Robe of Descent
The visual complexity of the “robe of descent” (jiang yi絳衣) worn by the highest-ranking Daoist priests demonstrates how priests used symbols and words to control their environment. The complex symbols were believed to transform the wearer into a ritual participant who communicated between human and spirit worlds. The priest faced the altar to conduct rites,...
Woman's Head Wrap (Nigeria), early to mid-20th century
Yoruba Complete
A married woman must wear a head wrap, or gèlè, in order to feel fully and properly dressed. The manner in which she wraps her gèlè is a personal creative expression. With each wearing, the seven-foot length of cloth is folded, pleated, pinched, tucked, and spread into a new form. Re-tying the wrap each time...