By Blenda Femenías
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Extra info for Gender and the Boundaries of Dress in Contemporary Peru (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series, Bk. 6)
A Peruvian anthropologist, Flora Cutipa, worked with me regularly for almost a year. 22 I almost always spoke Spanish. Cutipa and Larico interpreted Quechua when necessary. The three of us transcribed the audiotapes. I did all Spanish to English translations in the book unless otherwise indicated. This book is about visual domains of representation, and photographs and drawings incorporated in the text are essential to my analysis, not merely illustrative of points made by the text. Visual domains are also po- Introduction 29 litical domains of representation.
The invisible, internalized garment of culture required a move ‘‘away from my native surroundings’’ to become visible. ’’ When anthropologists turn a spy-glass on the metaphorical garment of culture, what do we see? When we look at ourselves within culture and at the same time from outside it, how does the garment ﬁt? When we take the metaphor literally and examine actual garments, what do we learn about culture? In ‘‘Clothes Make the Man,’’ Marjorie Garber (1992) explores transvestism as a primary means of producing culture in both literal and metaphorical ways.
People dress together as they act together in communities of practice. Wearing bordados transforms exterior pressures, yielding an internalized, cultural sense of the person. While centered in the individual, this sense derives meaning, and ultimately power, from the person’s connections to larger groups. Clothes are a primary means of making these connections. Sewing with Cayllominos in workshops, buying fabric in Chivay market, negotiating the price of a hat—other practices attested that the producing and marketing of clothes are also important representational prac- Introduction 19 tices.
Gender and the Boundaries of Dress in Contemporary Peru (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series, Bk. 6) by Blenda Femenías