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Togo

Agbenyega Adedze

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although dress in Togo is similar to that of its neighbors in West Africa, it has distinctive features that make it unique in the region. It is quite common for citizens of neighboring countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, and Ghana to identify a Togolese national by his or her clothes even though similar styles of dress might be present in these countries. Like most regions of the world, environment affects clothing choices, especially evident in practices distinguishing the north and the south of

Overview of Mongolia

Monisha Ahmed

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

Encyclopedia entry

Walking down the main street in Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital, past gray, crumbling Soviet-era buildings, a woman wearing a blue silk del, or robe, contrasts with the robust man by her side in a sober, gray Western-style suit. Walking alongside them are women in skinny jeans, fitted T-shirts, and stiletto heels. But far from the city, a nomad wears his sheepskin robe, sitting astride his horse. Mongolia has many faces. Probably the most celebrated of these is Chinggis Khaan, better known by his

Dress in New Caledonia

Frédéric Angleviel

Translated by Marissa Dooris

Vikram Iyer

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

Encyclopedia entry

New Caledonia, situated in the southwest Pacific Ocean, comprises a number of islands including the Loyalty Islands, Isle des Pins, and Isle Bélep. The warm climate and tropical vegetation have had a substantial influence on what the inhabitants have worn and do wear. In the past the indigenous people of New Caledonia, the Melanesian Kanaks, embellished their bodies in various ways. Subsequently, evangelical missionaries urged these people to hide their bodies. In the twenty-first century consume

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

Morocco

Cynthia J. Becker

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

Encyclopedia entry

Morocco has long been a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa, and dress reflects the richness of its history as well as its geographic and cultural diversity. Forty to sixty percent of the Moroccan population is Berber, and many Berbers have retained their indigenous language. After the Phoenicians and then the Romans settled in Morocco and encountered the Berbers, Arabs moved into Morocco in the seventh century, founding the city of Fes and gradually converting the

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

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

Igbo in Nigeria and Diaspora

Herbert M. Cole

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

Encyclopedia entry

One of the largest populations of West African peoples at over twenty million, the Igbo have a history of dress and personal decoration lasting over one thousand years. The archaeological sites of Igbo Ukwu, dating from the ninth and tenth centuries c.e., begin this record in the heart of Igbo country, twenty-five miles (forty kilometers) east of the Niger River and about one hundred miles (one hundred sixty-one kilometers) north of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the documentation is largely blank

Afro Hairstyle

Maxine Leeds Craig

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In the 1950s black women were expected to straighten their hair. An unstraightened black female hairstyle constituted a radical rejection of black community norms. Black women straightened their hair by coating it with protective pomade and combing it with a heated metal comb. This technique transformed the tight curls of African American hair into completely straight hair with a pomaded sheen. Straightened hair remained straight until it had contact with water. Black women made every effort to l

Li National Minority

Anne Csete

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Li national minority of Hainan Island, with a population of 1.24 million, is officially divided into five subgroups: Qi, Ha, Sai, Run, and Meifu. Li dress varies among these subgroups, but common elements include a sarong-like tube skirt, female tattooing, and methods of traditional cloth production. Han cloth and thread were incorporated into Li weaving and embroidery by at least the Song dynasty (960–1279), when significant numbers of Li began to adopt Chinese dress and customs. Li weaving

South Africa Overview

Patricia Davison

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

Encyclopedia entry

South Africa offers a rich field for exploring the symbolic language of dress in the varied contexts of everyday life. It is a country of many cultural layers, with eleven official languages and a relatively recent history of racial segregation and imposed ethnically based “homelands.” After 1994, however, when South Africa became a multiparty democracy, the new nation aspired to be united in its diversity, even though the inequalities of the past remained embedded in many social institutions and

National Minorities in Xinjiang Province

Rahile Dawut

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

Encyclopedia entry

Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region is located in northwest China, a vast area bordered by Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan. Besides the Han Chinese, there are more than ten other ethnic groups, following several different religious traditions, in Xinjiang. Among them are Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Tartars, Tajiks, and Hui, all of whom follow various Islamic traditions. The historical Silk Road, which ran through present-day Xinjiang, linked the Far East, Central Asia, western

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

Namibia

Hildi Hendrickson

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

Encyclopedia entry

In Namibia, the oldest indigenous forms of dress were made from the leather hides of wild and domesticated animals, decorated with shell and locally made metal beads. Before the Colonial period, differing cultural groups and social subgroups distinguished themselves through formalized yet highly inventive hairstyles, headgear, and types of tooth modification. Cloth dress was slowly introduced via Europeans and was adopted in uneven ways. Some indigenous people began wearing cloth early in the Col

