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Gabon

Judith Knight and Rachel Jean-Baptiste

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

Encyclopedia entry

Gabon, a Central African country, is located on the Atlantic coast, bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo. Historically, Central African societies attach significance to a person’s dress in indicating identity, societal standing, and specific events or moments of importance to individuals or communities. Many Central African peoples in the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries wore few clothes. However, the clothing, bodily adornment, and hairstyles and headdress that me

The Tradition of the Bridal Trousseau

Sumru Belger Krody

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

Encyclopedia entry

In Central and Southwest Asia, particularly in societies where older traditions are still strongly held, textiles took a prominent place among the gifts that the newly married couple would receive from family and friends. A young bride’s trousseau contained textiles produced for the wedding, such as decorations, hangings, canopies, and dowry-carrying cloths, textiles produced as gifts, and textiles to be used by the couple after the wedding, such as garments for the bride and her husband and text

Wedding Costume

Michelle Nordtorp-Madson

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

As of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the global, urbanized standard of wedding apparel has followed the Western tradition of a bride dressed in white or off-white, with a head-covering, whether a veil or head-piece, and carrying flowers, a book, or some other object. The groom is attired in keeping with the degree of formality of the bride. Attendants are generally present, the number, gender, age, and dress of whom being peculiar to each culture. Family members usually atte

Russia: Ethnic Dress

Pamela Smith

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Russian Federation is by far the largest country in the world, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea in the south. The majority of its ethnic Russian population lives in the part generally known as European Russia (bounded to the east by the Ural Mountains)—still a vast area that comprises 40 percent of the continent of Europe. Within its territory are many different climate

Bedouin Jewelry

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

For thousands of years, jewelry has been an essential part of dress throughout the Arab world. No matter what their age, occupation, or status, people have worn jewelry of some kind. Jewelry, however, should not be seen only as a means of personal adornment. It has other essential functions within Arab life as well. It is, for instance, important for showing gender and social and economic status; in particular, jewelry is seen as a means of giving a woman financial security for the future. These

Birth, Marriage, and Death

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

Important rites of passage relate to dress in Southwest Asia; namely, engagement, marriage, birth, and death customs. Because of the region’s size and the many different ethnic and religious groups and numerous variations, only general descriptions are possible. In the West, the sequence of life events is usually listed as birth, marriage, and death. In contrast, among many Southwest Asian cultures, birth is regarded as a product of marriage; thus marriage, birth, and death is considered the “nat

Book chapter

The dress associated with weddings teaches gender roles, instructing the bride what is expected of her in society. Although gender roles and opportunities continue to change for young Ait Khabbash women, the process of dressing the bride teaches her the ancestral values and behaviors expected of a married woman. The bride’s dressing ceremony refers to the night before the actual wedding and specifically designates the occasion when the bride is dressed in her wedding clothes. The act of dressing

Book chapter

I came to the study of wedding dresses as a daughter. The Fabrications project was my way of bridging the gap that distance, time and education had put between my mother and me. I used it to come to terms, intellectually and emotionally, with her skilled domestic labor, and the place this labor did or did not make for her in the world. As the exhibit developed, I became increasingly aware of the actual objects that Mom had created – her reality. One by one, out of boxes, trunks and closets, the w

Always Remembering the Motherland: Tai Dam Wedding Textiles and Dress

Elyse Demaray and Melody Keim-Shenk

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

In 1975, approximately 2,000 Tai Dam, or Black Tai, immigrated to Des Moines, Iowa, from refugee camps in Thailand. Before the Tai Dam fled to Thailand, they migrated from southern China to current-day northwest Vietnam in the seventh century AD, from northwest Vietnam to Laos in 1954, to Thailand, and subsequently to Des Moines in the mid-1970s. With each migration, the Tai Dam have had to negotiate their expression of ethnic identity in relation to the cultures where they lived.The Tai Dam are

Marriage and Dowry Customs of the Rabari of Kutch: Evolving Traditions

Eiluned Edwards

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

The Rabari are Hindu pastoralists who inhabit the desert region of Kutch district in the extreme west of Gujarat, where India borders Pakistan. There are three main subgroups of Rabari in the district: Kachhis in the central and western area, Dhebarias in the east and south-east, and Vagadias in the east and north-east. Their dress is distinguished by the signature use of black wool by the women and white cotton by the men. Much of it is decorated with elaborate hand embroidery (Figure 5.1). Raba

An Athenian Wedding, Year 2000

Helen Bradley Foster

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

A couple may not marry during Lent. With this exception, a wedding may take place in any month, with May, June and September being the popular choices primarily because of the fine weather. A wedding may be held on any day, but most occur on weekends, especially on Sundays, the day preferred by priests. Because of the limited number of Sundays, three or four marriages commonly take place on the same day in a religious ceremony that lasts about thirty minutes.

