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Senegal and Gambia

Hudita Nura Mustafa

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

Encyclopedia entry

The location of Senegambia between the Sahara Desert, Atlantic Ocean, and West African savannas makes it a prime spot for cross-cultural exchange. The region consists of two nation-states—Senegal (a French colony 1890 to 1960) and Gambia (a British colony 1888 to 1965)—marked by millennia of shared history, culture, and geography. The area is in turn part of the larger subregion of the Sahel, formed from medieval African empires and formerly (mostly) French, Portuguese, and British colonial state

Designer Oumou Sy

Hudita Nura Mustafa

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

Encyclopedia entry

Oumou Sy was born in Podor, Senegal, in 1952. Working at the intersection of art, spectacle, and social space, Sy’s multifaceted work in historical, art, and couture garments expresses the cosmopolitan creativity of the Senegambian region. Rather than elaborations of a design concept, her works are historical tableaux. In this region, cloth densely symbolizes wealth and power, dignity and beauty, history and tradition. Sy’s work and life valorize the arts of cloth, clothing, and body adornment to

Veils and the Hajj

Elisha P. Renne

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

Encyclopedia entry

Veils have historically been associated with women’s performance of hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) in Saudi Arabia, as documented in the travel narratives of attending pilgrims. While pilgrimage to Mecca prior to the mid-twentieth century entailed extended, sometimes lifelong, travel over land and by sea, airplanes have allowed many more Muslim men and women from around the world to perform hajj since the 1950s.This increase has exposed Muslim women to many different styles of veils worn in count

Fashion and the Meanings of “Tradition” in Senegal

Leslie W. Rabine

Source: The Global Circulation of African Fashion 2002

Book chapter

The “Zone A” district of Dakar, where I lived in 1999, is built around a plot of sandy wasteland called “le jardin public.” My neighbor, a man in his mid-thirties, told me that in his teens it had been a truly beautiful garden, bordered with white shells, dotted with park benches, filled with plants and flowers, a gathering spot for the whole neighborhood. Now, all that is gone. In the park of this devastated middle-class neighborhood, loose sand and bits of refuse float in the wind. Sheep pick t

Fashioning Postcolonial Identities in Kenya

Leslie W. Rabine

Source: The Global Circulation of African Fashion 2002

Book chapter

As African fashion circulates from West Africa to urban central Kenya in East Africa, it enters a mode of meaning production resting, paradoxically, on a multiple rupture with the past. Signifying the desire of Kikuyu (as well as urban Luo and Luhya) informants to heal this break with pre-colonial culture, African fashion also, inevitably, conjures up the very separation and loss it aims to overcome. By incorporating these opposed meanings, African fashion of urban central Kenya differs from Sene

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