Body Decorations of African Cultures

Middle Ages Jewelery

A fricans have ancient traditions for decorating and accessorizing the body in rich and varied ways. Traditionally, many African peoples wore little to cover their bodies, leaving their skin exposed and available for decoration. Africans adorned themselves in four general ways scarification, body painting, beadwork, and jewelry. Scarification involves deliberately cutting the skin in decorative patterns that leave permanent scars. Scarification can be in the form of grooves cut down in the skin...

Tattooing

The Japanese have developed one of the most beautiful and intricate systems of tattooing in the entire world. Tattooing is thought to date to the earliest evidence of human life on the Japanese islands, in the Jomon period (c. 10,000-300 B.C.E.). Clay figurines from this period reveal detailed patterns of lines and dots that were either tattoos or body painting. Small clay figurines from the Yayoi period (c. 300 B.C.E.-300 C.E.) called haniwa also show people decorated with symmetrical patterns...

Clothing of Oceania

Noble Women Dress The Middle Ages

The sunny climate of Oceania did not require people to wear bulky clothing for warmth. The inhabitants of the more than thirty thousand islands exposed most, or all, of their bodies. Men and boys went about naked, and women often wore only a skirt made of plant fibers or grasses around their waists. Instead of clothes, the peoples of Oceania developed intricate and meaningful body decoration traditions. Weaving developed in the Philippines and other parts of Oceania in 2000 B.C.E. Although...

Middle Ages Body Paint

A cross the continent of Africa, the skin was, and still is, regarded as a blank canvas to be decorated in a variety of different ways. Body painting was traditionally used in many societies to signify a person's social status and religious beliefs. A temporary decoration, body paint lasted only a few days. In some cultures both men and women painted their bodies only for important social occasions, while in other cultures people wore body paint every day as a uniform to show their social...

Solid Angel Neck Tattoos

Tattooing was practiced among members of Native American tribes for thousands of years. Native Americans tattooed themselves by cutting their skin with sharp objects and rubbing dye into the cuts. Cactus needles, fish bones, pine needles, bird bones, sharp stones, or other sharp objects pricked the skin and pigments such as charcoal, cedar-leaf ashes, or other materials were used to make red, blue, or green tattoos on the skin. People, especially men, would often tattoo themselves, though some,...

Early Asian Cultures

Asian Dynasties Fations

He Asian societies that began in modern-day China are among the oldest known human societies on earth. Though they were at least as developed and sophisticated as early civilizations in Mesopotamia (centered in present-day Iraq) and Egypt, these Asian societies have received far less study and attention in the West. In the last century, however, with the modernization of the ancient nations of China and Japan, people in the West have come to know a great deal about early Asian cultures. Many...

The Costume of the Discovered Peoples

Tahiti Native Costumes

Here is a great deal of information known about the costume traditions of many of the ancient cultures. The clothing, hairstyles, and decorative customs of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, China, Japan, and other societies, for example, have all been written about in many books. And from about midway through the Middle Ages (c. 500-c. 1500 C.E.) onward there are vast sources of information about the costume worn in Europe. Artwork, monuments and buildings, and written documents are all...

Clothing of African Cultures

Kente Cloth Wrapped Around Wedding Dress

The evolution of African clothing is difficult to trace because of the lack of historical evidence. Although artifacts from Egyptian culture date back to before 3000 B.C.E., no similar evidence is available for the majority of the African continent until the mid-twentieth century. Sources from Arab culture refer to the people of northern Africa by the eighth century C.E., but much of early African clothing history has been pieced together from art, oral histories, and traditions that are...

Braids

Mesopotamian Clothing And Jewelry

N ext to long, flowing hair, braids are perhaps the most common hairstyle of Native Americans throughout history. Braiding, also known as plaiting, is a hair weaving technique that involves crossing three or more bunches of hair over each other. Both men and women of every North American tribe wore braids, with the exception of some in the tribes of the American Southeast, California, and the peoples of the Subarctic and Arctic Regions. There were many styles of braiding, but two long braids...

Geta

Middle Ages Clothing

Geta GAY-tah are the traditional footwear of all kimono-wearers in modern and traditional Japan. They are raised clogs shoes with a heavy, often wooden sole and are closely related to the low, wedge-shaped sandals called zori. Geta are usually made of plain wood with a V-shaped padded fabric thong into which the wearer slips his or her foot, inserting the point of the V between the big toe and the next toe. They are raised off the ground by two wooden pieces under the sole, their height...

