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Zimbabwe

William J. Dewey

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Shona peoples represent the majority of Zimbabwe’s population, followed by the Ndebele and the Tonga; each has its dress traditions. Ancient rock paintings left by the very early San peoples depict male hunters with bows and arrows, the women wearing front and back animal-skin aprons. The Bantu speakers migrating to the region about two thousand years ago left figurines, apparently showing body scarring, but no other figurative evidence of early dress or adornment remains. Excavations have yi

Archaeological Evidence

Fred T. Smith

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

Encyclopedia entry

In Africa, the human body has always been a focus for creative expression. Each culture has evolved its own patterns of dress and associated symbolic system, yet cross-cultural influences and change have constantly occurred. A society’s political structure and religious institutions can determine the type of dress used. Societies with a centralized organization often have elaborate, even grandiose programs of visual culture associated with leadership. The ruler or an elite group often reserves th

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