Encyclopedia of National Dress [2 volumes] Traditional Clothing around the World

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Encyclopedia of National Dress

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Encyclopedia of National Dress Traditional Clothing around the World Volume 1

Jill Condra, Editor

Copyright 2013 by Jill Condra All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Encyclopedia of national dress : traditional clothing around the world / Jill Condra, editor. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-313-37636-8 (hardcover : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-313-37637-5 (ebook) 1. Clothing and dress—Encyclopedias. I. Condra, Jill, 1968– GT507.E535 2013 391.003—dc23 2012040568 ISBN:

978-0-313-37636-8 (set) 978-0-313-37638-2 (v 1) 978-0-313-37640-5 (v 2) EISBN: 978-0-313-37637-5 17 16 15 14 13

1 2 3 4 5

This book is also available on the World Wide Web as an eBook. Visit www.abc-clio.com for details. ABC-CLIO, LLC 130 Cremona Drive, P.O. Box 1911 Santa Barbara, California 93116-1911 This book is printed on acid-free paper Manufactured in the United States of America


Entry Guide




The Encyclopedia


Museums with National Dress and Textile Collections


Selected Bibliography


About the Editor and Contributors





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Entry Guide

Afghanistan, 1 Albania, 11 Algeria, 19 Angola. See Southern Africa Armenia, 29 Australia, Aboriginal, 44 Australia, Settlers, 53 Austria. See Germany and Austria Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, 62 Belgium. See The Netherlands and Belgium Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, 71 Bolivia. See Chile and Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina, 81 Botswana. See Southern Africa Brazil, 93 Bulgaria, 100 Burkina Faso. See Niger and Burkina Faso Canada, 111 Caribbean Islands: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Lesser Antilles Islands, 121 Chile and Bolivia, 131 China, 140 Costa Rica and Panama, 150 Crete, 160

Croatia, 167 Cuba. See Caribbean Islands Denmark, 177 Dominican Republic. See Haiti and the Dominican Republic Egypt, 183 El Salvador. See Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua England. See Great Britain and Ireland Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, 191 Ethiopia, 204 Finland, 212 France, 220 Germany and Austria, 231 Ghana, 237 Great Britain and Ireland, 252 Greece, 269 Greenland, 280 Guatemala, 289 Haiti and the Dominican Republic, 294 Honduras. See Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua Herzegovina. See Bosnia and Herzegovina Hungary, 303 India, 312 India: Nagaland Tribes, 326 Indonesia, 336 Iran, 343



| Entry Guide Iraq, 357 Ireland. See Great Britain and Ireland Israel, 367 Italy, 372 Jamaica. See Caribbean Islands Japan, 385 Jordan. See The Palestine Region and Jordan Kenya, 395 Korea, 406 Laos (Hmong), 416 Latvia. See Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania Lebanon and Syria, 426 Lesser Antilles Islands. See Caribbean Islands Libya, 440 Lithuania. See Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania Madagascar, 448 Malaysia, 461 Mauritania, 471 Mexico, 478 Mongolia, 488 Morocco, 499 Namibia. See Southern Africa Native North American Dress (United States and Canada), 510 The Netherlands and Belgium, 519 New Zealand, 527 Nicaragua. See Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua Niger and Burkina Faso, 536 Nigeria, 545 Norway, 557 Pakistan, 567 The Palestine Region and Jordan, 574 Panama. See Costa Rica and Panama The Philippines, 585

Poland, 594 Portugal, 602 Puerto Rico. See Caribbean Islands Qatar. See Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates Romania, 612 Russia, 621 Russian Federation Republics, 633 Rwanda and Uganda, 640 Saudi Arabia. See Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates Scotland. See Great Britain and Ireland Slovenia, 649 Somalia, 656 South Paciic Islands, 663 South Africa. See Southern Africa Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, 672 Spain, 682 Sweden, 690 Switzerland, 700 Syria. See Lebanon and Syria Thailand, 708 Tibet, 717 Turkey, 726 Uganda. See Rwanda and Uganda United Arab Emirates. See Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates United States: Hawaii, 740 United States: Hispanic West, 746 United States: New England, 752 United States: Puerto Rico. See Caribbean Islands Vietnam, 758 Wales. See Great Britain and Ireland Yemen and Oman, 764



odern dress exists in an age when a global culture is in the process of developing thanks to rapid exchanges of information, but there are still distinctions to be made between peoples of different countries and different cultures. Most of the world does indeed wear American-style jeans and T-shirts, but many people around the world still identify themselves, even if only for special occasions or festivals, with a style of dress that is unique to their own way of living and relective of their history. Recording information on national dress is perhaps growing even more important in order to preserve the history of the clothing that people identify as culturally speciic and that they use to identify themselves in some distinct way. Those who study material culture understand that clothing, as an artifact, is the most intimate of objects and relects details about the people who wore it. Individual garments tell a story about the wearer. Sometimes it is possible to know what the person’s occupation was, certainly it is possible to know his or her physical dimensions such as height and weight, and it is usually possible to tell how wealthy the person was, based on the type of materials and techniques used to produce the garment. It is also possible, in some cases, to know the religious afiliation, ethnic background, and age of the person.

