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Jewelry of Indo-Pakistan and Bangladesh

Usha Bala

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

Encyclopedia entry

The vibrant tradition of Indian jewelry spans five thousand continuous years. Ancient Indians wore jewels of natural materials like shells and tusks, thought to have magical properties. Precious metals were coveted. Gold was regarded as a symbol of the sun; chandi, the term for silver, came from the Sanskrit chandra, meaning moon. Metals were regularly melted. Remarkably well-preserved gold and silver items excavated at Taxila, in modern-day Pakistan, constitute the largest cache of jewelry survi

Performance Dress in China and Taiwan

Alexandra B. Bonds, Dongshin Chang and Elizabeth Johnson

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

Encyclopedia entry

Over three hundred forms of indigenous theater entertainment incorporating song and music have evolved in China, with different forms of music-dramas being performed in specific regions throughout the country. Among these forms, Kunqu (songs of Kunshan) took shape in the Lower Yangtze region of China in the mid-sixteenth century, attained national popularity in the following two centuries, and is still thriving in the early twenty-first century. Jingju (capital drama), commonly known in the West

A Brief History of the Purse up to 1930

Kathleen Campbell

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

Encyclopedia entry

Purses, or handbags, have been a key component of a woman’s wardrobe for much of the 20th century and into the 21st. In recent years, handbags have evolved from chic accessories for carrying personal items to status symbols that may cost thousands of dollars. However, the first known purses developed centuries ago with different objectives in mind. The transformation of the form and function of the purse from ancient times through the 1920s reflects broad currents in social history, including the

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

The Turban and Male Headgear

Beverly Chico

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

Encyclopedia entry

The turban is a widely used headdress created by winding a piece of cloth, such as linen, cotton, or silk, around the head and sometimes over a cap. Turbans vary greatly in shape, size, folds, and color; the fabric used differs in its length and width. Assigned numerous meanings, turbans have represented religious symbolism, political power, social status, and fashion consciousness. They can also fulfill practical functions, such as providing protection against natural elements like heat, cold, w

India

Jasleen Dhamija

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

Encyclopedia entry

The different geoclimatic conditions and rich ethnic mix in India have led to various dress styles, stemming from migrations of peoples from Central Asia and China, and possibly the Goths. The strongest clothing tradition for women is draping, unstitched cloth being considered sacred. Although India absorbed various cultures, external factors did not impact greatly on it until incursions by Mahmud of Gazna (997 c.e.). Influence from Afghans, Turks, and Arabs heralded the introduction of Islam, br

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 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

Pre-Islamic Dress Codes in the Eastern Mediterranean and Southwest Asia

Mary Harlow and Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones

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

Encyclopedia entry

In pre-Islamic Southwest Asia, dress was an important indicator of status, providing a portable method for expressing wealth, skill, and rank, as well as affiliations and individuality, all factors that contribute to social status. Ancient Southwest Asian dress was complex and loaded with symbolism, such as color codification. Decoration, such as a border, expressed information about different types of status through its width and position on a garment. Many garments, for example, were decorated

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Latvia: Ancient and Ethnic Dress

Ieva Pigozne-Brinkmane

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

Encyclopedia entry

Between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, the territory known in the early twenty-first century as Latvia was inhabited by its indigenous people, the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes. Evidence of dress can be found from archaeological excavations. Men and women wore clothing made at home from locally grown flax and fleece; accessories were made from leather and furs of domestic and wild animals. The primary garment was a long-sleeved collarless linen tunic, long for women, shorter for men. Men w

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

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

Trouser Wearing by Horse-Riding Nomads in Central Asia

Willem Vogelsang

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

Encyclopedia entry

Trousers may be thought to be a typical feature of modern Western dress, but people in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and large parts of Central Asia wear trousers and have done so for centuries. In Central Asia and Southwest Asia practical considerations, such as horse riding, and later religious prescriptions have meant that trousers there, often called shalwar, look very different from their narrower, Western-style counterparts. They are normally baggy with a low crotch and reach to the ankles. Sh

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

Face Veils

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

A face veil is a separate garment that is used to cover all or part of the face, usually that of a woman. Ethnic and cultural origins often play a prominent role in whether a woman wears a face veil, and what type. Some groups have insisted on women being veiled because their presence is a sexual distraction to men. Veiling is also used to indicate the physical status of a female, that is, to show if she is in the fertile phase of her life. In patriarchal societies, veiling is sometimes linked to

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