Blankets

For Native Americans, blankets have not only been garments worn for warmth, but also a source of artistic expression and a valuable trading commodity that provided economic self-sufficiency. Blankets were worn most commonly draped around the shoulders much like a cloak. Blanket making has been found in virtually all native North American tribes. Even before cotton production was developed in the thirteenth century C.E., Native Americans in the Southwest made blankets from the feathers of...

And Incas

Head Wear The Middle Ages

B arly Central and South Americans cared for their hair by washing, combing, and styling it. Atop their carefully styled hair, Mayan, Aztec, and Inca men and women wore hats and headdresses of many different styles. Elite Mayan men and women styled their hair to show off their pointed heads, crafted through the careful head flattening they experienced as children. Women gathered their long hair on top of their heads in flowing ponytails. For special occasions they braided their ponytails and...

Siyala

Middle Aged Evil Man

The scars indicated a person's rank and age in society and were essential for attracting those of the opposite sex. permission of Bojan The Berbers living in northern Africa used body decoration not only as a way to beautify themselves but also as potent protection against illness and evil spirits. One of their most unique forms of decoration was known as siyala. Siyala was a type of body decorating that could be applied as tattoos or as body paint, and it was made of...

Beadwork

Women Making Beads Africa

A Masai man wearing detailed beadwork. Both men and women wear beadwork, and it has become a sought-after item among tourists to Africa. Reproduced by permission of Richard T. Nowitz CORBIS. eadwork has been a common decorative tradition for many years in Africa. The earliest beads were made from grass seeds, shells, clay, stone, and wood. These were strung to create necklaces, headgear, bracelets, and anklets, or sewn to blankets or other cloth to make beaded garments. Beginning in the...

Footwear of the Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Footwear

W ainting, sculptures, jewelry, and ornaments from the Byzantine Empire, which stretched across much of present-day Greece and Turkey from 476 to 1453 C.E., leave us with a rich record of the clothing and decorative traditions of this powerful empire. Very little is known about Byzantine footwear since the long draped clothing of the Byzantines, which reached to the floor, tended to hide the feet. The sculptures and paintings that have survived offer us just fleeting glimpses of Byzantine...

Aztecs and Incas

The early civilizations of Central and South America paid careful attention to their personal cleanliness and created many different ornaments to beautify the body. Decoration among all Central and South American groups indicated social rank. The Aztecs took this idea very seriously and punished anyone wearing an article of clothing or decoration above his birthright or honorary right with death. Before adorning themselves, the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas all cleaned themselves thoroughly....

Plant fibers

Middle Ages Clothing

Before the arrival of great numbers of Europeans in the seventeenth century, Native Americans also used the animals and plants they found around them to make food, shelter, and clothing. One of the most plentiful resources in many areas was the bark of trees, which was stripped, dried, and shredded to make fibers. These fibers were used to weave soft, comfortable clothing. Typical shredded bark A young girl dressed in a cedar bark costume. Native Americans often used bark to weave skirts,...

Clothing of Early Asian Cultures

Asian From The Middle Ages

UU p until very recently, people in the Western world had a very limited understanding of the kinds of clothing worn in Asia. Our pictures of Asian clothing relied on stereotypes of Japanese people wearing kimono, or long robes with wide sleeves, and Chinese people wearing Mao suits, the simply cut, dull-colored outfits favored by the Communist Party. In fact, the peoples of Asia have a clothing tradition every bit as rich and varied as that of the cultures of the West. Understanding of Asian...

B

Map Middle Ages

'eyond the borders of the great early empires the Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. , the Byzantine Empire 476-1453 C.E. , and early empires in India and China lived bands of people whose level of civilization lagged well behind that of the powerful empires. Within the borders of empires were farmers, traders, institutions of learning, government, laws, and order outside the borders of empires, at least according to those within, were barbarians, crude people who lived without order or law....

Native American Cultures

I ative American tribes of the North American continent and the peoples of the Subarctic and Arctic have a long and rich history. Archaeologists, scientists who study past civilizations, believe that people have lived in North America from about 13,000 B.C.E. Our knowledge of Native American cultures begins with the first European contact in the tenth century C.E. between the Vikings and the Arctic Inuit, or Eskimo peoples, but becomes much more detailed in the early 1500s and 1600s when first...