General Scope and Purpose The Encyclopedia of National Dress explores the following types of clothing in more than 130 nations and autonomous regions: national dress, folk costume, and ethnic dress, all terms that could be used to describe the clothing or combinations of clothing (outits) that have traditionally been worn by a distinct number of people within a certain country or culture. Dress can be used to distinguish a people just as much as it is used for the people to identify themselves as not being from another group, perhaps a rival tribe or people from a different country or culture close by. National boundaries do sometimes move, leaving people of similar cultures and dress traditions living in separate nations. Sometimes, similar types of ix


| Introduction dress with common cultural symbols have been grouped together in this publication to show that certain styles of dress are cross cultural in nature and adopted by many different people at the same time. In this encyclopedia, we aim to celebrate dress worn all over the world by different types of people in dozens of countries. Though not all countries, tribes, and cultures are covered in these volumes, we attempt to give the reader a glimpse into the culture and history of dress, and in some cases how dress is used today to celebrate the uniqueness that exists in the world, even in this increasingly homogenous global culture. In some cases, we have not been successful in identifying a speciic dress associated with a nation. For example, Israel is a relatively young country with a large population of people of the Jewish religion, but who also share the territory with Muslims and Christians, all of whom have diverse identities closely related to their religions. Young nations with melting-pot populations, such as Canada, the United States, or Australia, also have a hard time deining their “national” dress. Each of these countries has a long history of aboriginal or First Nations dress, but after the countries were settled by Europeans, the dress worn by the old and new inhabitants varied and changed dramatically depending on where they lived in the vast landscapes. In the case of Canada, dress changed if the settlers were French or English, or farmers as opposed to traders. Deining national dress in these cases has been challenging.

Identity and Dress Scholars agree that clothing has meaning and is a means of communication of socially acceptable conines of behavior in a certain place and within a certain period of time. Dress, clothing, fashion, costume are all terms used to talk about the items used to cover or decorate the body and tell about the self. They all hold slightly different signiicance, with fashion being clothing that is of a type or style acceptable to a large number of people over a period of time. Dress is the term for the actual garments and how they are put together into ensembles and is often the term seen in discussions of the history of clothing and textiles. Costume, often used in referring to clothing of the past, is also used to discuss the clothing people wear in the performing arts: in ilms, in television, and on stage. (I therefore prefer to avoid this term unless actually talking about theatrical costumes.) Adornment can include all the items used to dress or decorate the body including jewelry and other accessories and is an important part of expressing identity along with the actual garments. People express their place within society and the power they may hold within that system. Their identity is clearly deined by their clothing choices. Expression of a sense of self and the identity of a culture is held in how people in a society dress themselves, whether it is wearing leather aprons, or using yards of fabric in


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many layers to cover the whole body from view. The values of a society become clear when analyzing the types of choices that are made and what elements of traditional clothing are sustained over time to help people project the image they feel as a culture. Clothing also is often considered to be art, and art relects the society and time in which the artist lives. Great beauty can be seen in the designs of particular garments, their material, and how they drape the human form. Applied color and applied design such as that which adorns the Japanese kimono or a Russian headdress is truly spectacular art. Clothing production is also intensely technical and methods of applying color, constructing garments, and itting them onto a threedimensional igure is a structural art as well.

The Study of National Dress, Ethnic Dress, Folk Costume The types of dress worn by large groups of people are typically not the dress of the elite within a given society. This is not to say that the elite do not wear elements of this type of clothing, but the main thrust of the designs come from the people and are worn by the majority. While studying the history of dress of the wealthiest individuals is exciting and sometimes allows great art to be evaluated and meanings dissected, it only relects a certain, usually small, cross-section of any given society. Researchers may ind it more fun to look at the details of ornate dresses of the 18th century, and not as interesting to closely study the clothing worn by the peasants of the day. Nor is it easy to do. In many cases extant examples of dress of the more ordinary people have not been saved and stored in climate-controlled museums for us to study. Museums are illed with the beautiful dresses and suits of royalty and aristocracy, though, and this becomes the examples of dress of a particular time period. To study the dress of the people requires more crafty research. The art of the time, accounts of people who kept journals, and rare discoveries of evidence help deine the dress of the masses. Especially as cultures were exposed to one another as explorers and traders visited new lands and brought back the clothing and textiles of the indigenous people, the world was made aware of what other people wore. Likewise, more remote parts of the world were then introduced to clothing of drastically different manufacturing techniques as well as the values that helped to create the culture around that clothing. The politics surrounding dress and identity are intensely debated in a number of disciplines, and the study of ethnic dress can spark debate about a multitude of meanings associated with it. While we look at a number of different countries (as their boundaries are now deined), we have tried to stay away as much as possible from judging the ways in which ethnic expression changed and mutated with events such as colonialism. Instead, we have tried to present the historical context for each chapter, allowing


