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West Africa

Lisa Aronson

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

Encyclopedia entry

West African markets are well known for their tightly packed displays of textiles in rich arrays of colors and patterns, and tailors on their sewing machines can be heard everywhere sewing visually striking garments that seldom go unnoticed when worn in public. So vital and richly varied are textiles in West Africa that even prominent contemporary artists such as El Anatsui from Ghana and Nigeria and Yinka Shonibare from Nigeria are inspired by them as powerful mediums for discourse on historical

Indonesia

Itie van Hout

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

Encyclopedia entry

Diverse cultural elements have shaped the Indonesian archipelago, changing dress traditions. Before weaving was known, leaves, plant fibers, and barkcloth were used for clothing. Cotton, not native to Indonesia, may have arrived from India. Early clothing probably consisted of loincloths and hip wrappers. Later dress, particularly ceremonial, comprised layers of clothing. Textiles, imbued with magical qualities, were crucial to relationships between the supernatural and human worlds. By the seven

Ancient Attire of the Southern Andes

Amy Oakland

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

Encyclopedia entry

Although rare in most parts of the world, ancient textiles are preserved in many regions of the southern Andes. The best conditions for preservation exist along the Pacific Coast of Peru and northern Chile, but cloth and clothing items from early periods have also been discovered in protected cave sites in several highland zones. Different lifestyles, plant cultigens, and cultural traditions developed separately in highland and coastal regions, but it is apparent that from very early times, peopl

The Huipil of Guatemala

J. Claire Odland

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

Encyclopedia entry

In the highlands of Guatemala, indigenous Maya women are well known for their beautiful traditional dress, called traje. Women’s traje consists of a huipil (blouse or tunic), corte (skirt), faja (sash), and may include a distinctive headdress, shawl, apron, and overblouse as well. The huipil, usually brocaded by hand on a backstrap loom, is a traditional garment that continues to be popular and has great social significance. Changes in huipil fashion reflect political, economic, and social change

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