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Early History of Dress and Fashion in the Nordic Countries

Eva B. Andersson, Margarita Gleba, Ulla Mannering and Marianne Vedeler

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Nordic countries comprise Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Aaland, Finland, Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland. The northernmost part of Germany and the Norse community on Greenland are also considered here to be within this cultural area. Denmark has abundant Bronze and Early Iron Age finds, while Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Greenland have yielded more medieval material. From about 4200 b.c.e., textiles appear at Danish sites; Early Bronze Age graves have yielded complete garments, including women’

Kuba Dress and Textiles

Elisabeth L. Cameron

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

Encyclopedia entry

Dress in the ter Kuba kingdom (Democratic Republic of Congo), whether daily wear or ceremonial, marks both rank and prosperity. Men’s and women’s festive dress is an ensemble of skirt, hat, and other beaded and decorated accessories. Rank is indicated through the use of specific items such as eagle or owl feathers, the wearing of certain skirt styles, and restriction of some metals. The density and rarity of added materials demonstrates the resources a family or clan can control and thus their af

Overview of Taiwan

Ching-Yi Cheng and Hsu-Chun Su

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

Encyclopedia entry

The impact of Confucian philosophy on all aspects of Chinese life is evident in the attire of the Han people of Taiwan, specifically as regards the notion of the Doctrine of the Mean, which emphasizes personal introspection and emotional control, focused on cultural nurturing and the rejection of human vanity. Dress preserves modesty by covering the body and obscuring its shape. Importance is placed on inner beauty, the term for which literally means “charm”—the spiritual and cultural quality hop

Rites of Passage and Rituals in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia

Susan Conway

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

Encyclopedia entry

The people of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are united by their proximity to the Mekong River and its tributaries. Indigenous and imported fabrics are worn for dress associated with religious ceremonies and other rituals. In societies where Hinduism has made an impact, particularly Thailand and Cambodia, children undergo a tonsure ceremony marking the passage from childhood to adolescence. If the ceremony is performed for a male member of the royal family, court affiliates dressed as guar

Philippines: North

George R. Ellis

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

Encyclopedia entry

The mountain mass comprising part of the north of Luzon, the largest and northernmost island of the Philippines, is known as the Gran Cordillera Central. Its inhabitants arrived at various periods and are known by various names, the earliest recorded being in Spanish. In one sense their dress is homogenous. Women’s basic clothing consists of a tapis (skirt), while men wear loincloths; both are sometimes complemented by jackets. Blankets are widely worn, for warmth and as finery. Hats, headdresses

Overview: Hong Kong

Valery M. Garrett

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

Encyclopedia entry

Until the late twentieth century the British colony of Hong Kong remained detached from events in China, especially in the rural New Territories. Farmers, wearing traditional dress, grew rice and vegetables, while fishermen sold their catch in local ports. Working people wore hard-wearing, dark clothing suitable to their tough lives. Most wore practical jackets with loose trousers, hemp being a popular fabric. Symbolism is important in Chinese folklore, and children’s clothing was embroidered wit

Ceremonial and Special-Occasion Dress

Michaele Thurgood Haynes

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

Encyclopedia entry

There is a difference between the terms ceremonial and special-occasion dress. The latter is an out-of-the-ordinary event, possibly unique. Societal conventions create parameters as to what is acceptable wear at these times, but personal clothing choices made by the participants help make it a special occasion. Ceremonial refers to repeated events occurring within a set framework, a somewhat rigid and formalized series of actions. In anthropological terms, a ceremony is generally more suitably na

Black and New Zealand Dress

Bronwyn Labrum

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

Encyclopedia entry

The color black features in New Zealand dress in distinctive ways that are the product of the nation’s particular history and culture. It is frequently evoked as New Zealand’s national color, primarily because of its lengthy association with the game of rugby union and the uniform of other key sporting codes. More recently, the supposed affinity between this hue and the work of leading fashion designers has cemented the association. The color black has connections across other groups within New Z

Madagascar

John Mack

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

Encyclopedia entry

Madagascar is by far the largest of the islands lying off the coast of Africa, yet its traditions of dress and personal decoration are distinctively different from what is found even on adjacent parts of the continent. They also show considerable differentiation within the island itself. Clothing is adapted both to extremes of heat and, in the center of the island, to cold, especially at night. Banana tree fiber, bark, hemp, and indigenous silkworms have all been exploited in making textiles, and

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Great Britain and Ireland

Naomi E.A. Tarrant

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Little is known about clothing in the British islands before the Roman invasion in 43 c.e.. What survives are cloth fragments and amazing jewelry such as brooches and torcs. Pre-Christian graves suggest that women wore tunics. The advent of Christianity possibly resulted in women covering their heads. The medieval period saw Europe stabilize after the raids and invasions of the Dark Ages. Trade increased greatly, much of it related to textiles. From the fourteenth century onward dress styles have

Mourning Dress

Lou Taylor

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

At royal funerals, the hearse was accompanied for burial by a vast procession of representatives of the nation’s power: the bereaved family, the aristocracy, military, church, and merchants—their mourning dress carefully coded to indicate their gender and social rank. The highest in the land, both men and women, wore the longest mourning trains and hoods in expensive dull black wool, with black or white crape or linen trimmings. Lengths of mourning and details of the requisite dress followed stri

