Masquerade costume

The Dogon people of Mali perform ceremonial dances dressed in striking masks and costumes. One such dance honours the dead: every morning and evening for up to six days, masqueraders dance in the village and surrounding fields – even on the deceased’s rooftop. Today, the Dogon also perform dances to entertain tourists.

Collection Connections 

How do you use clothing to change your role or identity?

responded: Jan 23, 2012

Posted by Vanessa Pulla

Recommend this Response
Clothing has become a crucial aspect of everyday life. The way that one dresses communicates messages about their identity. It is sad to say but I was raised in a society were clothes indentified how much money you had, how you were treated, and how popular you were. As infants we have no say in what we wear, our parents dress us according to their preferences. People tend to use clothing to define who they are but also to identify others. For me clothing became a major aspect in my life when I reached high school. I was able to determine my own sense of style but my parents still had a say in what I would wear because the reality was that they supplied me with the money to purchase my clothes. I know a lot of people would probably agree that this is an age where you are peer pressured to fit into the cool crowd. That essentially means keeping up with the latest trends and looking a certain way. As a teenager you tend to be categorized into different cleeks; the geeks who are known to wear outdated things. Than there was the goths who were obviously dressed in all black. The punks, the thugs, the skaters and the list goes on and on; not only based on your clothing but also the way your hair and make up is worn. My parents wanted me to avoid these groups that define and influence who you are. This was the reason my parents decided to send me to a private school, where we were obligated to follow the strict uniform codes. It was no better though. You are still classified into a certain cleek. You might be asking how does that work, if you were all wearing the same thing? Well the answer to that is it came down to your knapsack, coat, shoes and most importantly the way you wear your uniform. Did you hike your skirt up? Did you wear your pants lower? Did you loosen your tie? Yes the little things mattered at a private school and determined if you were cool or not. Without a doubt the cool kids would have all the expensive brand names. At that age we are greatly influenced by the media and our peers to look a certain way. Now as I study fashion, I realize that it does not matter the brand and the fact that people that are judging you. You just have to look at it in a positive way. Clothing is an outlet that depicts your personal style and allows you to express your how you feel. Whatever makes you feel comfortable is what you should wear.

Elements of this site may require Flash player 8