Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia: Beliefs about Protection and Fertility

Overview

Relationships between dress and the body have existed in European and Anatolian folk cultures well into the twentieth century. Traditional cultures have long held the belief that certain articles of dress could protect the body from harm by warding off the "evil eye," bring fertility to new brides, or assure human control of supernatural powers. Ritual fringes, archaic motifs, and colors such as black and red were believed to have powerful, magical effects.

This absorbing and ...

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Overview

Relationships between dress and the body have existed in European and Anatolian folk cultures well into the twentieth century. Traditional cultures have long held the belief that certain articles of dress could protect the body from harm by warding off the "evil eye," bring fertility to new brides, or assure human control of supernatural powers. Ritual fringes, archaic motifs, and colors such as black and red were believed to have powerful, magical effects.

This absorbing and interdisciplinary book examines dress in a broad range of folk cultures-from Turkey, Greece, and Slovakia to Norway, Latvia, and Lithuania, to name but a few. The authors reveal the connection between folk dress and ancient myths, cults and rituals, as well as the communicative aspects of folk dress. The intriguing connections between dress and the supernatural beliefs of agrarian communities, as well as the reinvention of such beliefs as part of nationalism, are also discussed.

This book represents a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on the cultural meanings of dress, as well as to material culture, anthropology, folklore, art history, ethnohistory, and linguistics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an exteremely interesting book ... drawing on a well selected list of authorities." —Costume

"Folk Dress in Europe and Anatolia is a credit to its editor and the series, and makes a major contribution to costume and women's history." —Dress

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859732878
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Series: Dress, Body, Culture Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Welters is at the University of Rhode Island.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface
Notes on Contributors
1 Introduction: Folk Dress, Supernatural Beliefs, and the Body 1
2 On the Antiquity of East European Bridal Clothing 13
3 Traditional Turkish Women's Dress: A Source of Common Understandings for Expected Behaviors 33
4 The Peloponnesian "Zonari": A Twentieth-century String Skirt 53
5 Gilding the Lily: Dress and Women's Reproductive Role in the Greek Village, 1850-1950 71
6 Threads of Life: Red Fringes in Macedonian Dress 97
7 The Curious Tale of the Ultra-long Sleeve (A Eurasian Epic) 111
8 Protection from Harm: The Shawl and Cap in Czech and Slovak Wedding, Birthing and Funerary Rites 135
9 Living Textile Traditions of the Carpathians 155
10 The Cultural Significance of Belts in Latvian Dress 179
11 To Ward Off Evil: Metal on Norwegian Folk Dress 199
12 The Dynamic Relationship Between Lithuanian National Costumes and Folk Dress 211
Index 235
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