New Raiments of Self
African American Clothing in the Antebellum South
By (author) Helen Bradley Foster
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New Raiments of Self by Helen Bradley Foster
Book DescriptionThis book examines the clothing worn by African Americans in the southern United States during the thirty years before the American Civil War. Drawing on a wide range of sources, most notably oral narratives recorded in the 1930s, this rich account shows that African Americans demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the role clothing played in demarcating age, sex, status, work, recreation, as well as special secular and sacred events. Testimonies offer proof of African Americans' vast technical skills in producing cloth and clothing, which served both as a fundamental reflection of the peoples' Afrocentric craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibilities, and as a reaction to their particular place in American society. Previous work on clothing in this period has tended to focus on white viewpoints, and as a consequence the dress worn by the enslaved has generally been seen as a static standard imposed by white overlords. This excellent study departs from conventional interpretations to show that the clothing of the enslaved changed over time, served multiple functions and represented customs and attitudes which evolved distinctly from within African American communities. In short, it represents a vital contribution to African American studies, as well as to dress and textile history, and cultural and folklore studies.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781859731840
(234mm x 156mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Berg Publishers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Helen Bradley Foster
Dress Sense, Hardback (November 2007)
Explores the importance of the senses and emotions in the way people dress, and how they attach value and significance to clothing. This work features essays that present historical, contemporary and global views, from British imperial dress in India, to revolutionary Socialist dress. It offers a different perspective on this topic.
Wedding Dress Across Cultures, Paperback (September 2003)
Wedding clothes are not only distinctive forms of dress, but are also steeped in years of cultural tradition. This book, drawing on case studies from around the world, considers how wedding attire is both a statement of tradition and a vehicle for challenging social norms.
New Raiments of Self, Paperback (June 1997)» View all books by Helen Bradley Foster
Discusses such areas as: constructing cloth and clothing in the Antebellum South; wearing Antebellum clothing; having footwear; embellishing the head; crowning the person; and clothing as the weft of a folk history.
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Author Biography - Helen Bradley Foster
Helen Bradley Foster Lecturer,University of Minnesota
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