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Dressing the Body in Bariai

Naomi M. McPherson

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

Encyclopedia entry

The name Bariai defines a linguistic and cultural group of about three thousand people (in 2005) who live in a dozen villages along a part of the north coast of West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea. Concepts of the body and ceremonial body wear, in particular interrelated ceremonies for the firstborn child and for mourning, are crucial to understanding how Bariai communicate culturally meaningful messages about self, status, and the cycle of life and death that describes their worldview. T

Fang of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon

Louis P. Perrois

Translated by Francine Farr

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Fang of equatorial Africa dazzled all who crossed their path of east-to-west migration toward the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Guinea that ended in the early twentieth century. In 1843, U.S. pastor John Wilson noted, as quoted inMerlet’sLe pays des trois estuaires, 1471–1900, that they were “naked except for a bark loincloth …. Their hair hangs in braids. They carry knives, spears, and many iron objects they make themselves.” In 1847, French naval lieutenant Méquet, plying the Como River on the

Zambia

Ruth Kerkham Simbao

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

Encyclopedia entry

Zambia (previously Northern Rhodesia) has a complex history of dress that reflects past migrations, vibrant interactions with international peoples, and a creative desire to register style and social status. The significance of dress has been incorporated into language, and a Bemba person might greet a female friend by saying, “Mwafwalukeni!” which on one level means “Hello” but at the same time acknowledges that the friend is wearing a new dress.

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