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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

Aboriginal Dress in the Kimberley, Western Australia

Kim Akerman

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

Encyclopedia entry

As in most other areas of Australia, the Aboriginals of the Kimberley were traditionally unclothed. For them, dress consisted of headbands and hair belts. Pubic tassels (made by tying multiple strands of spun fur or hair string into a mop, suspended over the genital area) were worn occasionally. Other elements of dress consisted of ornaments made from feathers, fibers, animal teeth, or shell, the use of which was often dictated by the ceremonial and social status of the wearer. More complex ornam

Dress of the Cook Islands

Kalissa Alexeyeff

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

Encyclopedia entry

Cook Islands dress of the twenty-first century is a vibrant mixture of local, Western, and regional influences. Traces of the islands’ missionary and colonial history are also evident and reflect an ongoing incorporation of external styles and aesthetics. Since the Cook Islands gained independence in 1965, the revival of local dress practices of the past has been viewed as an important way of forging an independent nation-state. Traditional dress, primarily worn in performance contexts in the ear

Dress in New Caledonia

Frédéric Angleviel

Translated by Marissa Dooris

Vikram Iyer

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

Encyclopedia entry

New Caledonia, situated in the southwest Pacific Ocean, comprises a number of islands including the Loyalty Islands, Isle des Pins, and Isle Bélep. The warm climate and tropical vegetation have had a substantial influence on what the inhabitants have worn and do wear. In the past the indigenous people of New Caledonia, the Melanesian Kanaks, embellished their bodies in various ways. Subsequently, evangelical missionaries urged these people to hide their bodies. In the twenty-first century consume

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

Dress in Hawai’i since 1898

Linda Boynton Arthur

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Hawai’i became a territory of the United States in 1898. The population of native Hawaiians had been significantly reduced due to the introduction of foreign diseases in the 1800s. Hawaiian dress has consistently included body adornment worn by both men and women. Forms of adornment in Hawai’i include hats made of lauhala, floral leis worn around the neck and/or head, shell leis, and tattoos using traditional designs. In the 1930s, Western shirts began to be replaced by the aloha shirt. Hawaiian

Dress in Kiribati

Petra M. Autio

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of Kiribati is a central Pacific state, which consists of thirty-three tiny atolls and reef islands scattered over a vast ocean area corresponding to one-third the size of the United States. It includes three island groups—the Gilbert, Phoenix, and Line Islands—and the island of Banaba. Apart from the Banabans, who have their own, though related, history, the Gilbert Islands chain straddling the equator is where people originally settled, and where the majority (90%) of the populatio

Moko Māori: Skin Modification

Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Linda Waimarie Nikora and Mohi Robert Rua

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Māori people settled Aotearoa (New Zealand) from the islands of the eastern Pacific, coming in successive waves over many centuries. They brought with them the languages, music, belief systems, and technologies of their cultures of origin. They also brought the practice of permanent skin modification. Tattoo chisels similar to those used in western Polynesia have been found in some of the earliest excavations. With the new environment came new resources: massive hardwood forests, nephrite and

Children’s Wear in Australia

Michelle Bakar and Vicki Karaminas

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

Encyclopedia entry

Sydney department store mail order catalogs and clothing advertisements from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries provide information regarding clothing available for Australian children. However, they refer mainly to the relatively affluent middle class. Australian life was often more informal than North American or British life; the climate necessitated practical styles. Turn-of-the-century catalogs assumed that English tastes would appeal to Australians and that mothers primarily

The Wool Industry in Australia

Prudence Black and Anne Farren

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

Encyclopedia entry

That the wealth of Australia rode “on the sheep’s back” is a well-known expression. In particular, it has been Merino wool (a thick fine fleece suited to weaving into quality fabric) for the international and increasingly global clothing market that has been Australia’s most significant product. The Merino sheep has been selectively bred for over two hundred years and is recognized worldwide for its uniformly fine and soft fibers. While Australia is home to only a small proportion of the world’s

Aboriginal Skin Cloaks

Fabri Blacklock

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

Encyclopedia entry

In customary societies Aboriginal people were minimally clothed until contact with Europeans began to alter their habits. One exception was the skin cloaks widely worn by men and women throughout temperate zones of southeastern and western Australia. Cloaks were their main article of dress, important as rugs for warmth, but also for ceremonial use, trade, and as burial shrouds. Indigenous peoples made a variety of cloaks from different types of skin: possums, kangaroos, wallabies, and other fur-b

Dress of Vanuatu

Lissant Bolton and Jean Tarisesei

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

Encyclopedia entry

Vanuatu is an archipelago of about eighty small islands in the southwestern Pacific. It is one of the most linguistically complex regions of the world: More than 113 languages are spoken in these islands by a population (at the start of the twenty-first century) of about 200,000. This linguistic diversity is matched by cultural diversity: Not just every island, but every district has had its own distinctive knowledge and practice, and often, its own distinctive dress styles. This diversity from p

Body Ornaments of Solomon Islands

Ben Burt

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

Encyclopedia entry

The country of Solomon Islands was formed in the 1890s by British colonization of a chain of islands in the southwest Pacific region of Melanesia. From west to east these include the major islands of Choiseul, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Guadalcanal, Malaita, and Makira, with many smaller groups from Shortland Islands in the west to Santa Cruz far to the east. Like other island Melanesians in Papua New Guinea to the west and Vanuatu to the east, Solomon Islanders live by farming, foraging, and fis

