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Dress of the Cook Islands

Kalissa Alexeyeff

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Cook Islands dress of the twenty-first century is a vibrant mixture of local, Western, and regional influences. Traces of the islands’ missionary and colonial history are also evident and reflect an ongoing incorporation of external styles and aesthetics. Since the Cook Islands gained independence in 1965, the revival of local dress practices of the past has been viewed as an important way of forging an independent nation-state. Traditional dress, primarily worn in performance contexts in the ear

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