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The Politics of Dress in Somali Culture

by Heather M. Akou

Published by: Indiana University Press

200 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 30 b&w illus., 1 map

  • Paperback
  • 9780253223135
  • Published: June 2011


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  • eBook
  • 9780253001528
  • Published: June 2011


The universal act of dressing—shared by both men and women, young and old, rich and poor, minority and majority—has shaped human interactions, communicated hopes and fears about the future, and embodied what it means to be Somali. Heather Marie Akou mines politics and history in this rich and compelling study of Somali material culture. Akou explores the evolution of Somali folk dress, the role of the Somali government in imposing styles of dress, competing forms of Islamic dress, and changes in Somali fashion in the U.S. With the collapse of the Somali state, Somalis continue a connection with their homeland and community through what they wear every day.