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Archaeological Evidence

Fred T. Smith

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

Encyclopedia entry

In Africa, the human body has always been a focus for creative expression. Each culture has evolved its own patterns of dress and associated symbolic system, yet cross-cultural influences and change have constantly occurred. A society’s political structure and religious institutions can determine the type of dress used. Societies with a centralized organization often have elaborate, even grandiose programs of visual culture associated with leadership. The ruler or an elite group often reserves th

The Northeast

Linda Welters

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

Encyclopedia entry

Three broad regions based on geographical and cultural boundaries make up the Northeast: Coastal, Saint Lawrence Lowlands, and Great Lakes–Riverine. During prehistoric times, tribes adapted to climatic changes and cultural innovations introduced by other native groups. At the time of contact with Europeans, North American Indians and First Nations were organized into small autonomous bands that sometimes formed alliances, or confederacies, with other groups. The period of thousands of years befor

Bangladesh

Niaz Zaman

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

Encyclopedia entry

Bordered to the south by the Bay of Bengal, to the west, north, and east by India, and to the southeast by Myanmar, Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971. The climate is tropical, with heavy seasonal rainfall for about four months of the year, high temperatures, and high humidity. Though temperatures fall in winter, necessitating the use of shawls and wraps, the prevailing warmth and humidity require clothes to be light and few. The indigenous dress of the lower Gangetic Delta was unst

The Nasca on the South Coast of Peru

Mary Frame

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Knowledge of how people dressed in the Nasca region during the early phases of the Nasca period (1–300 c.e.) is reconstructed largely from archaeological sources. The garments themselves have been preserved in burials and ritual deposits, and technical studies of the garments reveal how they were made. In the middle and late phases (300–600 c.e.), textile preservation is too sporadic to provide an accurate overview of Nasca dress. Nasca people embellished their woven clothing with dyeing, embroid

Ancient Maya

Matthew Looper

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

The Maya civilization, particularly during the Classical period (250–900 c.e.), provides some of the most extensive evidence for dress in the ancient Americas. Sculpted, modeled, and painted images portray the rituals and myths surrounding prestigious status. Generally, only durable materials survive. Elite burials provide the most significant remains; there is considerably more information on prestigious ritual dress than on clothing in other contexts. Maya dress generally changed little, and ma

Overview of Mexico

Chloë Sayer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Mexico is one of the richest archaeological zones in the world. Extreme variations of climate and vegetation have influenced human evolution over long periods of time. Stone carvings, terracotta figurines, murals, and painted manuscripts reflect the evolution of the textile arts and show that ancient peoples developed varied styles of clothing and adornment. Highly stratified societies imposed strict clothing restrictions. After the Spanish Conquest of 1519, Spanish settlers introduced new materi

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