Bridal Dress in Korea

Na Young Hong

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

Encyclopedia entry

Traditional Korean lifestyles began changing with the opening of Korea to the outside world in the late nineteenth century. The first Western wedding in Korea took place in 1890; it took nearly seventy years for most Koreans to accept this style. Traditional ceremonies began giving way to Western-style weddings with the inflow of Western culture into Korea since the mid-1950s. Pyebaek, part of the traditional ceremony in which brides kowtow to the grooms’ intimate elders, remained until the early

Body Concepts in Korea and North Asia

Jaehee Jung

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although concepts of Korean female beauty have changed during the five-thousand-year history of the peninsula, these ideals have always been deeply embedded in the daily lives of women. Historically, they have been largely shaped by two influences from China: notions of famed female beauties and Confucian modesty. The theme of beautiful women formed an important genre of poetry and literature, as well as painting, in China and in the East Asian cultures influenced by it. These images, while often

Overview of the Ryūkyūs

Kristine M. Kamiya

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

Encyclopedia entry

The 160 islands of the Ryūkyū archipelago extend from the southern shores of Japan to Taiwan. The forty-nine inhabited islands are divided into groups: Okinawa, Miyako, Yaeyama, Senkaku, and Daito. Inhabited for at least thirty thousand years, most of their history involved being caught in power struggles between China and Japan, then between Japan and the United States. Ryūkyūan dress is regularly overlooked as having specific identity, possibly partly because the traditional ryūsō (robe), is co

Sudan

Susan M. Kenyon

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of the Sudan is the largest country in Africa, encompassing nearly a million square miles, with great diversity of both environment and population. Its landscapes range from desert in the north to rainforests in the south, and, while rainfall varies, temperatures are uniformly high, a significant factor in considering what people there wear. Sudan’s approximately thirty million people include more than fifty ethnic groups, with differing identities reflected in their appearance. Inva

Central African Republic

Michelle Kisliuk and Justin Serge Mongosso

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

Encyclopedia entry

As the name indicates, the Central African Republic, or Centrafrique, is situated at the west-central heart of the continent. Centrafrique proclaimed independence from the French in 1960. The goal of Barthelemy Boganda, the country’s founder and first president-elect, was to raise the quality of life, which had deteriorated under colonial oppression. Boganda’s vision for his government was to help support the population in five fundamental ways: “to dress, to house, to feed, to educate, and to he

Chad

Kristyne Loughran

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of Chad is a landlocked state in north-central Africa. Most of northern Chad is in the Sahara desert, and the high daytime temperatures and cool nights encourage individuals to wear layered clothing styles. The Chadian population totals about ten million people, who live primarily in rural environments. Islam was introduced fairly early in northern and eastern Chad. The majority of the population is Muslim, strongly supporting conservative attitudes toward dress. Dress ensembles worn

Competitive Ballroom Dance

Jonathan S. Marion

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

Encyclopedia entry

Competitive ballroom costuming facilitates and maximizes the artistic and expressive impact of competitors’ dancing. It is meant to accentuate the movements of dancers’ performances and enhance the artistic images being produced. Artistic costume on the one hand, ballroom dress serves simultaneously as functional athletic wear that must stand up to the physical rigors and stresses involved in the tremendous movement and motion competitors produce. Balancing art and athletics, and in line with spe

Liberia

Jane Martin

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

Encyclopedia entry

Liberian dress and fashion in the twenty-first century is based on a heritage from indigenous African societies, from returned African Americans and their descendants, and from the mixed communities that developed throughout nearly two centuries. The dress codes of those who governed Liberia were derived from the southern United States. Western dress was the dress of choice. In the later twentieth century, lappa suits, boubous, and Vai shirts indicated the increased engagement of Liberia with oth

National Minorities in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces

Phila McDaniel

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

Encyclopedia entry

Guizhou province in southern China has the country’s largest concentration of National Minorities. Yao, Miao, Yi, and Zhuang predominate, but Tujia, Bai, Qiang, Bouyei, Dong, Gelao/Gelo, and Shui are present in significant numbers. Although Bouyei culture is quickly modernizing, dress has remained distinctive, seen on festival and market days, particularly on the elderly and infants. Traditional male dress comprised handwoven indigo jackets and trousers. Today most males wear contemporary Han clo

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