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Overview of Mongolia

Monisha Ahmed

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

Encyclopedia entry

Walking down the main street in Ulan Bator, Mongolia’s capital, past gray, crumbling Soviet-era buildings, a woman wearing a blue silk del, or robe, contrasts with the robust man by her side in a sober, gray Western-style suit. Walking alongside them are women in skinny jeans, fitted T-shirts, and stiletto heels. But far from the city, a nomad wears his sheepskin robe, sitting astride his horse. Mongolia has many faces. Probably the most celebrated of these is Chinggis Khaan, better known by his

Wearing Ethnic Identity: Power of Dress

Uradyn E. Bulag

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

Encyclopedia entry

From the earliest written records, dress in China has been used to signify a political order and to mark the boundary between civilization and barbarity. China has gone through scores of dynastic changes, each producing distinct dress codes. For more than half of its history, part or all of China has been conquered and ruled by Inner Asian pastoral nomads; as a result, the history of dress in China is fraught with identity problems. Chinese civilizational imperatives dictate that the people of a

Manchu National Minority

Pamela Kyle Crossley

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Manchus are descended from the group of Arctic peoples in northeastern Asia that included the ancestors of the modern Ewenki, Oroqens, Hezhen, and closely related peoples of China and Russia. They were speakers of Tungusic languages (the extreme eastern branch of the hypothesized Altaic language family) and for most of their history were hunting and gathering peoples. In the 2003 census, Manchus numbered 6.9 million, or about 5 percent of the total population of China. Nearly all Manchus live

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.

Footwear

Elizabeth Semmelhack

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

Encyclopedia entry

Traditional footwear in Asia is diverse and reflects historical and cultural developments across this vast region. While most footwear has its origins in the particulars of daily life, such as the rigid-soled boots for northern horse riders using stirrups or rough plaited straw sandals that gave farmers extra traction on wet or slippery surfaces, throughout most societies, decisions about wearing or not wearing footwear, or when to wear it, were determined by other factors, including custom, soci

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

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