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Missionary Dress in Samoa

Prue Ahrens

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

Encyclopedia entry

The first European Christian missionaries to establish a station in the South Pacific were members of the London Missionary Society (LMS) who arrived in Tahiti in 1797. Over the next one hundred years a number of European Christian denominations established missions there. For example, mission stations were established in Tonga by Wesleyans (1826) and Marists (1832), and in the Gilberts and Ellice Islands (now Kiribati and Tuvalu) by the LMS (1877) and the Catholic Sacred Heart Mission (1881). In

Introduction to the Dress of the Pacific Islands

Adrienne L. Kaeppler

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

Encyclopedia entry

The Pacific Ocean covers one-third of the earth’s surface and is inhabited by hundreds of cultural groups. Some twenty-five thousand islands, ranging from tiny specks of coral to the large island of New Guinea, are occupied by physically diverse peoples, many of whom have mixed and intermixed. Environments range from snowy mountains to raging volcanoes, from steaming rain forests to parched deserts, from coral atolls to volcanic outcrops. These Pacific Islands are usually divided into three histo

The Social World of Cloth in the Pacific Islands

Susanne Küchler and Graeme Were

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

Encyclopedia entry

Portable, malleable, absorbent, and textured, often with colored patterns that attract or repel the mind, cloth the world over is essential for all manner of fastenings and constructions that give form to the social relations that are conceived as dependent upon the actions of the body. Pacific societies are unique in expressing, perhaps more fervently than observed elsewhere, the centrality of cloth to identities of kinship and political authority, as cloth is harnessed and transformed into surf

Dressing the Body in Samoa

Sean Mallon

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

Encyclopedia entry

Samoa consists of two large tropical islands and six smaller ones in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Fiji. Its people are of Polynesian descent, and the islands have had a complex history of regional interaction. The tropical environment furnished flora and fauna utilized by the people of these islands for the construction of clothing and body modifications. During the nineteenth century dressing the body involved not only covering with garments but also marking or coloring the skin, wrapping it

Pacific Patterns

Graeme Were and Susanne Küchler

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

For many, pattern and decoration express an ideology of visual pleasure, but the often-ostentatious designs fashioned by Pacific Islanders from fragile leaf fronds and imported fabrics tell a different story. Stamped or stenciled, plaited or bound, pattern making in the Pacific is concerned with making relations to identity and to land tangible in the most striking ways and the most economic fashion. Though trivialized and hence overlooked—especially for those patterns created by women on the sur

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