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The Empress’s Old Clothes: Biographies of African Dress at the Victoria And Albert Museum

Nicola Stylianou

Source: Dress History. New Directions in Theory and Practice 2015

Book chapter

On 20 April 1869 the V&A accessioned a number of objects from Ethiopia including clothes and jewellery that were listed in the museum register as having been given to the museum by the ‘Secretary of State for India’ and ‘belonging formerly to the Queen of Abyssinia’ (V&A 1869). At this time the V&A had not yet been divided into departments with objects being accepted for inclusion in the museum on the grounds of design excellence or as demonstrations of particular techniques. Included in this gif


Peri M. Klemm

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

Encyclopedia entry

The array of dress styles in Ethiopia is vast. Often dress is meaningful on several levels and may indicate age, status, political membership, religious belief, and ethnic affiliation. Each culture within Ethiopia has its own unique style of dress. The abundance of dress styles in Ethiopia is largely due to the diversity of climate, geography, and culture. Ethiopian geography is divided into the highland and lowland regions. The Ethiopian population of seventy-five million is made up of some eigh

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