| Introduction readers to make decisions for themselves about whether the changes were good or bad, and for whom. The clothing worn by people from all parts of the world speak volumes about them, what their climate is like, perhaps their moral values, and their relative economic prosperity. The tradition of adopting folk dress depended on a variety of factors. Certain silhouettes or details in clothing may have been shared among less prosperous people, but the amount of decoration varied greatly, related to the wealth of the wearer. Often the style of dress depended on climate, working conditions, and geographic location. The garments represent much about the culture the people represent. While historically, traditional dress showed local materials, such as textiles manufactured close by, once global trade began in earnest, new kinds of fabrics, lace, style speciics would work their way into the dress of a culture. As industrialization and trade increased over the past 200 years, certain types of garments and modern “Western dress” were adopted by many, and traditional ethnic or folk dress was either abandoned or altered to incorporate the new styles and technologies as they emerged. The traditionally accepted styles of dress were usually put aside and jeans and T-shirts are now worn for many occasions. The national costumes are brought out to celebrate certain special occasions or for cultural or religious festivals and ceremonies. The folk dress is then worn with national pride to celebrate the traditions of a culture.

About the Book Forty-six writers from all over the world have contributed to this set of books. Many live in the countries about which they write, and others are specialists writing about dress at universities and museums around the world. The authors were asked to narrow their deinition of national or ethnic dress to the assemblage of supplements worn on and/or modiications made to the body accepted by a group of people as being “theirs,” distinguishing them from neighboring or distant groups. Supplements include garments, jewelry, and accessories as well as makeup, body paint, and temporary alterations to the body’s surface. Modiications are permanent changes made to the shape or surface of the body and include such practices as tattooing, scariication, and piercing. The development of forms of speciic dress worn by speciic ethnic groups and changes through time are covered in many entries. Cosmopolitan dress or world fashion plays a part in the history of ethnic dress, especially when considering the many factors at play when people stop wearing it, but it is not a major focus of these volumes. Contemporary use of ethnic dress is sometimes considered in the entries, and some entries discuss the use of ethnic elements in contemporary fashions of particular countries.


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Our Raison d’Etre Modern dress exists in an age when there is a developing global culture, but there are still distinctions to be made between peoples of different countries and different cultures. Most of the world does indeed wear American-style jeans and T-shirts, but people still identify themselves, even if only for special occasions or festivals, with a style of dress that is unique to their own way of living and relective of their history. Recording information on national dress is perhaps growing even more important in order to preserve the history of the clothing that people identify as culturally speciic and to identify themselves in some distinct way. This book has set out to cover the clothing of people from all over the world by inding writers who are intimately acquainted with dress from certain cultures and countries. Much of the time, it is dificult to cover the whole of a country, especially one with distinct regional differences. Efforts have been made to bring the reader as much information about a country’s dress as possible while at the same time offering short geographical and historical backgrounds to be able to place the country in some kind of context and understand how the people developed their unique styles of dress.

The Audience This set is a reference work primarily designed for public libraries, high school libraries, and college and university libraries serving advanced high school students and undergraduates with an interest, but little background in culture and history, or dress. Students needing information on speciic countries for research projects, individuals interested in textiles and clothing, those needing a reference for re-creation of dress for folk dance troupes and costuming, and young people wanting to know more about other parts of the world will all ind this set useful.

Content The Encyclopedia of National Dress comprises two volumes covering more than 130 countries or regions, arranged in A to Z order by country or region. In some cases countries have been grouped together when enough similarities exist. Each essay, or entry, covers some basic information, with some entries longer than others due to size of country or region and diversity of population. Essays range in size from 1,500 to 7,000 words and feature three major sections: Historical and Geographical (Environmental) Background; People and Dress; and


| Introduction Further Reading and Resources. In each historical background section the writers have covered in more or less detail such information as indigenous populations, exploration, trade routes, global migration patterns, internal factors such as industry and economy, and population (usually as of mid-2012 and supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency’s online World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/ library/publications/the-world-factbook/). Also featured are contemporary factors including immigration, ethnic diversity, revival of ethnic dress in festivals, and other aspects. Each entry is placed within a geographical and environmental context so the reader understands how climate and naturally occurring species of plants and animals affect the dress of the culture/country. By far the longest portion of each entry is devoted to the people and dress of the region. This section includes ethnic and religious diversity, the history of dress, usually in chronological order, and devotes a signiicant portion to the actual components that make up the dress. This section can reach back into antiquity or in some cases only two or three hundred years. This section also may look at rural versus urban populations. Most chapters also include information on the materials and techniques used to make the national dress, and how these materials form the basis for the styles of clothing worn in the regions. The clothing worn for everyday is studied, but also discussed is how that clothing was adapted to be used in ceremonial uses or for special occasions. Often the dress of the people has come to symbolize the identity of the nations, and sometimes the wealthy or royal have adopted the clothing for special national holidays over time. Writers were encouraged to include as much about body modiication such as scarring and tattooing as they could, when appropriate. The meaning attached to such permanent body modiication is intense and in some cases caused great danger to those who did it. Jewelry, of course, is an indication of wealth for many. The precious metals and stones that adorn a body have always indicated a certain stature within a given society. At the end of the essays, the authors have written about how the dress of the people is being adapted or forgotten in contemporary society. While many countries continue to use the traditional dress in national holidays, festivals, and for impressing tourists, some styles are slowly being forgotten (or have been forgotten). It is for this reason that such books are important as permanent records of the dress that was and is important to a nation. Finally, each essay closes with a list of selected resources, including books, articles, and online sources. For additional research, the end of volume two of the Encyclopedia of National Dress features a selected bibliography of recommended books and articles on national dress as well as a list of prominent museums around the world that feature clothing and textile exhibits. Some of the websites of these museums also provide online glimpses of beautiful and distinctive dress from around the globe.