Kabuki Makeup

Peking Opera Face Painting

ICabuki is a style of traditional Japanese theater that includes music, dance, and drama. First performed by females, after 1629 BODY DECORATIONS OF EARLY ASIAN CULTURES 241 only male actors could take part in Kabuki, and they played both the male and female characters. Kabuki characters are often drawn from Japanese folklore, and a major part of the Kabuki performance is the dramatic makeup worn by the actors. This makeup is applied heavily to create a brightly painted mask that uses colors in...

Headwear of African Cultures

African Women And Wearing Beads

I he variety of hairstyles and head-wear in Africa matches the diversity of the people who live on the continent. Different cultures have used hairstyles and headwear to show tribal association, gender, religion, job, and social status. In addition, the various cultures have created wigs, hats, hair ornaments, razors, and combs to aid in adorning the head. The importance of head-wear to African culture is witnessed by the many statues and masks of ancient Africa that show detailed hair...

Oceania Island Culture

Middle Ages Clothing

Ceania encompasses more than thirty thousand islands in the Pacific Ocean, spanning from Hawaii in the north to New Zealand in the south. To most geographers the lands that make up Oceania include Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, New Zealand, and often Australia and the Malay Archipelago. These islands are home to a wide range of cultures, and today many of the island nations recognize more than one language. For example, in Papua New Guinea alone, a part of the island region known as...

The Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire Trade Routes

He people who we know today as the Byzantines called themselves Romans, spoke Greek, and lived in modern-day Turkey. The name Byzantine came from the founder of the empire's capital, a Greek man named Byzas, who may have existed only in legend. While the areas that were once ruled by the Roman Empire fell into disorder as conflicting tribes fought for control of their territory, the Byzantines maintained a legacy of learning and a civilization inherited from the Greeks and Romans for more than...

Africa From the Birth of Civilization

Africa Middle Ages

He earliest stages of human evolution are believed to have begun in Africa about seven million years ago as a population of African apes evolved into three different species gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Protohumans, as early humans are known, evolved about 2.5 million years ago and had larger brains and stood nearly upright. From prehistoric Africa, humans spread to populate much of the world by 10,000 B.C.E. Some of the world's first great empires originated in northern Africa around...

Kataginu

Naga Gamishimo

ICataginu are men's vests with broad, wing-like shoulders, worn with hakama, or trousers, to form a kamishimo, or complementary outfit. The hakama are worn in a contrasting color or fabric from the kataginu. Also worn are naga-bakama, trousers in the same fabric as the kataginu, giving the impression of an elegant coverall called naga-gamishimo. The costume is designed for maximum mobility in swordplay or the martial arts. It was historically worn for combat by samurai warriors. It combined...

Fr

Medieval Armour 1350

Rom as early as 100 B.C.E., administrators of the Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. had brought parts of Europe under the control and governance of Rome. By the second century C.E., Rome's influence spread throughout most of western Europe, from Spain north to Britain, and Germany south to Italy. When the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 C.E. after years of attacks by hordes of raiding barbarians from the north, including Goths, Huns, Franks, Angles, Saxons, and Vandals, much of the civilization...

American Cultures

Bear Claw Tattoo

I Native Americans across the North American continent adorned their bodies in a variety of different ways. From designs applied directly to the skin to elaborate ornaments crafted of symbolic materials, Native American body decoration was very important to the religious and social life of tribal members. In many tribes the skin was considered a canvas on which to paint or tattoo designs. Although warriors used paint to prepare for battle, body painting was not only used for war paint. Painted...

Footwear of Nomads and Barbarians

Barbarians Clothing The Middle Ages

s with their clothing, the footwear of nomads and barbarians was made out of the skins of the animals that they hunted and, in some cases, herded. Though we have very little physical evidence about the footwear worn by such peoples as the Gauls, Celts, Huns, and Goths, we do know that their animal hide footwear came in two basic styles. The first style, which was similar to primitive footwear worn by prehistoric humans, consisted of a single piece of animal hide wrapped up over the top of the...

Headwear of Oceania

Sinaunang Habi

ittle information about the traditional hairstyles of the peoples of Oceania exists. Descriptions from early explorers and early photographs show that most women of Oceania wore their hair long and that men were clean-shaven. No history of the specific styles worn by either men or women has been recorded. However, the decorations added to the hair were quite beautiful. Carved combs, feathers, and flowers were known to decorate the hair of some groups. In Polynesia feathered headdresses were a...

