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Pakistan

Nasreen Askari

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

Encyclopedia entry

Pakistan, seat of one of the civilizations of the ancient world, was created as a country in 1947; historically, however, its location has made it a crucible in which influences from Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and China have fused with the indigenous traditions of the region. The regional dress and textile traditions of Pakistan, the Pathan, the Punjabi, the Baluch, and the Sindhi, have evolved a range of forms, techniques, and designs that is a distillation not only of loca

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

The Turban: India and Pakistan

Vandana Bhandari

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

Encyclopedia entry

Since ancient times the turban has constituted an important part of male dress on the Indian Subcontinent. Its basic form is a wrapped headdress made from a length of fabric that is coiled or pleated and wound around the head. The type of fabric, its dimensions, color, ornament, and style of wrapping may vary, but the essential concept, purpose, and mode of construction remain the same throughout the different regions where it is worn. The turban was known by several Sanskrit names in antiquity—u

Introduction to South Asia

Jasleen Dhamija

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

Encyclopedia entry

South Asia possesses a wide range of terrain. The northern area has high mountain ranges in Nepal along with the high-altitude plateaus of Ladakh and Bhutan, while eastern India and Bangladesh have tropical areas with high rainfall. There is the Thar Desert, which extends from Pakistan, Rajasthan, and Haryana to Delhi. The fertile Punjab, watered by five rivers, has since ancient times attracted migrations from Central Asia. The ancient riverine culture of the Indus, Saraswati, and Ganges nurture

Royal Dress in India and Pakistan

Ritu Kumar

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

Encyclopedia entry

India’s oldest literary works, the Vedas (1500–500 b.c.e.) contain no exact descriptions of royal clothing; however, accounts of flowing, gold-embroidered clothes, obviously regal dress, appear in the earliest Veda. The Aryans instituted kingship and social hierarchy. Early royalty clearly wore waist wraps, sashes, upper garments, and turbans. In northern Indian kingdoms, Central Asian influence dominated; local royalty is depicted in flowing garments and elaborate jewelry. The southern Indian Sa

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

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

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