Faces Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia of the Human Face

Overview

Our faces identify who we are—not only what we look like and what ethnicities we belong to, but they can also identify what religions we practice and what personal ideologies we have. This one-of-a-kind A–Z reference explores the ways we change, beautify, and adorn our faces to create our personalities and identities.

In addition to covering the basics such as the anatomical structure and function of parts of the human face, the entries examine how the face is viewed around the ...

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Faces around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia of the Human Face

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Overview

Our faces identify who we are—not only what we look like and what ethnicities we belong to, but they can also identify what religions we practice and what personal ideologies we have. This one-of-a-kind A–Z reference explores the ways we change, beautify, and adorn our faces to create our personalities and identities.

In addition to covering the basics such as the anatomical structure and function of parts of the human face, the entries examine how the face is viewed around the world, allowing students to easily draw connections and differences between various cultures around the world. Readers will learn about a wide variety of topics, including identity in different cultures; religious beliefs; folklore; extreme beautification; the "evil eye;" scarification; facial piercing and facial tattooing masks; social views about beauty including cosmetic surgery and makeup; how gender, class and sexuality play a role in our understanding of the face; and skin, eye, mouth, nose, and ear diseases and disorders. This encyclopedia is ideal for high school and undergraduate students studying anthropology, anatomy, gender, religion, and world cultures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Concise entries with suggestions for further reading make this an ideal source for students. . . . This interesting introduction consolidates hard-to-find information and provides many resources for continued exploration."

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Library Journal

"The concept will capture the curiosity and attention of middle and high school students and the contents may inspire further research for their own interests or as part of a cultural study. Topics range alphabetically from Acne and Acupuncture through Veiling and Warts. In between there are articles on familiar subjects such as piercing and tattooing (several entries on each) and the unusual, like gurning (making awkward, ugly faces). From chakras to makeup, this will keep drawing readers in as they discover more than they ever thought possible about faces."

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The School Librarian's Workshop

"The encyclopedia contains a broad mix of entries covering different physical and social representations of the face, from anthropometry to tattoos and even phrases and symbols. Vividly illustrated and rich in cultural detail, Faces Around the World will appeal to most students, for both browsing and searching."

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Reference Reviews

"This work is an interesting resource and study on the importance of the human face and how it is a reflection of the world we live in and our cultural environment. . . . It would be useful as a resource for high school and undergraduate students writing papers in the areas of anthropology, ethnic studies, and sociology, or could be used in a classroom setting to spur discussions on different views of beauty throughout the world."

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ARBA

Library Journal
DeMello (sociology & anthropology, Central New Mexico Community Coll.; Encyclopedia of Body Adornment) brings a cultural anthropology perspective to this work, which contains a variety of thematic entries on all aspects of the human face. According to the preface, "this encyclopedia is the first of its kind to take a comprehensive look at the face throughout history and around the world." Cultures are profiled generally by region (e.g., North America, North Africa) or smaller geographic units (e.g., Easter Island, New Guinea). Topics include piercings and other modifications of the face, cosmetics and other facial adornments, and artistic representations of the face in various religious traditions (e.g., Buddhism, Christianity). Subjects such as blackface, bindis, earlobe stretching, masks, crowns, headdresses, and veiling are explored; other eclectic listings touch on emoticons, the Shroud of Turin, Guy Fawkes, and even Facebook. Lesser-known subjects such as moko (Maori tattoos), prosopanosia (face blindness), and diprosopus (being born with two faces) are also covered. Additionally, DeMello introduces a historical dimension in her discussions of, e.g., Greco-Roman societies and Ancient Egypt. Quotes and anecdotes are scattered throughout, and the volume includes an extensive bibliography. While the cross-references are helpful, the resource could have used more articles on specific features such as the eye or nose, with anatomical information and pictures of different types. Still, concise entries with suggestions for further reading make this an ideal source for students. VERDICT This interesting introduction consolidates hard-to-find information and provides many resources for continued exploration.—Barb Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598846171
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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