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The Shawl and the Head Cover

Rosemary Crill

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

Encyclopedia entry

A draped, uncut length of cloth has been the basis of Indian male and female dress since the earliest times. This draped cloth has taken many forms, with the turban, sari, and dhoti having been the major components of dress across India for centuries. The focus on wrapped, untailored lengths of cloth altered with the arrival of the Kushans in the second century b.c.e. and in the wake of closer contacts with Central Asia through migrations and trade. Later, under the influence of Muslim culture fr

Dress from the Gulf States: Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates

Fadwa El Guindi and Wesam al-Othman

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Khalij (Arab Gulf) dress that is characteristic of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Emirates shares the core code underlying dress and some aspects of form with Arab-Islamic dress in general. In the contemporary Arab Gulf region the tendency to mark gender by dress is quite dramatic. In Qatar, for example, women (young and old) dress in black and men (young and old) in white. Both sexes wear long clothing with long sleeves and wear head covers. But these clothing items have different referents

An Afghan Fashion Show

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

For nearly forty years, it was not possible to hold a fashion show in Afghanistan because of the Russian invasion of the country, civil wars, and the strict rule of the Taliban, who did not permit women to be seen in public. When it was announced that a fashion show would be held in Kabul in 2006, great excitement arose in some quarters, since this was regarded as potentially heralding a return to “normal” life. This fashion show, however, also caused controversy, thanks to the inclusion of one p

The Chadari/Burqa of Afghanistan and Pakistan

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Afghan chadari, or burqa as it is also known, has become a global icon, but particularly with the period of Taliban influence in Afghanistan (1994–2001). For many in the non-Muslim world the chadari symbolizes the oppression of women. Some specialists in Afghan history insist that the garment should be called a chadari, not a burqa, the Arab name that seems to be associated with Islamic fundamentalism. From the medieval period onward it appears that these garments were primarily worn by urban

Face Veils

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

A face veil is a separate garment that is used to cover all or part of the face, usually that of a woman. Ethnic and cultural origins often play a prominent role in whether a woman wears a face veil, and what type. Some groups have insisted on women being veiled because their presence is a sexual distraction to men. Veiling is also used to indicate the physical status of a female, that is, to show if she is in the fertile phase of her life. In patriarchal societies, veiling is sometimes linked to

The Afghan Woman’s “Chaadaree”: An Evocative Religious Expression?

M. Catherine Daly

Source: Undressing Religion. Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-Cultural Perspective 2000

Book chapter

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in 1998 Afghans were the largest single-caseload refugee population in the world, numbering 2,633,900. During the height of their displacement nearly 20 years ago Afghan refugees numbered 6 million. The total population of Afghans living in areas contiguous to Afghanistan was approximately 3 million; 1.3 million Afghans lived in camp settlements of Pakistan. This figure did not include refugees living in non-camp urban centers of Pakist

The ‘Paarda’ Expression of Hejaab Among Afghan Women in a Non-Muslim Community

M. Catherine Daly

Source: Religion, Dress and the Body. Dress, Body, Culture 1999

Book chapter

The Afghan women interviewed included those women who are the eldest in the community; those whose ages ranged from forty to seventy years old. These eight women from approximately sixty-five to seventy families living within a non-Muslim community, are considered the most respected women in the Afghan community. They are respected not only because of their generational status within the community but because of their adherence to traditional Afghan and Islamic practices, which is reflected in th

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