Antarctic Explorer Wear

Natalie Cadenhead

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

Encyclopedia entry

Clothing worn in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica demonstrates important design changes developed to assist wearers with extreme weather conditions. Antarctic clothing history is split into two main eras: the heroic era from 1840 to 1917 and the scientific era from 1940 to the twenty-first century. Exploration that occurred between these eras was mainly sea-based for commercial reasons (sealing and whaling) and did not affect clothing design in any major way. At the beginning of the heroic era o

Convict Dress in Australia

Julia Clark, Linda Clark, Kim Simpson, Ian Terry and Elspeth Wishart

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

Encyclopedia entry

Following the American War of Independence, Britain could no longer send convicts there, so one hundred and sixty thousand convicts were transported to the Australian colonies between 1788 and 1868. Their management, including clothing, was an enormous undertaking. Colonial penal authorities aimed to regulate convicts, make them easily identifiable, and classify them within the penal system. However, it was difficult to establish a coherent clothing system. Until the 1820s, convict clothing was o

Festivals Pacific-Style

Susan Cochrane

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

Encyclopedia entry

Examples of ceremonial dress can be found around the world. In the Pacific, festivals as ceremonies celebrate Pacific life and occur in local, regional, national, and international contexts. At the community level, every school has its culture day, every church its fete, and every family and clan celebrates events in the life cycle. On the regional level, provincial governments organize festivals or “shows” to bring the communities under their jurisdiction together to celebrate unity and diversit

Rural Dress in Australia

Jennifer Craik

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

Encyclopedia entry

A distinctive Australian sense of dress for Europeans is often considered to be bush wear, that is, clothes that have become synonymous with rural life and the outback. The typical elements of this rural dress include moleskin trousers, elastic-sided boots, cotton or wool shirt, bush jacket (in denim, wool, or leather) or waterproof oilskin coat, and a wide-brimmed felt hat. These garments are typically worn by men, so particular traits of masculinity are woven into the image of Australian bush w

Swimwear, Surfwear, and the Bronzed Body in Australia

Jennifer Craik

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

Encyclopedia entry

For many people, Australia is synonymous with the dream of sun, surf, and sand. Australia is perceived as a land of leisure and lounging around—preferably by the water. In order to do this, Australians dress in a casual way in swimsuits, surfwear, or leisure wear such as tank tops (sleeveless, low-necked tops) or T-shirts, shorts, and thongs (rubber sandals). Sunhats are, of course, obligatory in the Australian climate if skin cancer is to be avoided. Accordingly, popular representations of this

Cosmetics and Beauty Culture in Australia

Jennifer Craik

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

Encyclopedia entry

Cosmetics and beauty culture are forms of body modification that have a place in the language of all cultures of fashion and dress. Australia has both indigenous and European traditions of body modification and aesthetics. In precontact times indigenous traditions were centrally connected with ritualistic practices, but they were also about making the body attractive. After European settlement colonists largely followed the cosmetic practices and beauty cultures of Europe and America. Among Europ

The Māori Pari (Bodice)

Jo Diamond

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

Encyclopedia entry

The pari is a Māori bodice of the rāranga type, worn with a piupiu (a type of fibrous skirt) and Māori jewelry by women in cultural performances including competitions, concerts, and festivals. Rāranga is a generic naming for plaited (as opposed to loom) handweaving practices undertaken mostly, though not exclusively, by Māori women. Māori performances usually occur in order to promote traditional practices, but for some they include a more material reward or prize money or are part of fund-raisi

The Jewelry Industry

Carol Anne Dickson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

From early times, men and women have sought to adorn themselves. The desire to adorn the body answered several needs: communication of identity, including status and kinship, as well as symbols of protection and spiritual beliefs. The desire to express beliefs, status, and affiliations grew as the number of family members grew and the number of families who formed groups expanded. It is certain that jewelry antedates clothing. Whether it was worn for artistic display or utility, we do not know fo

Torres Strait Islander Dress, Australia

Anna Edmundson

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Torres Strait is a narrow underwater shelf connecting the northernmost tip of mainland Australia to the Gulf of Papua New Guinea. Torres Strait Islanders are the indigenous people of the region, which forms part of the Australian state of Queensland. The term ailan kastom (island custom) is used to denote those products and practices that are unique to the Torres Strait Islands, including dress.

Settler Dress in Australia

Damayanthie Eluwawalage

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

Encyclopedia entry

Clothing was a problematic aspect of the social and cultural life of colonial Australia from the time of first settlement in 1788. Apart from military officers and civil officials, much everyday clothing was working-class wear. Yet fashionable dress was soon to become a key aspect of cultural practice, emphasizing the social status and power of the elite and aspirational elite, as well as being a symbolic indicator of class. Status signals were important in this fledgling society made up of dispa

Jews in the Melbourne Garment Trade

Anna Epstein

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

Encyclopedia entry

For a large part of the twentieth century the garment trade was an important industry in the southern Australian state of Victoria. Since clothing was a big part of the country’s manufacturing, the Jews of the garment trade made a large contribution to Australia’s economy. This multifaceted industry had its own economic and social history, gorgeous products, and camaraderie and color at its heart, Flinders Lane. It gave rise to the individualism, flair, entrepreneurial spirit, and sheer fun that

Fijian Dress and Body Modifications

Roderick Ewins

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

Encyclopedia entry

Geographically, Fiji sits where the arbitrarily defined three triangles of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia intersect, and it shares many cultural elements with its neighbors on all sides, though Polynesian elements predominate. Bodywear has always been strongly differentiated in terms of age, gender, and social status. Nineteenth-century Christian missionary and colonial government intervention altered every aspect of custom, including bodywear. Items with any symbolic connection with the ol

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