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Early History of Dress and Fashion in the Nordic Countries

Eva B. Andersson, Margarita Gleba, Ulla Mannering and Marianne Vedeler

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Nordic countries comprise Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Aaland, Finland, Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland. The northernmost part of Germany and the Norse community on Greenland are also considered here to be within this cultural area. Denmark has abundant Bronze and Early Iron Age finds, while Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Greenland have yielded more medieval material. From about 4200 b.c.e., textiles appear at Danish sites; Early Bronze Age graves have yielded complete garments, including women’

Pins and Rings as Head Ornaments in Early Iron Age Southwest Germany

Bettina Arnold and Sabine Hopert Hagmann

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Iron Age populations in west-central Europe used various types of personal ornament to communicate membership in a range of social categories, including gender, age, and social status. Adult women in particular made use of elaborate hairstyles as a foundation for complex sets of pins, rings, and pendants, some attached to what appear to have been veils or other forms of head covering. In southwest Germany sets of up to a dozen rings and pins have been found in burials dating between 600 and 450 B

Archaeological Evidence: China and Inner Asia

Zhao Feng and Kuang Yanghua

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

During the twentieth century, archaeological finds relating to dress have been recovered in large quantities in China. While some of the garments were made specifically as grave goods, most, it is assumed, are garments used in life to celebrate status and position. These include figures in wood, pottery, jade, and stone, as well as depictions of human figures in murals, paintings, and embroideries.

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Italy and the Iberian Peninsula

Carmen Alfaro Giner and Maria Giuseppina Muzzarelli

Translated by Ana Alacovska

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Rock engravings in Valcamonica, Italy, indicate the use of looms and thus weaving in the second millennium b.c.e. Tunics were worn by both men and women during pre-Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula.Italian regions colonized by Greece in the eighth century b.c.e. were influenced by Hellenic fashion. The Roman royal period lasted from 753 to 509 b.c.e., followed by the republic and the empire. Clothing during the first two periods was largely austere, although wealth and refinement characterized

Hellenistic Jewelry

Monica M. Jackson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Hellenisticjewelry (ca. 323–31 b.c.e.) was conceptually sophisticated. It combined new forms from the East with homogeneity of style and virtuosity of technique. Workshop competitiveness and a willingness to experiment with structure and design ensured that the goldsmith and toreutic artist achieved complete mastery over the material. The major centers of production were northern Greece (Macedonia, Thrace, and Thessaly), southern Italy, southern Russia, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.

Ancient Greek Dress

Mireille M. Lee

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Ancient Greek dress refers to dress of the archaic (ca. 700–480 b.c.e.), classical (ca. 480–323 b.c.e.), and Hellenistic (ca. 323–146 b.c.e.) periods. In antiquity, the Greek-speaking world included mainland Greece and the islands of the Aegean, as well as the western coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and Magna Graecia (including southern Italy and Sicily). Dress varied according to region; some garments and perfumes, for example, were identified by their cities of origin. Unfortunately, many o

Beads: Prehistory to Early Twenty-First Century

Robert K. Liu

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

Encyclopedia entry

Bead types are varied, and their quantities exist in the billions, especially with regard to glass seed beads; because of this, they have often been treated as the small change of history. Rarely intrinsically valuable, but often previously considered luxuries, and difficult to study due to their diminutive sizes, beads do not yield information unless the researcher has a good understanding of archaeological, anthropological, ethnographic, or other scientific issues. Almost every substance has be

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Continental West Europe

Mechthild Müller

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The discovery of the Iceman “Oetzi,” who lived between 3500 and 3000 b.c.e., provides valuable information on early dress. His many garments included a patchwork-style goat-fur mantle. Much later, Roman dress included tunics and togas for Roman citizens or friendly allied nations. In 816/817 Charlemagne’s son, Louis the Pious, made monks and members of the clergy accept dress codes. Lay men and women were required to dress differently, and women had to cover their heads in public. Fashion during

