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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

Footwear

Doran H. Ross

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

Encyclopedia entry

In discussions of dress in Africa, soled footwear is generally considered only as an afterthought, and the barefoot stereotype still pervades popular thinking about Africa. Feet, however, are conceptually dressed and framed in many of the same ways as hands and head. And much like the adornment of other parts of the body in Africa, elaborate forms of footwear were and are generally reserved for wealthier segments of society, although distinctions based on gender, age, vocation, and religion are a

Fitrah: Temporary and Permanent Body Modifications for Muslims

Irvin Cemil Schick

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

Encyclopedia entry

The term fitrah, a precise equivalent for which does not exist in English, has been variously translated as that which is innate or instinctive, is determined by nature, derives from creation, or is in accordance with the true faith, which is Islam. The concept of fitrah is sometimes applied to the human body; namely, what people are allowed or not allowed to do with it. It is related, for example, that the Prophet Mohammed said that the five practices that are characteristic of fitrah are circum

Body Decoration in South Asia

Archana Shastri

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

Encyclopedia entry

The practice of body painting and marking is almost as old as humankind. India forms the largest core of South Asia, and cultural variations are wide and complex. Traditional practices and observances were shared, assimilated, or transported with migration and invasion, enabling continuity of body decoration traditions, which are still practiced in the early twenty-first century. Broader practices associated with Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism had tribal origins, predominant among these being kohl

Iranian Urban Dress

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

The nineteenth century in Iran was a period of dramatic changes with respect to urban dress; the style of garments worn at the beginning of the century was totally different from that at the end and in the following era. A major factor in this change were the policies of Westernization followed by Iranian rulers from the early nineteenth century on. Under Mohammed Shah (r. 1834–1848), for instance, the British military specialist Sir Henry Rawlinson was employed to modernize the Iranian army on E

Henna

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

Henna has been used to decorate people, as well as garments, for thousands of years. One of the earliest written texts referring to the use of henna comes from the Ugaritic legend (from modern northwestern Syria) of Baal and Anath, which dates from about 2000 b.c.e. Slightly more recently, in the Old Testament of the Bible, the use of henna, which is called camphire, can be found in the Song of Songs and the Song of Solomon. Since then, henna has been used by many men and women throughout the Med

Awakening The Senses: The Aesthetics of Moroccan Berber Dress

Cynthia Becker

Source: Dress Sense. Emotional and Sensory Experiences of the Body and Clothes 2007

Book chapter

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