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The Maldive Islands

Jasleen Dhamija

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

Encyclopedia entry

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives have from the earliest times been in the path of ships from nations pursuing trade with South Asia, Southeast Asia, and beyond, including Arabs, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Sassanians. They were thus open to numerous influences. The islands’ conversion to Islam, possibly brought about by visiting traders, impacted greatly on local dress. Inhabitants of more isolated islands could not afford to buy textiles from India in premodern times; a fifteenth-cent

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