Sources of Information about Dress in Southwest Asia

Tineke Rooijakkers

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Information on dress in Southwest Asia (also referred to as the Middle East or the Near East) is derived from both primary evidence, such as actual textiles and garments or tools for textile production, and secondary evidence, which includes textual and pictographic sources. Textual sources incorporate not only written references to dress in prose or poetry but also laws, trade accounts, inventories, wedding contracts, travelogues, and so on. Depictions of dress can be found in paintings, frescoe

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

Egypt: Historical Dress

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood and Tineke Rooijakkers

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

Encyclopedia entry

The history of dress in Egypt is long and complicated and highly influenced by the country’s geographical location at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe. For centuries, various groups have fought for control of Egypt because of its strategic economic and political position. Each group has left its mark on Egyptian culture, including the dress worn by its inhabitants. The study of dress in Egypt is facilitated by the hot, dry climate that has preserved organic artifacts such as textiles, g

The Northeast

Linda Welters

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

Encyclopedia entry

Three broad regions based on geographical and cultural boundaries make up the Northeast: Coastal, Saint Lawrence Lowlands, and Great Lakes–Riverine. During prehistoric times, tribes adapted to climatic changes and cultural innovations introduced by other native groups. At the time of contact with Europeans, North American Indians and First Nations were organized into small autonomous bands that sometimes formed alliances, or confederacies, with other groups. The period of thousands of years befor

Overview: Han Chinese

Juanjuan Wu and John E. Vollmer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Today, the Han people represent over ninety-two percent of the population in China. Han populations are dispersed worldwide. Their name comes from the Han dynasty (206 b.c.e.–220 c.e.), the first period of expanded empire in East Asia. Although no dress from the early period survives, representations in bronze or jade indicate that elites wore elaborate patterned robes. Figures that are apparently servants are less ornately dressed. The oldest Chinese writings mention the importance of dress in d

Bangladesh

Niaz Zaman

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Bordered to the south by the Bay of Bengal, to the west, north, and east by India, and to the southeast by Myanmar, Bangladesh became an independent country in 1971. The climate is tropical, with heavy seasonal rainfall for about four months of the year, high temperatures, and high humidity. Though temperatures fall in winter, necessitating the use of shawls and wraps, the prevailing warmth and humidity require clothes to be light and few. The indigenous dress of the lower Gangetic Delta was unst

Maya Dress and Fashion in Guatemala

Barbara Knoke de Arathoon and Rosario Miralbés de Polanco

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Maya or indigenous dress, or traje, as well as the many weavings that are an integral part of both daily and ceremonial life, embody multiple, complex, and ambivalent types of symbolism. Any attempt to present an overview can easily become a simplistic endeavor. Traje and textiles are silent but eloquent expressive forms conveying multiple meanings, especially by women, as they are the principal medium through which ethnic identity is transmitted and constructed. This identity is shaped at indivi

The Nasca on the South Coast of Peru

Mary Frame

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Knowledge of how people dressed in the Nasca region during the early phases of the Nasca period (1–300 c.e.) is reconstructed largely from archaeological sources. The garments themselves have been preserved in burials and ritual deposits, and technical studies of the garments reveal how they were made. In the middle and late phases (300–600 c.e.), textile preservation is too sporadic to provide an accurate overview of Nasca dress. Nasca people embellished their woven clothing with dyeing, embroid

Ancient Maya

Matthew Looper

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

The Maya civilization, particularly during the Classical period (250–900 c.e.), provides some of the most extensive evidence for dress in the ancient Americas. Sculpted, modeled, and painted images portray the rituals and myths surrounding prestigious status. Generally, only durable materials survive. Elite burials provide the most significant remains; there is considerably more information on prestigious ritual dress than on clothing in other contexts. Maya dress generally changed little, and ma

Overview of Mexico

Chloë Sayer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Mexico is one of the richest archaeological zones in the world. Extreme variations of climate and vegetation have influenced human evolution over long periods of time. Stone carvings, terracotta figurines, murals, and painted manuscripts reflect the evolution of the textile arts and show that ancient peoples developed varied styles of clothing and adornment. Highly stratified societies imposed strict clothing restrictions. After the Spanish Conquest of 1519, Spanish settlers introduced new materi

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