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The contributors to this book and I hope that the Encyclopedia of National Dress enlightens you, and leads you to a greater understanding of the important differences that still exist in the world today when it comes to our cultures and to our dress. As the world becomes even more interconnected with technological developments, differences are important for greater understanding and appreciation for everyone.

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Afghanistan Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood


fghanistan lies at the crossroads between Asia, the Iranian world, and the Indian subcontinent. Objects from what is now Afghanistan were valued in many civilizations in the Middle East as well as the Mediterranean world. The dark blue stone lapis lazuli, for example, was so valued in the ancient world that it was transported from Afghanistan along various trade routes that later became known as the Silk Road. The importance of Afghanistan to the stability of the region and surrounding countries is relected in the attention paid to it by various Western and Arab countries at the beginning of the 21st century.

Historical and Geographical Background Afghanistan includes a wide variety of geographical features, but it is dominated in the main by the mountains in the center of the country and the plains and deserts around them. The country of Afghanistan as we know it emerged in the 18th century when a local leader collected various tribes from southern Afghanistan around him. His capital was Kandahar, and from there he led his troops deep into Iran to the west, and to Delhi in modern India in the east. His successor moved the capital to Kabul. Over the years the Afghan kingdom became more and more unstable, however, and it would probably have disappeared altogether were it not that by the end of the 19th century it was transformed into a buffer state between czarist Russia to the north and British India to the east. Afghanistan also maintained its neutral position during much of the cold war, until by the late 1970s the country exploded and a civil war ensued that has lasted to the present day. The Pashtuns remain the majority ethnic group in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In addition, however, there are over 50 other ethnic groups, many of them with their own language and cultural characteristics, including a wide variety of dress traditions. At the beginning of the 21st century, the main ethnic groups are (in alphabetical order) the Baluchis, Hazaras, Nuristanis, Pashtuns, Tajiks, Turkmen, and Uzbeks. Each of these groups has its own language, culture, and way of dress. The population of Afghanistan in 2012 was estimated at more than 30,419,000. 1


| Encyclopedia of National Dress Although many Afghans, especially in the country’s capital, Kabul, tend to wear Western-style garments, there is a basic outit for men, women, and children, which consists of trousers gathered at the waist, a loose-itting shirt or dress, and some form of head covering. This combination of clothing dates back to the early medieval period and the introduction of Islam, and over the centuries numerous variations on this theme have developed in Afghanistan. Certain garments have social signiicance within various groups. The turban, for example, is an important male item of attire. Among the Pashtuns and Baluchis, for instance, a boy may mark his passage into manhood by being allowed to wear a turban. Similarly, a girl will move from wearing a simple head covering, such as a scarf, to a more complex and larger form once she is of marriageable age or married. Head coverings are prescribed for all women in Islam, and therefore most women in traditional and rural Afghan communities wear variations of a large or small rectangular headscarf/body covering, commonly called a chador. They are usually made out of ine cotton or a synthetic material. A variation of the chador is the chadari, in the West commonly known as the Afghan burqa, which is composed of a close-itting cap attached to a veil made from a inely pleated, colored silk, cotton, or rayon material, which envelops the body. There is an openwork embroidered grid over the eyes so that the wearer can see where she is going. Contrary to popular Western ideas, chadaris are not worn by all Afghan women; instead this garment is speciically related to urban life.

Baluchi Dress The Baluchis live in southern Afghanistan near the borders with Iran and Pakistan. At the beginning of the 20th century, the basic Baluchi outit for a man consisted of white or indigo cotton trousers (shalwar) worn under a long shirt (jama), which normally reached to just below the knees. Over this was worn a cotton robe (kurti) that was densely pleated at the waist. The kurti is Indian in origin. By the end of the century this form had been totally replaced by the shalwar kameez from Pakistan, which consists of simple drawstring (tikke) trousers (shalwar) and a long shirt or tunic (kameez) with a central front opening. The headgear consists of a snugly itting cap (topi) and turban (pag, sometimes called a lungi). Baluchi caps for men are often made of cotton with ine silk or cotton embroidery in loral or geometric patterns. In addition, they sometimes incorporate minute mirrors called shisha. Baluchi turbans are made of white cotton and are normally wrapped in numerous large rolls around the head. Other male accessories include a long scarf or shoulder cloth (pushti) and, in colder weather, woolen socks. Sometimes an overcoat (kaba) and a waistcoat (sadri) are worn with a woolen shawl (sal). Leather sandals (shabav) in dark red or brown are also often worn. These may be decorated with chain-stitch embroidery.