War Paint

Body Painting Tree Pictures

N ative American tribes have used body paint from their first appearance in North America in about 10,000 B.C.E., both to psychologically prepare for war as well as for visual purposes. Two major ingredients in body paint were charcoal and ocher, a reddish clay. Other natural ingredients, including bird excrement, plant leaves, and fruits, were mixed with animal fat and hot water to make paint. Tree branches and animal bones were used as paintbrushes. Indians painted in various shapes, often...

Footwear of African Cultures

The available evidence about ancient African cultures suggests that most Africans did not wear shoes for much of their early history. Although many northern tribes had contact with people who wore sandals and shoes, including the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and later Arabs and Persians from present-day Iran , a complete record of when or how Africans adopted foot coverings does not exist. The most common depictions of Africans from statues, artwork, and examples of traditional dress still...

Leggings

In cool weather or rough terrain men and women of nearly every Native American tribe wore leggings to protect their legs. Leggings were snug or loose-fitting tubes of animal hide that covered each leg individually. Men's leggings covered the leg from waist or thigh to ankle. The top of the leggings was tied to a string, belt, or sash wrapped around the waist, and sometimes the leggings were gartered, or tied, at the knee. The leggings resembled crotchless pants and men wore them with...

Footwear of Early Asian Cultures

Tang Dynasty Socks

I he Chinese were one of the first ancient peoples to develop a wide range of footwear. Shoes made from woven and stitched straw have been dated to about 5000 B.C.E. and tanned leather footwear with stitching has been dated to about 2000 B.C.E. Given the wide ranges of climate found in China, the types of shoes worn varied considerably by region. People in the warmer coastal areas wore straw sandals, while those in the colder mountainous regions wore thick leather shoes and knee-length boots....

Woman S Head Covering Middle Ages

Modest Women The Middle Ages

The wimple, also spelled whimple, was a very common head covering for women of the Middle Ages c. 500 c. 1500 . Popular from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries, wimples were light veils, usually made of linen or silk, which were fastened all the way around the neck, up to the chin. Sometimes the bottom edge of the wimple was tucked into the collar of the dress. The wimple provided both protection from the weather and modesty. A wimple was often worn with a veil called a couvrechef,...

Native American diversity

Historical Native American Dress

All parts of Native American life were affected by the climate and geography in which the Native Americans lived. The weather, the fertility of the soil, access to water, and the height of mountains all contributed to how a particular Indian tribe organized its social and political systems. Each was unique. Tribes lived by farming, fishing, hunting, gathering, and later, trading, depending on their particular region and amount of contact with others. The Arapaho of the Plains, for example, were...

Clothing of Nomads and Barbarians

Clothing The Middle Ages

O ur first records of the groups we know as nomads and barbarians are provided by Romans from as early as about 100 B.C.E. The people who lived in Gaul, present-day France, and the Celts in Britain had a much less developed culture than the Romans, though they had been settled in Europe from as early as about 700 B.C.E. They tended to wear rough garments made of wool, which they gathered from native sheep. These garments included thick wool tunics, crudely sewn at the sides, and heavy wool...

Jewelry

Map Mesoamerica Mayans Aztecs Incas

The jewelry worn by the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca people was rich in variety and quite beautiful. Without metalworking skills, Mayans made jewelry from many other materials. Mayan men wore nose ornaments, earplugs, and lip plugs made of bone, wood, shells, and stones, including jade, topaz, and obsidian. Necklaces, bracelets, BODY DECORATIONS OF MAYANS, AZTECS, AND INCAS Map of the Americas showing the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Middle Ages Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas. Reproduced by...

Hakama

Hakama Wearing

The hakama is a pleated, two-part lower garment usually referred to as either full-cut trousers or a divided skirt. It began as a long trailing garment in ancient times and in more recent times has been worn as a standard part of male ceremonial attire and by martial artists. Originally, the hakama was worn as an outer garment to protect the samurai warriors' legs as they rode their horses, like a cowboy's leather leggings called chaps. As the samurai used horses less, they continued the...

