Welcome to the wearable heritage website!
Why a website on wearable heritage? Monumental buildings, landmarks, landscapes and archaeological remnants are relatively well protected since they are virtually immovable and often protected by law. However, those small movable objects in contemporary and traditional culture that are used in everyday life are changing and disappearing faster than ever because of modernization and globalization. These items have no formal status or protection. They are often disappearing without description or study, and are discarded or sold. Traditional veils worn by bedouin in the Egyptian desert are such objects; these veils are often sold to tourists without considering their value as heritage for a fast changing culture. Tourists do not recognize them as valuable heritage objects either. In this manner museum pieces of traditional culture are often sold and lost. I would like to get these veils, jewelry and clothing away from the sphere of mere souvenirs and into the realm of heritage: wearable heritage.
So what is wearable heritage? I would like to define it as all those additions or elements in or in association with dress and costume that have specific meaning, or are expressions of tradition. Often they express social or even religious values and identity. They may incorporate status symbols like weaponry, (costume)jewelry or amulets worn on the body. But also objects belonging to a women or men’s personal sphere of physical or mental status, like for instance make-up containers. They are direct personal possessions that people find worth passing on to others. In this website I hope to create understanding and appreciation of the different objects of wearable heritage in the West Asian and North African (WANA) region. For more thoughts on the term Wearable Heritage please check out Acknowledgements
I hope you will enjoy the site!
Please check out the Facebook page of Wearable Heritage as well