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The women’s outit consists of ankle-length trousers (shalwar), which are gathered at the waist; an ankle-length, loose-itting dress (paskh), and a large shawl or outer cover (chadar). A feature of Baluchi women’s clothing is the embroidery that once was largely hand worked, but which is increasingly being made by machine. A Baluchi woman’s dress (paskh) traditionally has four panels of embroidery (doch), namely, a large yoke covering the chest, two panels on the sleeve cuffs, and a long, narrow, rectangular pocket, which runs from just above the waistline to the hem of the skirt. The style and quality of embroidery depends on whether the garment is going to be used on a daily basis or is intended for a festive occasion, such as a wedding.

Hazara Dress The Hazaras are a special ethnic group in Afghanistan. They claim to descend from the Mongol army that occupied the lands of what is now Afghanistan in the 13th century. Nowadays the Hazara occupy perhaps the poorest lands of the country, high in the valleys of the central Afghan mountains. Hazara dress for men in the late 19th and early 20th centuries consisted of loose-itting barrak fabric trousers, a cotton shirt (qamis; pirahan), long and short caftans in barrak, waistcoats (waskat), coats (macew), and a solid Hazara cap (kapi). A belt (kamari) or cloth sash was often wrapped around the waist. Wealthier men wore a turban (lungota) over the cap and a shoulder blanket or shawl of cotton (sal), or a soft fulled woolen material (sal-i hazaragi) depending on the season. In winter, a turban was added and woolen scarves were wrapped around the necks and faces as protection against the cold. Hazara chiefs sometimes wore the choga, a long cloak with sleeves, a form of Central Asian caftan. By the end of the 20th century many Hazara men wore Western-style garments. The traditional Hazara women’s outit consists of trousers; a calf-length dress with long, full sleeves, very wide at the waist; plus a head covering. Sometimes a waistcoat is worn, which is decorated with buttons, beads, silver coins, and seashells. The headcloth is sometimes folded into a thick, lat pad on top of the head, with the ends forming a sort of veil at the back of the neck. By the end of the 20th century, most Hazara dresses were made with sleeves with narrow cuffs; the dresses end at the knee or halfway along the calves. Modern Hazara dresses for festivals tend to be made out of purple velvet, following the fashion of using red or purple dating from the 1950s. The embroidery on Hazara dresses is concentrated in several parts, notably the bodice and neck, the sleeves, the skirt front, and along the hem of the dress. There are two types of embroidery used for dresses. The term zamin-dozi refers to embroidery that is densely stitched on the fabric of the dress, usually the front chest panel. This type of embroidery is often used for clothing worn for festive


| Encyclopedia of National Dress occasions, such as weddings. When the embroidered motifs are scattered around the fabric of the dress, it is called gul-dozi.

Nuristani Dress Nuristan (“The Land of Light”) is located in the eastern part of Afghanistan. Until the mid-20th century, Nuristani dress was the most distinctive in Afghanistan. Men wore warm white woolen trousers (vit) reaching to just below the knee, over which were wrapped long black leggings (pataw), which looked like puttees. Over this was worn a long tunic, which was kept in place with a silver studded belt (malaa niste), which was used to support a dagger (katra). A distinctive feature of modern Nuristani dress is the pakol, which is usually made of fulled woolen cloth and consists of a lat crown with a rolled brim. This form of headwear is often called the Nuristani cap, but it is better known as the Chitrali cap after the neighboring town and district of Chitral in modern Pakistan. Nuristani women used to wear trousers and a shirt with a front neck opening. These shirts were often made out of dark-colored silk or cotton decorated around the neck opening with metal thread embroidery. The older versions of Nuristani metal thread embroidery often incorporated beadwork as well. The outit also included full skirts or dresses (bazu), which were gathered at the waist and worn with a woven belt (niste). Some of these dresses were embellished across the back of the shoulders and down the sleeves with a combination of red and black embroidered appliqués. By the 1930s this form of dress had all but vanished as a result of increased access to the region from outside, which brought with it other forms of textiles and garments. Modern Nuristani outits for women tend to consist of a waisted dress with collar (this is unusual for an Afghan dress), with similarly colored trousers and a large chador. The tradition of using metal thread in Nuristani embroidery continues in the use of plasticized metallic yarns. Nuristani women tend to wear bead strands and beaded jewelry in bright colors. The beads are used to create complex geometric designs.

Pashtun Dress The Pashtuns constitute an ethnic group that lives along both sides of the modern Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Traditionally, many Pashtuns used to call themselves Afghans, hence the name of the modern country of Afghanistan. The basic outit for Pashtun men normally includes trousers (shalwar) with a drawstring waist and drawstring (tikke), a knee-length shirt (kameez), and a waistcoat. The basic outit is usually available in a wide range of colors and shades, but the same color and material is always used for the trousers and shirt. The Pashtun headdress is normally a small cap of some kind, often with a turban wrapped around


