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Early History of Dress and Fashion in the Nordic Countries

Eva B. Andersson, Margarita Gleba, Ulla Mannering and Marianne Vedeler

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Nordic countries comprise Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Aaland, Finland, Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland. The northernmost part of Germany and the Norse community on Greenland are also considered here to be within this cultural area. Denmark has abundant Bronze and Early Iron Age finds, while Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Greenland have yielded more medieval material. From about 4200 b.c.e., textiles appear at Danish sites; Early Bronze Age graves have yielded complete garments, including women’

Greenland

Cunera Buijs

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The extremes of the Arctic climate set Greenland dress apart from dress in the rest of West Europe. It is made from the skins and furs of animals and birds and is highly adapted to the conditions and lifestyle of the Arctic people. Even so there are distinctive regional dress cultures of the West Greenlanders (Kilaamiut), Northwest Greenlanders (Inughuit), and East Greenlanders (Tunumiit). It was only in the twentieth century that the dress of Greenlanders began to be influenced by dress in the r

The Concept of National Dress in the Nordic Countries

Bjørn Sverre Hol Haugen

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In parts of West Europe, folk dress traditions developed in preindustrial rural societies, replaced by newer styles centuries ago; elsewhere, folk dress was worn daily until almost the twenty-first century. Among the northern Sámi people, and in Greenland, the last traces of folk dress are still in daily use. The defining factor of folk dress is its local character, whereas national dress is not part of daily life in local societies. Where folk dress is still worn, it is by older generations, wit

The Arctic

Birgit Pauksztat

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In an environment where temperatures are below freezing for much of the year, appropriate clothing is vital. For the native peoples of Arctic North America, until about the mid-twentieth century, survival largely depended on women’s skills to create clothing that provides insulation against the cold and protection from snow, ice, and water. At the same time, the garments are lightweight and durable, and their designs provide the freedom of movement required for carrying out everyday activities.

Fur

Lise Skov

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fur comes from animal pelts that are chemically treated to make the leather supple and retain the hairs, which consist of guard hairs and underwool. Although furs come from many different animals, the most common in the twenty-first century are mink and fox. Fur has been appreciated for two outstanding qualities: warmth, essential in cold climates, and appearance, which accounts for its association with ostentation and prestige dressing. Comfort and durability have also made fur garments and acce

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