From clothing to the painted and scarified nude body, through overt, public display or esoteric symbols known only to the initiated, dress can convey information about beliefs, faith, identity, power, agency, resistance, and fashion. Taking a 'senses' approach, Hume's engaging account takes into consideration the look, smell, feel, touch and sound of religious apparel, the 'smells and bells' of dress and its accoutrements, as well as the emotions evoked by donning religious garb.
The book's global perspective provides wide-ranging, yet detailed, coverage of religious dress, from the history and meaning of the simple 'no-frills' attire of the Anabaptists to the power structure displayed in the elaborate fabrics and colours of the Roman Catholic Church; Hume examines the 2,500 year-old tradition of Buddhist robes, the nudity of India's holy men, and much more. With chapters on Sufism, Vodou, modern Pagans, as well as painted and tattooed indigenous and modern Western bodies, the reader is swept along on a sensual journey of the sight, sound, smell and feel of wearing religion.
Unique in its field, this intriguing and informative anthropological approach to the body and dress is an essential read for students of Anthropology, Anthropology of Dress, Sociology, Fashion and Textiles, Culture and Dress, Body and Culture and Cultural Studies.