Birth, Marriage, and Death

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

Important rites of passage relate to dress in Southwest Asia; namely, engagement, marriage, birth, and death customs. Because of the region’s size and the many different ethnic and religious groups and numerous variations, only general descriptions are possible. In the West, the sequence of life events is usually listed as birth, marriage, and death. In contrast, among many Southwest Asian cultures, birth is regarded as a product of marriage; thus marriage, birth, and death is considered the “nat

Miao/Hmong in Australia

Maria Wronska-Friend

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

Encyclopedia entry

The study of dress of the Hmong, or Miao as known in China, who have resettled in Australia, represents an interesting case study of the transformation of tribal garments placed in the context of an industrialized society. The Hmong, whose original homelands are situated in Southeast Asia, arrived in Australia in the late 1970s and 1980s as political immigrants, following the Indo-Chinese War. Festive dress for the Hmong has always been the major form of artistic expression, and although in Austr

Book chapter

Attempts to locate relevant written documents, certificates, or testimonies that might shed light on these unique structures proved fruitless. The records of many communities in the Ukraine were lost in a fire that broke out in the central archives in Lvov after World War II. No references were found of the Jewish burial societies in the Ukraine, in pinkasim (memorial volumes of the communities) nor in Yizkor (Remembrance) books, personal memoirs, literary works, or other kinds of documentation.

“Why Do Gringos Like Black?” Mourning, Tourism and Changing Fashions in Peru

Blenda Femenías

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

One April afternoon, Nilda Bernal took an order for a black vest from my friend. While Patricia Jurewicz and I were riding the bus from Arequipa to the Colca Valley for Semana Santa (Holy Week) of 1992, we had discussed buying embroideries. A textile designer from the United States then living in Peru, Jurewicz was intrigued by bordados, the distinctive Colca-style embroidered clothes.My writings about Peruvian dress, especially Colca bordados, include Femenías 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, and n.d. To

Ixcacles: Maguey-fiber Sandals in Modern Mexico

Pamela Scheinman

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

Ixcacles consist of four elements made in a specific order: 1) a foot-shaped sole (la suela ) of three layers of fiber, rolled and doubled over, then stitched tightly in a concentric or horizontal pattern; 2) a rectangular heel guard ( el carcañal or la talonera ), like the back of a shoe, of weft-faced plain weave; 3) a toe band (el puente ) woven over three (or up to ten) warps;Oaxacan sandals had a plied cord loop as a toe thong (la correa or la pata del gallo, i.e, rooster’s claw (see de Avil

Addressing the Body

Susan Vincent

Source: Dressing the Elite. Dressing the Elite Clothes in Early Modern England 2003

Book chapter

Later generations tend to look back in sartorial judgement, and impute to early modern dress a negative range of values. It was surely restrictive, unhygienic, uncomfortable, unhealthy and impractical. It must have got in the way. To wear it would have needed endurance, and those who did are pitied, and wondered at. Such sentiments are found expressed in much historiographical comment. For example, G.R. Elton wrote of Tudor dress that ‘the huge hooped skirts rendered movement difficult, while the

Protection From Harm: The Shawl and Cap in Czech and Slovak Wedding, Birthing and Funerary Rites

Patricia Williams

Source: Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia. Beliefs about Protection and Fertility 1999

Book chapter

Archaeological finds suggest that ritual acts accompanied burial since early times. The presence of ritual attracted the attention of scholars, and in 1908 Arnold van Gennep presented the first substantial interpretation of such acts. Van Gennep (1960 [1908]: 10) called these ceremonies rites of passage, and described them as the “magico-religious” aspects of crossing frontiers associated with life changes. According to van Gennep, the more technically simple the society, the more often the holy

Why Do They Call it Kalabari? Cultural Authentication and the Demarcation of Ethnic Identity

Joanne B. Eicher and Tonye V.

Source: Dress and Ethnicity. Change Across Space and Time 1995

Book chapter

The Kalabari people who have lived on islands in the Delta of the Nigerian Atlantic coast for at least 1,000 years wear dress ensembles that distinguish them from their neighbors. Some items and outfits affirm their ethnic identity in ways that are often so subtle as to mislead even the “expert” outsider; an instance is a director of a prominent North American art museum in the 1980s, who refused to access an historic textile prized and identified by the Kalabari as Kalabari because he said it wa

Dress and Ethnic Differentiation in the Niger Delta

Barbara Sumberg

Source: Dress and Ethnicity. Change Across Space and Time 1995

Book chapter

Most of the Niger Delta is located in Rivers State and is inhabited by diverse groups of people. The Ijo ethnic group is spread over the lower reaches of the Niger Delta; the three large divisions of Western, Central, and Eastern Delta Ijo are further split into forty sub-groups or ibe (Alagoa 1966). The ibe are defined by common dialect, belief in a common ancestor, and worship of the same god.Alagoa notes that though these three factors are common, they are not the only possibilities and while

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