Fashioning Africa: power and the politics of dress

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Indiana University Press, 2004 - Art - 247 pages

Everywhere in the world there is a close connection between the clothes we wear and our political expression. To date, few scholars have explored what clothing means in 20th-century Africa and the diaspora. In Fashioning Africa, an international group of anthropologists, historians, and art historians bring rich and diverse perspectives to this fascinating topic. From clothing as an expression of freedom in early colonial Zanzibar to Somali women's headcovering in inner-city Minneapolis, these essays explore the power of dress in African and pan-African settings. Nationalist and diasporic identities, as well as their histories and politics, are examined at the level of what is put on the body every day. Readers interested in fashion history, material and expressive cultures, understandings of nation-state styles, and expressions of a distinctive African modernity will be engaged by this interdisciplinary and broadly appealing volume.

Contributors are Heather Marie Akou, Jean Allman, A. Boatema Boateng, Judith Byfield, Laura Fair, Karen Tranberg Hansen, Margaret Jean Hay, Andrew M. Ivaska, Phyllis M. Martin, Marissa Moorman, Elisha P. Renne, and Victoria L. Rovine.

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Contents

Dress
13
Dress and Politics in PostWorld War II Abeokuta Western
31
Understanding the Dress of Somali
50
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Jean Allman is Professor of African History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is co-editor (with Susan Geiger and Nakanyike Musisi) of Women in African Colonial Histories (IUP, 2002).

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