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Philippines: Central

Florina H. Capistrano-Baker and Sandra B. Castro

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

Encyclopedia entry

The central group of islands in the Philippines is known as the Visayas. The tropical climate dictated clothing. Many traditional garments, for example, men’s loincloths and women’s skirts, were wrapped around the body. The Spanish conquistadors first appeared in 1521. While non-Christian communities preserved their dress, the Christianized populations of the central lowlands developed hybrid fashions. Watercolors in the Boxer Codex, a sixteenth-century manuscript, show central lowland clothing,

Philippines: North

George R. Ellis

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

Encyclopedia entry

The mountain mass comprising part of the north of Luzon, the largest and northernmost island of the Philippines, is known as the Gran Cordillera Central. Its inhabitants arrived at various periods and are known by various names, the earliest recorded being in Spanish. In one sense their dress is homogenous. Women’s basic clothing consists of a tapis (skirt), while men wear loincloths; both are sometimes complemented by jackets. Blankets are widely worn, for warmth and as finery. Hats, headdresses

Used Clothing in the Philippines

B. Lynne Milgram

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

Encyclopedia entry

Traders and consumers in the Philippines use the increasing imports of secondhand clothing to fashion new forms of identity and new options in work. Global exports of secondhand clothing from North America and Europe to countries in Asia and Africa have expanded rapidly since the 1990s, with surpluses of clothing growing in Northern Hemisphere countries, and with the liberalization of Southern Hemisphere economies that gave people more access to Western goods generally. In the Philippines, such u

Revival of Piña Cloth and Dress: Southern Luzon and Central Philippines

B. Lynne Milgram

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

Encyclopedia entry

Contemporary designers and manufacturers in the Philippines have revived the production of piña cloth and dress since the 1990s. Piña, a diaphanous cloth woven from the fibers of the leaves of the pineapple plant, is a textile synonymous with cloth production in the central Philippines. From the height of its popularity in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth centuries under Spanish colonial rule, demands for garments made from piña cloth decreased to periodic orders by the early twentieth cen

The Fashion World of Southeast Asia

Edric Ong

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

Encyclopedia entry

Each nation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) since independence has been asserting its identity through dress. Many of these nations are multicultural, creating interesting blends, including Western styles. Contemporary Malaysian fashion reflects its people’s cultural diversity. Young Muslim girls wear jeans with head scarves rather than traditional dress. Batik textiles are undergoing a major revival, promoted by the Malaysian government. In Indonesia, designers have done m

Philippines: South

Cherubim Quizon

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Southern Philippines consists of Mindanao, the second largest island in the archipelago, and the Sulu group of islands off its western reaches. Mindanao is known for ceremonial textiles and dress made of ikat-patterned cloth made of Musa textilis fiber, called abacá. Abacá ikat textiles are unique to Mindanao; although traditions of making abacá cloth are found in places like Okinawa, the Visayas, Luzon, Sangihe, and Micronesia, it is only in Mindanao at present that it is patterned with intr

Tattooing in the Philippines

Analyn V. Salvador-Amores

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

Encyclopedia entry

Tattooing was widespread in the Philippines in the early sixteenth century. The Spaniards called the early Filipinos in the Visayas island group pintado, which literally means “painted” but was also used to mean “tattooed.” Batek (also batuk) are the general terms for tattoos. Visayan tattooists practice this in the customary manner of tapping the skin with iron or brass points heated with fire. Batek is characterized by the application of designs that include bold lines extending from the legs t

Tooth Staining in the Philippines

Analyn V. Salvador-Amores

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

Encyclopedia entry

Tooth staining is a practice that goes back to the pre-Spanish period and is widespread in Southeast Asia. In 1591, English businessman Ralph Fitch noted that cultures that practiced tooth staining generally believed that only wild animals had white teeth. Human beings were differentiated from animals by cosmetic refinements such as filed and gold-ornamented teeth. In the mid-twentieth century, Asians considered black teeth a mark of beauty and a desirable feature.

‘Ukay-Ukay’ Chic: Tales of Second Hand Clothing Fashion and Trade in the Philippine Cordillera

B. Lynne Milgram

Source: Old Clothes, New Looks. Second Hand Fashion 2005

Book chapter

At first glance, newspaper stories like these provide us with nothing more than facts about popular shopping trends. Yet the story that knowledgeable readers can glimpse is far more complex. Such narratives relate how traders and consumers in the Philippines claim ownership over the West’s discarded clothing to refashion modernity on their own terms. Since the early 1990s, the growing export of used clothing from North America and northwestern Europe to ‘developing’ countries may initially appear

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