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Bilas: Dressing the Body in Papua New Guinea

Michael Mel

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

Encyclopedia entry

Papua New Guinea is a nation of some six million people in the twenty-first century and lies at the western end of the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia. It is the eastern half of the whole island of New Guinea, which is the second-largest island in the world after Greenland. It gained political independence from Australia in 1975. The nation has always both intrigued and fascinated people with one unusual factor: There are over eight hundred distinct languages spoken. This is an indication of th

Pacific Patterns

Graeme Were and Susanne Küchler

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

Encyclopedia entry

For many, pattern and decoration express an ideology of visual pleasure, but the often-ostentatious designs fashioned by Pacific Islanders from fragile leaf fronds and imported fabrics tell a different story. Stamped or stenciled, plaited or bound, pattern making in the Pacific is concerned with making relations to identity and to land tangible in the most striking ways and the most economic fashion. Though trivialized and hence overlooked—especially for those patterns created by women on the sur

Textile Art Production in Paraguay

Christina Turner

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

Encyclopedia entry

Textiles in Paraguay have primarily a European, rather than an indigenous, heritage. There are three primary hand-sewing techniques that Paraguayans distinguish as carriers of their identity. Paraguayans are unique in being the only culturally Hispanic national population in Latin America that speaks an indigenous language, Guaraní, as their first language. The Guaraní names for these three techniques reflect this interesting paradox: ñandutí (“spiderweb,” a circular embroidered lace), aõ po’í (l

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