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    Dressing the diaspora: dress practices amongst East African Indians, ca.1895-1939

    Wilson, Christopher (2019) Dressing the diaspora: dress practices amongst East African Indians, ca.1895-1939. Modern Asian Studies 53 (2), pp. 660-689. ISSN 0026-749X.

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    This article analyses the dress practices of East African Indians from the late nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century, which have failed to attract much scholarly attention. It begins by examining the ways in which very material interactions with items of clothing while separated from the body were productive of identities and communities amongst Indian tailors, shoemakers, dhobis, and others in East Africa. It then turns away from a specific focus on questions of identity to consider the ways in which dress was incorporated into the diasporic strategies of East African Indians as they sought to negotiate the Indian Ocean world. Finally, it explores how, where, and when Indians adopted particular dress practices in East Africa itself, to illuminate the role of dress in orderings of space, colonial society, and gender. The analytic value of dress, this article contends, lies in its universality, which allows for the recovery of the everyday lives and efforts of ordinary East African Indians, as well as a new perspective on elite diasporic lives.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Chris Wilson
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2019 16:36
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:47


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