Introduction

Helen Bradley Foster and Donald Clay Johnson (eds)

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

Korean Wedding Dress from the Chosun Dynasty (1392–1910) to the Present

Na Young Hong

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

During the Chosun dynasty, matchmakers arranged marriages. When both families agreed, a letter which contained the year, month, date, and hour of a prospective groom’s birth was sent to the bride’s family. The acceptance of the letter by the bride’s family officially sealed the engagement and the groom and the bride became betrothed without knowing each other. The bride’s parents used the letter to consult horoscopes in order to predict the harmony between the couple and, if auspicious, set a wed

Pragmatism and Enigmas: The “Panetar” and “Gharcholu” Saris in Gujarati Weddings

Donald Clay Johnson

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

In its evolution over the last century the panetar demonstrates the practicality of a merchant community well used to evaluating costs and uses of merchandise. Although now always white with a red border, this is only the latest manifestation of the panetar as a sari type that carries great ritual significance. Reflecting Gujarati culture and taste, the panetar sari traditionally has had a plain white body and a tie-dye border as well as one or three tie-dye medallions portraying dancing women in

Swazi Bridal Attire: Culture, Traditions and Customs

Lombuso S. Khoza and Laura K. Kidd

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

The Kingdom of Swaziland, a small, landlocked, mountainous country in southeastern Africa, 6,704 square miles (17,364 square kilometers) in area, is surrounded by South Africa in the north, west and south, and bordered by Mozambique to the east. The country’s current estimated population is 1,083,289. The Swazi people, descendant from the Nguni, historically have been able to maintain homogeneity and may be considered a “tribal-less” nation, sharing a common language and common cultural tradition

Book chapter

Both the environment of northern Alaska and its animal populations were important factors in the formation of Iñupiaq culture.“Iñupiaq” is the singular and adjectival form of “Iñupiat.” “Iñupiat” means the real people and is the accepted term in Alaska. “Inuit” is the preferred term in Canada. Iñupiat have lived along the coast and in the mountains of northern Alaska from Bering Strait east to the Mackenzie Delta, for at least 1,000 years. Beginning at least 1,000 years ago the ancestors of the I

He Gave Her Sandals and She Gave Him a Tunic: Cloth and Weddings in the Andes

Lynn A. Meisch

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

The Inca empire, that extended along the Pacific coast and Andean highlands from northern Argentina and Chile to the southern edge of Colombia, was composed of a multitude of polities and ethnic groups. Our knowledge of Inca customs, including matrimonies, comes primarily from Spanish chronicles, colonial written accounts of the Andean world, which must be read with the knowledge that the descriptions of Inca life were filtered through the eyes of men intent on political control, economic exploit

Packaged In Japan: Elite Weddings in Osaka

Masami Suga

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

Osaka, the second largest Japanese city after Tokyo, is situated in the southern part of the main island, Honshu. Osaka, an urban prefecture composed of multiple cities, includes Sakai, Ibaraki, and Osaka proper. In this essay, Osaka refers to the entire prefecture. Approximately eight and a half million people live in Osaka, which covers 720 square miles (1,158 square kilometers), more than 80 per cent of which is classified as urban. Land for new housing in the city of Osaka is severely limited

The American Groom Wore a Celtic Kilt: Theme Weddings as Carnivalesque Events

Theresa M. Winge and Joanne B. Eicher

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

Since ancient times, weddings have existed as social practices, performed in public and often as religious ceremonies. The wedding typically resonates with the characteristics and customs representative of the couple’s social stratum. The material culture displayed during a wedding ceremony, especially that of the wedding party’s clothing, represents the cultural practices of couples and their families.

The Wedding Dress: From Use Value to Sacred Object

Susanne Friese

Source: Through the Wardrobe. Women’s Relationships with Their Clothes 2001

Book chapter

In many a woman’s wardrobe, there is one piece of clothing that, having been worn once, is seldom worn again but is often highly treasured and especially cared for. This piece of clothing is her wedding dress. Based on anecdote or personal experience, we may have an idea why the wedding dress is so close to the heart of many women, but in the literature hardly any account is given of it. The historic portraits of wedding dresses mainly focus on describing the dress and on changes in style and fas

Sartorial Entanglements of a Gujarati Wife

Emma Tarlo

Source: Undressing Religion. Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-Cultural Perspective 2000

Book chapter

An excerpt from Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India. London: Hurst, 1996.

Tree of Blood, Tree of Milk: Patriarchy and Patricentricity in Rural Albania

Antonia Young

Source: Women Who Become Men. Albanian Sworn Virgins 2000

Book chapter

In all its apparent backwardness and poverty, the Balkan world offered British women a chance of real equality with men. British women enjoyed a sort of ‘honorary male status’ in the Balkans. Many of them took little interest in Balkan women, except in a thoroughly patronising way. Durham, who rarely saw them as anything other than men’s chattels and overworked wretches, devoted more attention to the exotic Albanian ‘Virgins’, the women who dressed as men and vowed never to marry, than to any of

Gilding the Lily: Dress and Women’s Reproductive Role in the Greek Village, 1850–1950

Linda Welters

Source: Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia. Beliefs about Protection and Fertility 1999

Book chapter

Three studies in the anthropology of modern Greece are useful in examining women’s roles for the regions studied, because they focus on villages I visited during fieldwork for this project. Ernestine Friedl’s Vasilika (1965) described the social structure and way of life in a village on the Boeotian plains. Juliet du Boulay’s Portrait of a Greek Mountain Village (1974) examined life in a remote village in northern Euboea she called Ambéli, a pseudonym.In 1990, one interviewee in a remote Euboean

Becoming a Bunu Bride: Bunu Ethnic Identity and Traditional Marriage Dress

Elisha P. Renne

Source: Dress and Ethnicity. Change Across Space and Time 1995

Book chapter

The Bunu people’s proximity to and historical relations with ethnic groups such as the Nupe, the Ebira, and the Igala who also reside in the confluence area of central Nigeria has led to considerable exchange of ideas, objects, and practices (Obayemi 1980; Picton 1991).For examples of these cultural interchanges, see Picton (1980) on Bunu and Ebira handwoven cloth; Renne (1990: 110) on Nupe and Bunu women’s spirit possession cults (ejinuwon); Renne (forthcoming) on Kiri chiefs’ acquiring chieftai

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