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Clothing an Important Element of Ethnic Identity

Researchers at UAEM and the University of Quintana Roo say our understanding of the role of clothing in indigenous identity should be deepened
By The News · 17 of January 2017 10:28:42
People celebrating at the Guelaguetza festival, an annual event to celebrate indigenous people and traditions, held in Oaxaca, Mexico, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA, photo: Wikipedia

Researchers from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) and the University of Quintana Roo said that ethnic identity is not only governed by elements such as language, religious thought, tradition, customs and clothing, but that other cultural aspects like norms, roles and behaviors of groups, must also be considered.

UAEM academics, Georgina Arredondo Ayala and José Luis Arriaga Ornelas, made an analysis of elements that characterize identity, with a focus on the role of clothing.

The authors of the work titled “Clothing as an Element of Ethnic Identity,” pointed out that clothing is considered an element of ethnic identity. They said that ethnographic study, including the clothing production, its role in the community and women’s personal identities, should be further researched.

The researchers said that the use of indigenous women’s clothing is interpreted as a reference to identity and is therefore assumed to be ethnically unique, not only from the wider Mexican society but also from other ethnic groups.