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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’

Moldova

Jennifer Renea Cash

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

Encyclopedia entry

The history of dress in Moldova requires a brief historical introduction. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Moldova refers to the Republic of Moldova, which in its turn is best understood by distinguishing two subregions: Bessarabia and Transnistria. The ethnic majority in both regions is Moldovan (that is, Romanian), and many customs and traditions, including those related to dress and adornment, are shared between the two regions. Nevertheless, the political history of the regions w

Archaeological Evidence: Japan

Mary M. Dusenbury

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

Encyclopedia entry

Japan’s climate and soil conditions are not conducive to the preservation of organic materials. Information about the dress and adornment of the inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago in the prehistoric and protohistoric periods must be gleaned primarily from nontextile archaeological finds and from contemporary Chinese, Korean, and Japanese documents. In the mid-seventh century, at a time when the emerging Japanese state was actively patterning itself on continental models, important textiles a

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

Early Iranian Textiles and Their Influence on Pre-Islamic Dress

Irene Good

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

Encyclopedia entry

Some of the earliest evidence for the use of sheep’s wool can be found in Iran. Much influence and importation of style on dress in Iran can be attributed to both Eastern and Western sources during the later pre-Islamic period, from China to the Levant and even Rome, although textile technology and production has also experienced internal developments and been influenced by local trends. Historically, some cloth was woven in bolts to be cut for garments; other types of cloth were woven garments t

Cambodia: Historical Dress

Gillian Green

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

Encyclopedia entry

The origin of the indigenous Khmer people of Cambodia has not yet been unambiguously determined. Archaeological evidence of human habitation as long ago as 4200 b.c.e. has been found in the northwest of the region. Human bones found at Samrong Sen, dated to 1500 b.c.e., have characteristics suggesting an ancestral relationship to modern Khmer. Research published in the 1990s suggests that the Austro-Asiatic peoples, the ethnolinguistic group to which the Khmer belong, originate from the Yangzi Ri

Georgia

Irina Koshoridze

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

Encyclopedia entry

The history of Georgian ethnic dress is closely related to the history of textiles in this region. Simultaneously, the nature of the country, ethnic differences between the regions, the political orientations of the different regions, contemporary fashions, and foreign influences also played important roles in the formation of this dress.

Evidence about Dress of Indigenous People: United States Territory

Jenna Tedrick Kuttruff

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

Encyclopedia entry

American archaeology focuses, as does archaeology in other parts of the world, on the study of the human past by excavating and analyzing the material remains and monuments of past cultures and the contexts in which they are found. Archaeological findings and interpretations can be combined with information found in historical accounts to enhance the study of dress of North American Indian peoples not only at the times of early European contact but also prehistorically. Archaeology has provided e

Trade, Textiles, and Dress in Central and Southwest Asia

Abby Lillethun

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

Encyclopedia entry

Textiles and dress provide invaluable opportunities for insight into the encounters of lifestyles with infrastructures of trade and exchange. Textiles and dress in Central and Southwest Asia cover a long historical arc, from the earliest known archaeological textile finds to the twenty-first century.

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

Liz Mellish

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

Encyclopedia entry

Evidence of the early history of dress in East Europe, Russia, and the Caucasus can be found in the material culture that has been discovered at archaeological sites within the region. This evidence includes several categories of artifacts that cover a wide span of time. The oldest discoveries have been small fragments of woven cloth and imprints of woven fabrics on pottery; in addition, evidence of necklaces and decoration patterns has been found on certain small statuettes dating from Neolithic

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

Archaeological Evidence: Korea

Seongsil Park

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

Encyclopedia entry

Paleolithic period people settled in the Korean Peninsula 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. The relationship of these peoples to contemporary Korean populations is unknown. Between 6,000 and 2,000 years ago, Neolithic migrations from Northeast Asia, Siberia, and Central Asia brought new populations to Korea. Chulmun, or “comb-marked,” pottery people, left evidence of sewing tools in the form of bone needles and a variety of shell disks and beads, although no garments have been recovered that date from

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

Introduction to the History of Dress in the Arabian Desert and Peninsula

Tineke Rooijakkers

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Arabian Peninsula is a subcontinent shaped by its climate, containing a central plateau (the Nejd), occasionally marshy coastal plains along the Persian Gulf, and mountain ranges along the Red Sea coast. It is mostly known for its great deserts, the Nafud, the Dhana, and the Rub’ al-Khal. There is very little surface water, and less than one percent of the region is suitable for agriculture. These factors have shaped the way of life of the Arabs. There are some towns and cities located near s

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

Evidence about Dress of Indigenous People: Canadian Territory

Michèle Hayeur Smith

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

Encyclopedia entry

Studying dress archaeologically poses unique challenges. Preservation is a primary concern, as elements of dress involving hair, skin, and most fibers are usually absent. These limitations can be overcome through reference to other sources of dress-related data. Some types of sites are better suited than others for preserving archaeological information relevant to the study of dress. Mortuary sites tend to be more revealing than settlement sites, because elements of dress are frequently disposed

Early History of Dress and Fashion in Great Britain and Ireland

Naomi E.A. Tarrant

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

Encyclopedia entry

Little is known about clothing in the British islands before the Roman invasion in 43 c.e.. What survives are cloth fragments and amazing jewelry such as brooches and torcs. Pre-Christian graves suggest that women wore tunics. The advent of Christianity possibly resulted in women covering their heads. The medieval period saw Europe stabilize after the raids and invasions of the Dark Ages. Trade increased greatly, much of it related to textiles. From the fourteenth century onward dress styles have

Introduction to the History of Dress on the Iranian Plateau

Willem Vogelsang

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Iranian Plateau stretches from the banks of the Tigris River in the west to the valley of the Indus River in the east, and from the arid expanse of West Turkistan in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south. It is a harsh land, with limited water supplies, hot summers, and sometimes bitterly cold winters. Its geographic location, however, has made it into a natural transition zone between the plains of Southwest Asia, including ancient Mesopotamia, and the humid valleys and arid deserts of

Saudi Arabian Dress

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

Saudi Arabia is a vast country dominated by deserts, oases, and mountain ranges. Until recently these natural features had separated the various communities that live throughout the peninsula. Saudi Arabia is, therefore, often divided into four geographical and cultural areas: the Northern Province (the Nafud), Eastern Province (the Hasa), Western Province (the Hijaz and `Asir) and the Central Province (the Nejd). For hundreds of years the Northern Province has looked northward toward Syria, Iraq

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

Geographic and Cultural Introduction

John E. Vollmer

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

Encyclopedia entry

The region of continental and insular East Asia and Inner Asia is vast in terms of both time and space. The recorded history of the region is measured in millennia, rather than centuries. Dress is widely diverse, as are the people who created it. Historically, Chinese civilization, which traces a continuous development over four millennia, has dominated the region and has influenced the attire and attitudes about dress of many of China’s neighboring states. Yet even Chinese dress is far from mono

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

Historical Evidence: Taiwan

Ho Zhaohua

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

Encyclopedia entry

The history of Taiwanese dress has been deeply influenced by politics and history. Taiwan’s location approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the southeastern coast of China has over the centuries both linked it to and separated it from mainland East Asia. It continues to be a major factor in the geopolitics of the region in the early twenty-first century. Taiwan’s location on major maritime trading routes from Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Korea, Japan, and the Ryukyu Islands has also imp

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