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Fringed Belt: 20,000 Years Later

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Fringed Belt:  20,000 Years Later

They say there is nothing new in Fashion.

Once upon a time, at Georgene’s recommendation, I read a book:

Women's Work, The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times, by Elizabeth Wayland Barber

I loved this book. It was as though my own passion was stretched behind me by thousands of years as I read about the development and wealth of textile craft.

Upon learning that the first skirts were fringed belts mostly likely made of twisted string, I’ve been watching and waiting for this suggestion of seduction, fertility, and childbearing to reappear. How could this potent symbol vanish?

According to the author, string skirts are still worn with the folk costumes of Mordvin; Walachian (Romanian);Yugoslav Macedonian; and Albanian cultures.  They are like half aprons of fringe suspended by a frontal piece with waist strings.

I’d show you the illustration on page 62 but the camera just died.  Kodak point ‘n shoot ‘upgraded’ cameras are not good and why can’t the batteries last??? Take a lesson from this frustrated blogger…avoid avoid!

Ahhhh, Stop the Presses!!! The camera decided to reset itself and work again so now I can show you the more modern string aprons

A fringed belt was carved into a bone Venus figure uncovered at Lespugue, France,from the Gravettian culture circa 20,000 BC.

Venus of Lespugue; Musee de l'Homme, Paris, photo taken from image shown on page 44 of Women's Work

Finally I have spotted a fringed belt in our current fashion world, albeit in half form, and ripping up cultural nomenclature by tagging it as Cherokee Chic.

And now, today, you can buy your very own ancient symbol of female sexuality for $300+. Click on the photo below to see where and how.

Or you can make your own to sit at your hips and in the width and leathers or fabrics you love.



About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

One response »

  1. I agree; that book is fascinating! My librarian friend bought me a copy a couple decades ago!


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