natal conquered lakeside farming communities in the 1850s, and Arab and Yao slave traders later devastated the land, which became a British protectorate in 1890. Previously, the Maravi and Yao peoples were renowned ironworke

Performance Dress in China and Taiwan

Alexandra B. Bonds, Dongshin Chang and Elizabeth Johnson

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

Encyclopedia entry

Over three hundred forms of indigenous theater entertainment incorporating song and music have evolved in China, with different forms of music-dramas being performed in specific regions throughout the country. Among these forms, Kunqu (songs of Kunshan) took shape in the Lower Yangtze region of China in the mid-sixteenth century, attained national popularity in the following two centuries, and is still thriving in the early twenty-first century. Jingju (capital drama), commonly known in the West

Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo

Elisabeth L. Cameron

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

Encyclopedia entry

Before France and Belgium divided the area in the late nineteenth century, the Republic of Congo (capital Brazzaville) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (capital Kinshasa) were a continuous area that shared cultural traits, including fashion and body art. When the Portuguese arrived at the mouth of the Congo River in the late fifteenth century, they were amazed by the high quality of the raffia cloths produced in the Congo area. The Portuguese introduced European cloth and fashions, and two of

Belarus

Hanna Chuchvaha

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

Encyclopedia entry

In the thirteenth century, Belarusian ethnic territory became an independent part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Developing handicraft industries and foreign commerce within the duchy in the sixteenth century favored new foreign garments. During the seventeenth century, the wealthy adopted West European, predominantly French, fashion. In 1795, the eastern territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, including the Belarusian territories, were annexed to the Russian Empire. In the nineteenth cent

Manchu National Minority

Pamela Kyle Crossley

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Manchus are descended from the group of Arctic peoples in northeastern Asia that included the ancestors of the modern Ewenki, Oroqens, Hezhen, and closely related peoples of China and Russia. They were speakers of Tungusic languages (the extreme eastern branch of the hypothesized Altaic language family) and for most of their history were hunting and gathering peoples. In the 2003 census, Manchus numbered 6.9 million, or about 5 percent of the total population of China. Nearly all Manchus live

Codpiece

Sandra Lee Evenson

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Archaeological Evidence: China and Inner Asia

Zhao Feng and Kuang Yanghua

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

Encyclopedia entry

During the twentieth century, archaeological finds relating to dress have been recovered in large quantities in China. While some of the garments were made specifically as grave goods, most, it is assumed, are garments used in life to celebrate status and position. These include figures in wood, pottery, jade, and stone, as well as depictions of human figures in murals, paintings, and embroideries.

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Italy and the Iberian Peninsula

Carmen Alfaro Giner and Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli

Translated by Ana Alacovska

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Rock engravings in Valcamonica, Italy, indicate the use of looms and thus weaving in the second millennium b.c.e. Tunics were worn by both men and women during pre-Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula.Italian regions colonized by Greece in the eighth century b.c.e. were influenced by Hellenic fashion. The Roman royal period lasted from 753 to 509 b.c.e., followed by the republic and the empire. Clothing during the first two periods was largely austere, although wealth and refinement characterized

Linen

Margarita Gleba

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Since prehistory, linen, made from flax, has been one of the most widely used textile materials. Linen does not take easily to natural dyes, so before the advent of synthetic colorants it was rarely dyed. Linen is particularly suitable for utilitarian fabrics, owing to its strength, low elasticity, and durability. The earliest known textiles are linen. In Europe, flax was cultivated by the second half of the seventh millennium b.c.e. Some surviving fabrics are so fine that they still cannot be du

Cambodia

Gillian Green

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

Encyclopedia entry

In the four centuries between the fall of Angkor to the Siamese in the mid-fifteenth century c.e. and the arrival of French officials in the mid-nineteenth century, there is very little direct information about Khmer dress. It can be presumed, however, that owing to Siamese political dominance, the dress of the upper echelons of society would have conformed to that of the Siamese court during the Ayutthaya period (1351–1767 c.e.) and its successor, the Ratanakosin period (from 1782 on). Siamese s

Guinea-Bissau

Walter Hawthorne and Clara Carvalho

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

Encyclopedia entry

Guinea Bissau, northwest of Guinea and south of Senegal, is located on the Atlantic Coast. The region has long been home to dozens of relatively small-scale, politically decentralized societies, three of the largest of which are the Bijago, Manjaco, and Balanta. The Guinea Bissau region has witnessed the comings and goings of foreigners for many centuries, culminating in Portuguese colonization in the early twentieth century. The broad economic, political, and social changes that were forced upon

Early Evidence of Fashion in West Europe

Sarah-Grace Heller

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

For the Roman period, relatively rich quantities of textual and visual sources (notably sculpture and mosaics) survive; actual items of apparel are extremely rare, as is the case for most areas up through the Middle Ages. Rome had urban populations, skilled artisans, trading networks, and an active culture of social criticism and satire that often used the lexicon of adornment to evaluate merit, reputation, and the erotic. Roman status was defined visually. More problematic for fashion is the rat

The Southeast

Jason Baird Jackson

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

Encyclopedia entry

The North American Indians of what is today the Southern or Southeastern United States possess a rich system of dress that can be traced from the late pre-Colonial period through the Colonial era to the present. As this is done, patterns of continuity and change over time can be seen as can the ways that native and nonnative materials, forms, and practices were creatively blended by native peoples to formulate regionally and locally distinctive modes of dress. In pre-Colonial times, the peoples o