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it. The outit is completed with a large, rectangular blanket (patu) worn draped over one or both shoulders. Pashtun women tend to wear a “standard” Afghan outit made up of trousers with a drawstring, a dress with long sleeves and full skirt, and some form of head covering. The trousers are usually a contrasting color to the dress, and in the late 20th century the most common color for trousers was “Pashtun green,” which is a deep mid-green. They are often decorated along the ankle cuffs with some form of embroidery or applied lace. Festive dresses are usually made out of silk or velvet in rich colors, especially a deep red. During the hot summer months, many women prefer to wear printed cotton and rayon fabrics in bright colors. The most elaborate embroidery is carried out on the Afghan man of the Pashtun ethnic minority bodice and sleeve cuffs of the dresses. in shalwar and a knee-length kameez, 2010. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) The embroidery for the bodice, for example, can either be done on the actual fabric of the dress or on a coarser material, which is then stitched onto the dress. The hem of the dress is often decorated with gold-colored laces or thick gimp threads that are twisted and shaped to form various designs. A feature of Pashtun dresses for women, both urban and nomadic, is the triangular beaded panels at the heads of the shoulders. They are used to cover the seam line between the front bodice and the skirt of the dress. They are usually made using multicolored glass beads to create tight geometric designs. It is also normal to have a beaded roundel or gul-i pirahan on the shoulders, chest panel, and waist. The outit is completed by a large, rectangular head covering (shal, chador) in cotton, silk, or a synthetic material.

Kuchi Dress Kuchi is the popular name for the mainly Pashtun nomads and seminomads that originally, and sometimes to the present day, annually migrated from their winter camps in the valleys to their summer pastures high in the mountains.


| Encyclopedia of National Dress Kuchi men normally wear trousers with a drawstring waist (shalwar) and a knee-length shirt (kameez). These are usually in white. The Kuchi headdress for men is normally a cap covered with a large white turban. The outit is completed with a large white shawl or blanket that is worn over one or both shoulders. Like many other Afghan men, Kuchi men use this blanket for warmth, to sit upon, and as a prayer mat. Kuchi outits for women are similar to those worn by (settled) Pashtun women, but in general the colors tend to be darker. A Kuchi outit consists of trousers with tightly itting ankle cuffs, a dress, and a head covering of some kind. Kuchi dresses normally have long, very wide sleeves and very full skirts. The front of the bodice, skirt, and sleeve hems are often decorated with metallic laces that are couched down. Such dresses are also adorned with amulets, pendants, tassels, button bands, motifs, and trinkets.

Tajik Dress The Tajik make up about one-quarter of the Afghan population and live in many parts of the country, but most of them can be found in the main cities and in the northeast and west of the country. At the end of the 20th century, the basic outit for Tajik men consisted of trousers with a drawstring waist (shalwar) with drawstring (tikke) and a knee-length shirt (kameez). These are usually in a wide range of colors and shades, but the same colors and material are always used for the trousers and shirt. The Tajik male headwear normally consists of an embroidered cap of some kind. The outit worn by Tajik women is very similar to that of other groups, namely trousers, dress, and head covering. Tajik trousers for women are usually of satin, cotton, or a synthetic material with straight legs. They are normally white or in a solid pastel color. The ankle cuffs of these trousers may be embroidered with a white border or embellished with couched white laces. Tajik dresses tend to have long sleeves and longish skirts. In general, Tajik dresses are not decorated with embroidery or metallic lace. Instead emphasis is placed on the use of different types of fabrics, often woven or printed with geometric and loral designs. Expensive fabrics such as brocades or printed silks are used for special occasions, while cottons and synthetic materials are for daily use. Tajik head coverings (chador) are normally about two yards in size and made from georgette, gauze, or cotton with lace, crochet, or needlepoint borders. Some of the cheaper examples have printed borders. In some areas of northern Afghanistan where the Tajik live closely with the Uzbeks, Tajik women tend to wear an outit that is similar to modern Uzbekistan forms. This outit consists of narrow ikat trousers worn with a shiny ikat dress. The


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Tajik woman in Afghanistan wearing the ikat-printed dress and traditional jewelry, c. 1910. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Prokudin-Gorskii Collection)

hair of women from this region is usually braided into numerous long strands. In public it is normal for a large head covering of some form to be worn.

Turkmen Dress The Turkmen are a Turkic group who speak a form of Western Ghuz (Oghuz) Turkic. Most of the Turkmen nowadays live in Turkmenistan, while there are substantial communities of Turkmen living in northeastern Iran and northern Afghanistan. The two main Turkmen groups in Afghanistan are the Yomut and Teke. From the beginning of the 19th century until the mid-1920s, the basic costume for a Turkmen man consisted of a pair of loose cotton trousers (balaq) and a shirt (koynek). Over these was worn a tight-sleeved robe (don) of striped silk. These garments were held together at the waist with a sash (qusaq). A man’s headgear consisted of a small skullcap (bork), sometimes with a turban or a cylindrical black sheepskin hat (telpek). This is still the dominant type of dress of the Afghan Turkmen. During the early 20th century the basic dress of a Turkmen woman consisted of undertrousers (balaq), a dress (koynek), and a headdress of some kind. In addition, some groups also wore a face veil (yasmak), a sash (sal qusaq, bil qusak),


| Encyclopedia of National Dress an indoor coat of some kind (cabit or kurte), and for outdoor wear, a second coat (chrypy). The range and cut of the garments worn by Turkmen women in Afghanistan at the end of the 20th century has remained much the same, although the type of material used has changed. During the early 20th century, for instance, it was common for women’s dresses to be made out of silk or semisilk fabrics, which were woven either locally or imported from Turkmenistan. As a generalization Turkmen clothing for women today would seem to be much simpler than it was even 25 years ago. At the same time, however, it is also becoming much more colorful. An important feature of Turkmen dress for women is the quantity of silver and later gold jewelry that is worn. Most jewelry is worn on the head, down the front and back of the upper torso, and on the lower arms and hands, where it is very visible and people can see the social and economic status of the wearer. Little is worn on the lower body or feet. The variety of Turkmen jewelry is considerable and each group has its own particular forms and favorites, although it is noticeable that many groups are willing to wear Teke-made jewelry.