Body Decorations of Oceania

Oceania Tattoo

I n the warm climate of the thousands of islands that make up Oceania, people wear few clothes. Uncovered, their skin is considered a blank canvas for decoration. Among the many different cultures living on the islands, body decoration is very important to social and religious practices. Body painting is a temporary method of adorning the body. Much as westerners wear dress clothes to weddings, the peoples of Oceania paint their bodies for rituals and festive occasions. Other body markings are...

The Stola Was The Basic Garment Worn By Women During The Year Of The Byzantine Empire 476-1453 C. E.

The stola was the basic garment worn by women during the years of the Byzantine Empire 476-1453 C.E. . The stola was a long dress, sewn along both sides from the hem at the bottom all the way to the arms. The stola was usually worn with a belt placed just below the bustline. Typically made of linen or light wool, the stola also could be made of silk, the fabric preferred by the very wealthy. Like many Byzantine garments, the stola was based on the women's stola worn in the Roman Empire 27...

Moccasins

How Draw Nez Perce Clothing

Made out of animal skins, or sometimes plant fiber, moccasins protected men, women, and children's feet from rough terrain. Reproduced by permission of Christie's Images CORBIS. While many Native Americans went barefoot, even in the snow, most tribes developed a favorite style of shoe called a moccasin. Made out of tanned animal skins, or sometimes plant fiber, moccasins protected men, women, and children's feet from rough terrain. Many were plain leather, but others...

Kimono

Ancient Japanese Kimonos

The kimono is the most basic term for traditional Japanese dress. The term literally translates as thing to wear. The word kimono came into use in the late nineteenth century as a way to distinguish native clothing from Western clothing, and thereafter became more common in Japan. Kimono refers to the principal outer garment of Japanese dress, a long robe with wide sleeves, made of various materials and in many patterns. It is generally unlined in summer, lined in autumn and spring, and padded...

Boubou

Male Boubou Ghana

A sleeveless robe is called a boubou in Nigeria and Senegal. A boubou is worn by men over the top of long sleeved gowns or alone with loose trousers. Generally, boubou are long rectangular cloths with holes in the center. The boubou is worn with the head through the hole and the fabric draped to about mid-thigh level. Boubou can be dyed bright colors and decorated with embroidery, appliqued patterns, or beadwork. Women wear a version of the boubou called a m'boubou. A m'boubou is a flowing...

And Barbarians

Barbarians Middle Ages

Ur lack of knowledge about the costume traditions of nomads and barbarians is especially severe in the area of body decoration and accessories. While even prehistoric humans left wall paintings and carvings and small statues that indicated that they wore tattoos and painted their bodies, we have no such records from the barbarian tribes that ransacked Europe in the last years of the Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. . It is simply not known whether such groups as the Huns and the Goths had body...

Headwear of the Middle Ages

Medieval Bowl Haircut

I eople living in Europe during the long period of history known as the Middle Ages c. 500-c. 1500 wore a variety of different hairstyles and headwear. As with other elements of medieval costume, these styles were fairly simple up until about the twelfth century, when increasing wealth and changes in social life brought an upsurge in decoration, especially in headwear. Less is known about hairstyles in the Middle Ages than in many other eras, in part because of people's fondness for headwear....

Headdresses

Museum Headdress

Headdresses were usually made from the fur and feathers of sacred animals and were thought to give the power of the animals to the person wearing the headdress. Reproduced by permission of Bowers Museum of Cultural Art CORBIS. The tall, feathered headdress has come to be one of the most recognizable symbols of the Native American people of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Books and movies about Indians often picture them wearing the large feathered headdresses that...

Loincloths

Loincloth Middle Ages

Aztec emissaries delivering offerings to Spanish conquistador Hern n Cort s. The Aztecs are wearing traditional Indian cloaks and loincloths. Reproduced by permission of Bettmann M en in the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca empires all wore loincloths, the most basic form of male clothing in many ancient cultures. Loincloths were made out of strips of fabric wound around the waist and between the legs, leaving flaps hanging in the front and back. The climate of Central and South America was so warm that...

A symbol of wealth

Pictures What The Iroquois Wore

Although most jewelry had spiritual meaning, some indicated social status or was worn simply for decoration. For example, pearls could only be worn by the children of noblemen in the Natchez A Navajo woman displays her turquoise jewelry. Native Americans of the Southwest adorned themselves with turquoise earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry. Reproduced by permission of Nevada Wier CORBIS. tribe of the Southeast. While women of the Iroquois nation typically wore many beaded necklaces, for...