Gender

Gertrud Lehnert

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The basic distinction between female and male dress in the Western world is between women’s skirts and men’s bifurcated trousers. Only in the twentieth century was this abandoned—but in one direction, since, even today, men do not wear skirts, despite some attempts by fashion designers. This does not indicate that trousers are more natural for men, but that in the West, they denote supremacy and masculinity. From the late Middle Ages onwards, increasing emphasis was put on gender differentiation

Beads: Prehistory to Early Twenty-First Century

Robert K. Liu

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

Encyclopedia entry

Bead types are varied, and their quantities exist in the billions, especially with regard to glass seed beads; because of this, they have often been treated as the small change of history. Rarely intrinsically valuable, but often previously considered luxuries, and difficult to study due to their diminutive sizes, beads do not yield information unless the researcher has a good understanding of archaeological, anthropological, ethnographic, or other scientific issues. Almost every substance has be

Prehistory to Colonialism

Marie-Amy Mbow

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

Encyclopedia entry

Among the earliest evidence of dress in Africa are shell beads excavated in Morocco, dating back as far as 82,000 years. The oldest known textiles in Africa come from Egypt and Nubia. The Arab conquest of Egypt and the Maghreb began in 640 c.e. Between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries Islamic practice spread, directly influencing dress. Sewn clothing indicated prestige; accounts of certain African kings’ ceremonial clothing in the fourteenth century describe them wearing styles from regions i

Art and Dress

Peter McNeil

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Academic art and popular dress emerge from different structural and intellectual systems. Nonetheless, fashion in the early twenty-first century often appears to be like art and art to be like fashion. Artists are viewed as the ideal collaborators with fashion designers and the fashion industry, injecting the type of cultural capital they embody into products that have become synonymous with innovation and novelty. Artists throughout the twentieth century intervened in fashion culture, their anti

Jewelry

Gabriele Mentges

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Jewelry, an anglicized version of the old French word jouel, means, in its broadest sense, body adornment. This definition is also valid for clothing, and both make the human body culturally visible. Like dress, jewelry belongs to particular cultural bodily techniques whose interpretation depends on culture, time, and space. However, clothing and jewelry differ profoundly in regard to their practices and meaning. The differences in regard to dress and jewelry concern, first, material and shape; s

Sequins (Spangles, Paillettes)

Nan H. Mutnick

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

Encyclopedia entry

Cultures all around the world, throughout time, have been attracted to the dazzle and shine of metals and have attached small pieces of them to their clothing and accessories. Different cultures often assigned various meanings to the metals they wore, according their beliefs. These included fertility and protection. Coins sewn on clothing served the double purpose of adding sparkle as well as providing the wearer with easily detachable currency. Identifying the attraction of the shiny, iridescent

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Continental West Europe

Mechthild Müller

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The discovery of the Iceman “Oetzi,” who lived between 3500 and 3000 b.c.e., provides valuable information on early dress. His many garments included a patchwork-style goat-fur mantle. Much later, Roman dress included tunics and togas for Roman citizens or friendly allied nations. In 816/817 Charlemagne’s son, Louis the Pious, made monks and members of the clergy accept dress codes. Lay men and women were required to dress differently, and women had to cover their heads in public. Fashion during

Latvia: Ancient and Ethnic Dress

Ieva Pigozne-Brinkmane

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

Encyclopedia entry

Between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, the territory known in the early twenty-first century as Latvia was inhabited by its indigenous people, the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes. Evidence of dress can be found from archaeological excavations. Men and women wore clothing made at home from locally grown flax and fleece; accessories were made from leather and furs of domestic and wild animals. The primary garment was a long-sleeved collarless linen tunic, long for women, shorter for men. Men w

Estonia: Urban Dress

Reet Piiri

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

Encyclopedia entry

In the thirteenth century, Estonia was divided among German nobility, but no German peasants moved there, so a clear ethnic divide developed along class lines. Clothing was produced in guilds, and also at home, especially (but not only) in poorer households. The fifteenth century marked the advent of the décolleté, hoop skirt, flared sleeves, and gold and silver embroidery. Although the Reformation reached Estonia in 1523, the courtly clothing fashions of Catholic Spain exerted an influence. The

Materials

Giorgio Riello

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Before 1800, fashionable individuals were defined as much by the textiles they chose as the styles they wore. There are characteristics shared by all textiles. First, they were used by people across society to construct notions of worth and appropriateness. Second, their importance in medieval, early modern, and modern European societies was linked to their value. Before industrialization reduced production costs, textiles remained generally luxuries. A third shared characteristic was their ubiqu

Silk

Giorgio Riello

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Silk, a natural fiber produced from silkworms, is not native to Europe. Of all natural fibers, silk has most preserved its exotic connotations: sensual, rich in texture, and unique for its shine. Natural silk remains the most appreciated fiber not just in Europe but globally. Its origin can be located in China and dates back to between 5000 and 3000 b.c.e. Archaeological evidence suggests that Chinese silk was discovered by Europeans as early as 500 b.c.e., but it took several centuries for silk

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