Uzbek Dress The Uzbek are a Turkic people of Central Asia. They live primarily in modern Uzbekistan and neighboring lands, but there are large populations in northern Afghanistan. A feature of both male and female Uzbek clothing is the use of ikats and embroidery. During the 19th century in Afghanistan, Uzbek dress for men consisted of a long shirt (kujlak) of cotton; undertrousers (ischton, balak), also of cotton, which were sometimes embroidered down the sides and along the ankle cuffs; an undercaftan (chapan); and then one or more outer caftans (chapan) depending on the status and wealth of the wearer. Both the under- and outer caftans reached to mid-calf height, so that embroidered trousers and boots would be visible. The outer caftan was kept in place with a belt (kamar), which was often decorated with silver or gold plaques. These caftans, especially the ones worn as the last layer, were often in boldly patterned ikat materials. Sometimes Chinese brocades were also used. In the past, the linings of these garments were sometimes made from imported Russian cottons that had been decorated with a bright printed design. These materials (cotton or silk) and the complexity of design used for the caftans is again an indication of social and economic status. Headgear consisted of a small cap (duppi) over which was wound a turban. There were many different types of caps depending on the social status of the wearer, his religion (Jewish or Muslim), occupation, and the occasion. Most were


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embroidered or quilted into intricate designs. Sometimes a giant furry hat was worn called a telpek, which was similar to those worn by some Turkmen. Footwear consisted of high leather boots suitable for horse riding. These were often embroidered with intricate designs similar to those found on the caftans. By the end of the 20th century Uzbek dress for men is basically a Westernized outit consisting of a shirt with trousers. However, on special occasions, an Uzbek festival outit is worn consisting of shirt and trousers, over which is worn an ikat or embroidered coat and an imposing telpek. There is a considerable difference between the dress worn by women at the beginning of the 20th century and that by the end. In the early 20th century, Uzbek women’s dress basically consisted of a pair of wide trousers, often with the upper half in cotton while the lower, visible section was of an ikat material. Over this was worn a tunic (mursak), which usually had a long slit down the front so that breast feeding an infant was easy. Over the trousers and top was worn a caftan. Like the male version it is based on a long central panel, but unlike the caftans worn by men, the female form tends to be short and have wider sleeves. Some forms of caftans worn by women also had a prominent waist; this type is sometimes called a rumcha. Like the men, the women wore several caftans, one on top of the other. At home it was normal for a girl or woman to wear a cap, with a panel down the back of the cap that was used to cover the hair. Both the cap and the hair panel were often made out of velvet and elaborately embroidered. In public a woman was expected to be totally covered, including her face. A special outit consisting of a coat (faranje, paranja) and a horsehair face veil (chasmband) was worn, which together was called a faranje (the same word used for the coat). Most Uzbek women, including those living in Afghanistan, had stopped wearing this outit by the mid-20th century. By the end of the 20th century, there were two main types of dress worn by women in Afghanistan. The irst consists of an Uzbekistan outit made up of a pair of ikat trousers with an ikat dress. The head covering for girls usually consists of a small cap, often in velvet. The headdress of a married woman is slightly more complicated and consists of a headscarf or a cap covered with a large shawl, often of white or a pale color. On special occasions a coat is worn over the dress, which is made from either ikat cloth or a plain material decorated with embroidery. The second, more conservative outit consists of baggy trousers with a wide dress, which is embroidered with large, colorful loral motifs. This is worn with an open-fronted coat, which has a deined waist. The main outer garment is a long coat with false sleeves that is draped over the shoulders. The outer coat is often embroidered, but not quite as vividly as the dress. A large shawl or chador is used to cover the head and upper body.


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Further Reading and Resources Dupree, Louis. Afghanistan. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1873. Harlan, Josiah. A Memoir of India and Avghanistaun [sic], with Observations on the Present Exciting and Critical State and Future Prospects of those Countries. Philadelphia: J. Dobson Printers, 1842. Harvey, Janet. Traditional Textiles of Central Asia. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996. Kalter, Johannes and Pavaloi, Margareta. Usbekistan. Stuttgart: Edition Hansjörg Mayer, 1995. Paine, Sheila. Embroidery from Afghanistan. London: The British Museum Press, 2006. Paiva, Roland and Dupaigne, Bernard. Afghan Embroidery. Lahore: Ferozsons Ltd., 1993. Vogelsang-Eastwood, Gillian and Vogelsang, Willem. Covering the Moon: An Introduction to Middle Eastern Face Veils. Leuven: Peeters, 2008. Vogelsang, Willem. The Afghans. Oxford: Blackwell/Wiley, 2008. Vogelsang, Willem. “Dressing for the Future in Ancient Garb: The Use of Clothing in Afghan Politics,” Khil‘a: Journal for Dress and Textiles of the Islamic World 1 (2005): 123–138. Vogelsang, Willem. “The Pakul: A Distinctive, but Apparently Not So Very Old Headgear from the Indo-Iranian Borderlands,” Khil‘a: Journal for Dress and Textiles of the Islamic World 2 (2006): 149–156.

