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Dress Reforms of the Early Twentieth Century in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan

Derek Bryce

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

Encyclopedia entry

During the 1920s and 1930s, three states—Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan—embarked on a series of wide-ranging programmatic reforms designed to transform their respective societies fundamentally. Often called “modernization from above” because of their association with authoritarian elites, these reforms attempted to impose changes in state, economic, and sociocultural spheres that favored broadly Western models and to replace or restrict the practice of corresponding traditional, indigenous, or Isl

Afghan Dress and the Diaspora

M. Catherine Daly

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

Encyclopedia entry

The rich cultural heritage of Afghanistan is expressed through its material culture and dress forms and practices. Whether living as internally displaced people (IDP) within Afghanistan or as resettled refugees and immigrants in the Afghan diaspora, the wearing of Afghan dress is a visual and material expression of gender, ethnicity, nationality, and religion, which serves to unify Afghan people. Afghanistan is home to more than thirty documented languages. Multiple terms for the same or similar

Afghan Jewelry

M. Catherine Daly

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

Encyclopedia entry

Jewelry has long played an important role in Afghan dress. It has a fascinating history that dates back thousands of years and follows the ancient trading routes that wove through Afghanistan. What is considered to be Afghan ethnic or indigenous jewelry at the beginning of the twenty-first century is frequently referred to as nomadic jewelry. As in the case of Afghan dress, Afghan jewelry research is fraught with challenges, since many personally owned pieces were sold during the Soviet occupatio

Silk Clothing as an Economic Factor, Safavid Persia

Margaret A. Deppe

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

Encyclopedia entry

Surviving articles of dress in Persia from the Safavid Empire (1502–1736) illustrate the extensive network of production and distribution of raw silk and silk goods throughout Asia and Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The economic role of silk textiles for garments and accessories was substantial. Already an important industry before Safavid times, production of silk increased under Shah Abbas I. Magnificent garments, carpets, and other textiles were produced for palace use and

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

Regional Dress of Afghanistan

Willem Vogelsang

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

Encyclopedia entry

Afghanistan is a country that developed out of a Pashtun kingdom that was founded in the middle of the eighteenth century. The Pashtun form an ethnic group that still constitutes the majority in the modern Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which was created in the nineteenth century. The main ethnic groups in Afghanistan are (in alphabetical order): the Baluch, Hazara, Nuristani, Pashtun, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek. Each has its own language, culture, and way of dress. Many people do wear Western-s

History of West Turkistan and Its Influence on the Dress of South Central Asia

Willem Vogelsang

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

Encyclopedia entry

West Turkistan is the name traditionally given to the lands that stretch east of the Caspian Sea and north of modern Iran and Afghanistan. To the east, it is bordered by the rising peaks of the Altai and Karakoram mountains, which mark the modern frontier with China. To the north lies the wide expanse of Kazakhstan. West Turkistan is a harsh and arid region that until the early twentieth century was largely inhabited by nomads. Villages and urban centers developed at specific places where water w

An Afghan Fashion Show

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

For nearly forty years, it was not possible to hold a fashion show in Afghanistan because of the Russian invasion of the country, civil wars, and the strict rule of the Taliban, who did not permit women to be seen in public. When it was announced that a fashion show would be held in Kabul in 2006, great excitement arose in some quarters, since this was regarded as potentially heralding a return to “normal” life. This fashion show, however, also caused controversy, thanks to the inclusion of one p

Afghan Embroidery

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

Afghanistan is surrounded by many lands and cultures; as a result, the materials, designs, and colors used by the Afghan people for their embroidery reflect their country’s central location in Asia. The main ethnic groups in Afghanistan are the Baluch, Hazara, Nuristani, Pashtun, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek. Each has its own special way of living, which is shown in their traditional embroidery. Generally, girls and women produce embroidery at home. However, by the end of the twentieth century, a si

The Chadari/Burqa of Afghanistan and Pakistan

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Afghan chadari, or burqa as it is also known, has become a global icon, but particularly with the period of Taliban influence in Afghanistan (1994–2001). For many in the non-Muslim world the chadari symbolizes the oppression of women. Some specialists in Afghan history insist that the garment should be called a chadari, not a burqa, the Arab name that seems to be associated with Islamic fundamentalism. From the medieval period onward it appears that these garments were primarily worn by urban

Turkmen Dress and Embroidery

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

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

Encyclopedia entry

The majority of the Turkmen live around the Kara Kum (“Black Sand”) desert. The various Turkmen tribes consider themselves to be a single ethnic group. In the early twenty-first century, the Turkmen region is divided among Afghanistan, Iran, and the former Soviet Union. Turkmen of these countries have only been separated by international boundaries for some one hundred years. Prior to this, there was constant trade and social contact between the various groups. Turkmen also engaged in textile tra

The Afghan Woman’s “Chaadaree”: An Evocative Religious Expression?

M. Catherine Daly

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

Book chapter

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in 1998 Afghans were the largest single-caseload refugee population in the world, numbering 2,633,900. During the height of their displacement nearly 20 years ago Afghan refugees numbered 6 million. The total population of Afghans living in areas contiguous to Afghanistan was approximately 3 million; 1.3 million Afghans lived in camp settlements of Pakistan. This figure did not include refugees living in non-camp urban centers of Pakist

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