Breechclout

Indian Breechclouts

A breechclout was a garment designed to cover the genitals. Although breechclouts were worn by some women in the Southeast and by young girls before puberty in many tribes, they were an important male garment that symbolized male sexuality and power in many tribes. Breechclouts were worn by men in every Native American tribe, with the exception of those living in climates warm enough to wear nothing at all. Breechclouts could be made out of bark fiber, grasses, feathers, tanned beaver, rabbit,...

Kuba Cloth

Ghana Mud Cloth Designs

I n the present-day nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo the Kuba people weave a decorative cloth called Kuba cloth. Although this tradition is believed to be ancient, the oldest surviving examples of the cloth are dated back to the seventeenth century. Men weave the fabric out of raffia fibers, from a palm plant, and women apply colorful tufts in bold geometric designs. An entire social group is involved in the production of the cloth, from gathering the fibers, weaving the cloth,...

The Aztecs

Aztecs The Middle Ages

An aerial view of Machu Pichu, an Incan city built in the Andes Mountains in Peru. Incas developed trade, built roads, and created stone architecture. Reproduced by permission of Mr. John Barth. The Aztec empire reigned in present-day central Mexico for nearly one century until 1519 when disease and brutality brought by Spanish conqueror Hern n Cort s 1485 1547 destroyed it. Originating from a small group of poverty-stricken wanderers, the Aztec empire developed into one of the largest empires...

Body Decorations of the Byzantine Empire

Jeweled Crown From Byzantine

Byzantine emperor Justinian I, with crown, displays the intricately jeweled clasp that fastens his cloak. Reproduced by permission of the Granger Collection. Lt the beginning of the Byzantine Empire 4761453 C.E. , Byzantine customs surrounding body decoration and accessories closely resembled those of their fellow Roman countrymen. Byzantines in the capital city of Constantinople developed public baths similar to those found in Rome, and public bathing was a daily ritual for many. Byzantines...

Clothing of the Middle Ages

Clothing For Women The Medieval Ages

The Middle Ages c. 500 c. 1500 was, as its name implies, a great age of transition. The Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. , which had provided the structures of civilization across Europe for nearly five hundred years, collapsed in 476, and bands of nomadic people who the Romans had called barbarians Goths, Huns, Vandals, Franks, and others took control of much of western Europe. Roman trading networks, civil administration, and learning disappeared, to be replaced by the cruder social...

Mandarin Shirt

Geisha Drum

What westerners now call a mandarin shirt is actually a form of dress that dates back to the ancient Han dynasty 207 B.C.E. 200 C.E. in China. At that time it was called the ju and was characterized by its high round neckline that was fastened off center. It was characteristically worn with a pleated skirt called a chun that was also fastened off center. Ancient and modern mandarin shirts are very fitted to the body and are closed on the right side of the neckline and shoulder. They In their...

Headwear of Early Asian Cultures

The End Imperial Rule

Ver thousands of years of Chinese and later Japanese history, many different forms of headwear and hairstyles were worn, depending both upon fashion and upon the restrictions that were placed on fashions at any given time. In this brief accounting, just a few of the most distinctive of those styles will be discussed. One thing that should be remembered is that both the Chinese and Japanese people have deep black hair. Hair coloring was not used in either of these Asian cultures. As best is...

Headwear of the Byzantine Empire

Images Roman Turbans

B ike so much of their costume tradition, the Byzantines inherited their basic hairstyles and forms of headwear from the Romans who preceded them in ruling the Mediterranean world. Men tended to wear their hair short and cut straight across the forehead in what is today known as the Caesar cut, named after the Roman general and statesman Julius Caesar 100 44 B.C.E. . Women wore their hair quite long and tended to braid or pile it on top of their head in a variety of different fashions. They...

Clothing of the Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Paludamentum

The Byzantine costume tradition took its form from the Roman Empire 27 B.C.E.-476 C.E. and its color and decorative tradition from the Orient and the Middle East. The Roman roots are easy to understand. After all, the Byzantine Empire began in the fourth century C.E. as the Eastern Roman Empire its capital, Constantinople, was for a short time the capital of the entire Roman Empire. From the Romans the Byzantines inherited their basic clothing forms, the tunic and toga for men, and the stola,...