Albania Leyla Belkaïd

Historical and Geographical Background Albania stands at the crossroads between the Balkans and the Mediterranean Sea. Its coast follows the Adriatic Sea to the west and the Ionian Sea to the southwest. The country is bordered by Montenegro and Serbia to the north, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. The capital, Tirana, is situated in the center of the territory. The other important cities are Durrës, Elbasan, and Shkodër, while the main maritime cities are Durazzo and Valona, on the Italian coast. Albania, called Shqipëri in Albanian, covers 28,748 square miles (46,200 square km) and is a mountainous land.

People and Dress Ethnic and Religious Diversity Most of the 3 million people living in the country are Albanians, but there are also minorities of Greeks, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Serbs, Vlachs, and Gypsies. Today, more than 2 million Albanians live abroad in the neighboring Balkan countries, Turkey, Italy, and other Western countries. Almost three-quarters of the population are Muslim, one-quarter is Christian Orthodox, and 10 percent are Roman Catholics. Nevertheless, the variety of the Albanian dress is due less to the expression of religious and ethnic differences than to the dissimilarities between the customs and the material culture of mountain dwellers and townspeople since antiquity.

History of Dress Albanians are the descendants of the Illyrians, one of the most ancient populations of the Balkan area. In the ifth century BCE, the Illyrians were organized in 11


| Encyclopedia of National Dress federations of tribes neighboring the Macedonians, the Greeks, and the Thracians. The Illyrian men used to wear knee-length kilts, which persisted for millennia and remain central in the contemporary Albanian folk dress. Among the other components of the Illyrian costume were the wool mantles, the paenula cloak, and many elements of the traditional male costumes still worn nowadays by the older mountain villagers, like the undyed felt hats and the opinga (primitive leather shoes). The present traditional female dress of Albania also keeps the ancient garments and jewels of the irst and second millennia BCE. The felt xhoka (jackets decorated with thick red wool fringes), worn in the remotest villages of the northern mountains, probably date back to Illyrian times, while the xhubletë (skirt), which recalls the Cretan Minoan skirt, seems to be a very ancient heritage of the Balkan and Mediterranean civilizations of the Bronze Age. In the second century BCE, the Romans, who were the rivals of the Illyrians in the Adriatic Sea, occupied the territory of Albania. Many local tribes escaped the invaders by leaving the coasts and the plains to settle in the most inaccessible mountains. At the end of the fourth century, when the Byzantine Empire ruled the whole Balkan area, the eastern Mediterranean culture had a deep inluence on the evolution of Albanian urban clothing. The longevity of the Byzantine impact is illustrated by the striking golden embroidery that enhances the whole surface of the ceremonial xhybe (coats) worn by urban women till the early 20th century. In 1468, Albania was annexed to the Ottoman Empire. For more than four centuries, the velvet and brocaded caftans, the luxurious waistcoats, the shalwar (baggy trousers), and the Oriental-like headgear of the elite in Shkodër or Elbasan shared few characteristics with the archaic felt coats, tight trousers, and hats of the villagers living in rural areas. During the centuries of Ottoman rule, distinction through dress was based on social class rather than on religion. In the mountains, neither Catholic nor Muslim women wore veils, while the elite city dwellers of both religions were entirely veiled in the streets. Before the 18th century, only the Ottoman oficials and the Orthodox Church dignitaries were allowed to put on Byzantine-like caftans and jackets embroidered with gold thread. By the end of the 18th century, embroidery manufacturers started working for the merchants and other upper-class people as well. The Albanian townspeople followed Ottoman cultural practices, though they did not limit themselves to copying the Istanbul fashion. The bourgeois women used to wear a ine white silk shirt and a sleeveless xhybe. The xhybe is a typical Albanian coat itted to the bust and worn open. Its shape is enlarged from the hips to the knees. Shkodër and Elbasan women exhibited luxurious variations of velvet xhybe entirely decorated with golden braids and vegetal-patterned embroideries. Gold iligree buttons and removable sleeves, enriched with densely embroidered golden volutes, could be ixed on the garment to make it more imposing. A striped or lowery cloth


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cummerbund and a tight, short waistcoat were usually worn on the shirt. The lower parts of the long, baggy shalwar (trousers) underneath were also richly embroidered in gold thread. The Catholic women of Shkodër wore voluminous trousers, precious toques, and white lace mantillas to indicate their family wealth and social status. The dress of Shkodër was one of the most elaborate urban female costumes of the whole Balkan area. The Albanian dignitaries, oficials, merchants, and craftsmen who used to dress in the Turkish manner started following Western fashion before the Ottoman E