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Missionary Dress in Samoa

Prue Ahrens

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

Encyclopedia entry

The first European Christian missionaries to establish a station in the South Pacific were members of the London Missionary Society (LMS) who arrived in Tahiti in 1797. Over the next one hundred years a number of European Christian denominations established missions there. For example, mission stations were established in Tonga by Wesleyans (1826) and Marists (1832), and in the Gilberts and Ellice Islands (now Kiribati and Tuvalu) by the LMS (1877) and the Catholic Sacred Heart Mission (1881). In

Hawaiian Dress Prior to 1898

Linda Boynton Arthur

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

Encyclopedia entry

Hawai’i is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, a chain referred to simply as Hawai’i or the Hawaiian Islands. The six major islands are Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and the Big Island, that is, Hawai’i. The latter name is rarely used, in order to reduce confusion, since Hawai’i (the archipelago) became an American state in 1959. Until the late eighteenth century the peoples who inhabited these islands shared a common culture, although they were somewhat divided politically in that each had

Introduction to the Dress of the Pacific Islands

Adrienne L. Kaeppler

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth’s surface and is inhabited by hundreds of cultural groups. Some twenty-five thousand islands, ranging from tiny specks of coral to the large island of New Guinea, are occupied by physically diverse peoples, many of whom have mixed and intermixed. Environments range from snowy mountains to raging volcanoes, from steaming rain forests to parched deserts, from coral atolls to volcanic outcrops. These Pacific Islands are usually divided into three histo

The Social World of Cloth in the Pacific Islands

Susanne Küchler and Graeme Were

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

Encyclopedia entry

Portable, malleable, absorbent, and textured, often with colored patterns that attract or repel the mind, cloth the world over is essential for all manner of fastenings and constructions that give form to the social relations that are conceived as dependent upon the actions of the body. Pacific societies are unique in expressing, perhaps more fervently than observed elsewhere, the centrality of cloth to identities of kinship and political authority, as cloth is harnessed and transformed into surf

Dressing the Body in Samoa

Sean Mallon

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

Encyclopedia entry

Samoa consists of two large tropical islands and six smaller ones in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Fiji. Its people are of Polynesian descent, and the islands have had a complex history of regional interaction. The tropical environment furnished flora and fauna utilized by the people of these islands for the construction of clothing and body modifications. During the nineteenth century dressing the body involved not only covering with garments but also marking or coloring the skin, wrapping it

Geographical and Geopolitical Introduction

Margaret Maynard

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Pacific region covers a vast geographic area. From the continent of Australia it reaches its southernmost point at Antarctica, while to the north it extends to the shores of Asia, and to the west, the Americas. It includes all the island groups of Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia. The first inhabitants arrived between forty thousand and sixty thousand years ago and populated Australia and New Guinea with successive waves of Austronesians, settling island after island. The Māori were among

Economies and Cultures of Dress

Margaret Maynard

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

Encyclopedia entry

The economic and cultural history of dress in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific is extraordinarily complex and varied. The region spans highly industrialized nations, communities based on subsistence living, and intermediary economies. Shifts in cultural attitudes toward dress and the body and alteration to economies over time have been accentuated by trade with Europe, the United States, and Asia. Clothing demarcating gender and age differences must be acknowledged, as well as cross-cultur

Pacific Street Styles in Auckland

Giles Peterson and Billie Lythberg

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

Encyclopedia entry

A moko with a kilt…a “Kalo and Fried Corned-Beef” (KFC) T-shirt…tapa-printed hoodies worn with lavalavas … a tupenu with clogs … the hint of a pe’a above jeans … urban Pacific street style brings a distinctly Aotearoa (New Zealand)–Pacific flavor to international trends and labels, fusing together elements of the local and the global, the high-tech and the handcrafted, Pacific motifs and multinational branding, haute couture and factory standard issue. Particularly associated with Auckland, known

Photographic Representations of Pacific Peoples

Max Quanchi

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

Encyclopedia entry

The first camera arrived in the Pacific shortly after it was invented in France in 1839, and photographs of Pacific Islanders were taken during several European voyages in the 1840s. Most of these photographs have not survived. Permanent European traders, settlers, and regular visitors increased after the founding of Botany Bay (Sydney) in 1788 and the growth of port towns at Honolulu, Papeete, Levuka, and Apia; and an accessible collection of photographs, many recording the dress and accoutremen

Dress and Appearance in Tahiti

Karen Stevenson

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

Encyclopedia entry

Tahiti is one of the Society Islands and the largest island of French Polynesia. It has a tropical climate, and its flora and fauna have been fundamental to the attire made by indigenous Tahitians. Body modification in early Tahiti was used as a visual marker of status within a highly ranked society. The Tahitian social system was founded in a system of primogeniture, in which one’s rank was determined by birth, a system that necessitated a wealth and complexity of embellishment and regalia to de

Niue: Dress, Hats, and Woven Accessories

Hilke Thode-Arora

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

Encyclopedia entry

The small Polynesian island of Niue is one of the highest coral islands in the world. Only its plateau, rising with steep cliffs above a jagged coastline, can be inhabited. Throughout Niue’s history droughts and famines have been experienced with regularity. There are no rivers on the island, and, although soil is fertile, vast stretches of land have been exhausted by shifting cultivation and ill-advised agricultural programs of the past. The soil is easily blown off by frequent and often devasta

Barkcloth Body Wrapping in Tonga

Fanny Wonu Veys

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

Encyclopedia entry

Barkcloth, or ngatu, made by women from the paper mulberry tree, occupies a prominent position in the life of the twenty-first-century inhabitants of the Western Polynesian kingdom of Tonga. It is presented, worn, and displayed during first birthdays, weddings, investitures of chiefs, and funerals. Barkcloth as wrapped clothing evolved from a small piece of barkcloth in front of the pubic area to clothing that covers the lower part of the body, a style that initially characterized chiefly dress.

Pacific Sisters: Urban Pacific Art, Fashion, and Performance

Feeonaa Wall

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

Encyclopedia entry

Under the banner “Pacific Sisters,” a group of fashion designers, artists, performers, and musicians based in Aotearoa (New Zealand) began working together in the early 1990s. Of predominantly mixed Polynesian (a subgroup of Pacific peoples, including Māori, the first nation peoples of Aotearoa) and European heritage, their work has responded to the unique multicultural urban environment of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland), home to the world’s largest urban population of Pacific peoples. The group’s dr

Why are there Quilts in Polynesia?

Susanne Küchler

Source: Clothing as Material Culture 2005

Book chapter

It is a curious fact that, although fashion has become one of the features of Pacific modernity, in Polynesia it tends to be less preoccupied with dressing the body than with the visual effect achieved by choosing materials that call up other resemblances. Garlands may be worn that are made of plastic bags; bags, in turn, may be woven out of packaging tape; cotton dresses are printed in barkcloth designs. The use of recycled and ‘re-seen’ materials may indicate the feeling of ‘in-between-ness’ ma

The Polynesian Cultural Center and the Mormon Image of the Body: Images of Paradise on Laie, Hawai’i

Frank Salamone

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

Book chapter

The social body constrains the way the physical body is perceived. The physical experience of the body, always modified by the social categories through which it is known, sustains a particular view of society.

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