One World Society Traditional Adornments



Kanzashi is an accessory worn by geisha. A Maiko geisha wears several hair ornaments though a Geiko will usually wear a single comb. Maiko hair ornaments are seasonal, containing seasonal flower replicas.


Middle East

Also known as a thwab, besht, kandura or suriyah, the dishdasha is a long robe traditionally worn around the Arab Gulf. In the west, they tend to shed our layers in summer but the loose-fitting thwab actually helps you keep cool in countries with hot desert territory.



These lotus bud-shaped shoes were worn by women in China who bound their feet. Small feet were once considered beautiful and erotic and binding stunted their growth. The practice only died out at the beginning of the 20th century but many elderly women today display terrible deformities as a result of this cruel fashion.



The Persian word pashm means “wool” and refers to the fine blend of cashmere from a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude climate of the Himalayas in Nepal, Pakistan and northern India. Pashmina shawls have been hand spun, woven and embroidered in Kashmir for thousands of years.



Traditionally worn by Khmer dancers or the royal family, the shape of these crowns is reminiscent of Cambodia’s famous landmark, Angor Wat.



These brimmed hats made of plaited leaves from the toquilla straw plant are woven in fact from Ecuador. They were first shipped to the Isthmus of Panama and many products have been named after their point of international sale as opposed to their place of domestic origin.


Arctic Region

The Inuit’s parka jacket hood is adapted to carry a child and protect it from the harsh Arctic climate. It also means that Mum and Dad’s hands are free and they can go about their day with baby on board. The bottom was traditionally lined with moss.



Widely used across South America the chamanto is the name given to the poncho in Chile.



Along with stripey tops and onions draped around the neck, berets are a stereotype that the French just can’t seem to shake off. Berets can be traced throughout Europe as far back as the Bronze Age but they were mass produced in France and Spain in the 19th century.



Sombra means shade. And that’s exactly what this wide-brimmed hat offered to cowboys labouring away under a hot sun – the brims can reach two feet wide! The sombrero pictured is a sombrero charro (Mexico) but the Spanish developed the flat-topped sombrero.



Easily distinguishable from the standard sombrero with a stripey pattern of white and black or beige and black. Some of the finest products, which can take up to one month to make, can be folded up and put in your pocket without damaging the overall shape. The Sombrero Vueltiado is the national symbol of Colombia.



This type of make-up has been used as early as 10,000 BC. Its power to protect a person from the evil eye and also from the scorching desert sun reveals a practical as well as cosmetic purpose. Eyeliner’s current popularity is owed to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s.



Perhaps the largest and most elaborate of head ties in African countries is Nigeria’s gele, although it has a number of names. The most eye-catching creations are saved for weddings. They are created from stiff but flexible fabrics and the general consensus is the bigger the better!



Worn by Spanish bullfighters, this short and spangly jacket is usually adorned in gold and allows for plenty of movement. They are part of a traje de luces or suit of lights.


South East Asia

A neat trick with these hats is that some of them are made out of straw or matting.



A simple and effective fly swatter for the Australian outback.



It should be twill but a London merchant misread the handwriting – assuming it was associated with the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish border – and it was advertised as tweed. The upper classes thought it smashing for their hunting attire.

Ukrainian wreath

Traditional in East Slavic culture, especially Ukraine, Poland and Russia

According to the tradition, these headdresses were worn by young, unmarried women to show their “purity” and marital eligibility.

Ukrainian Flower Crown
Created By
Diana Lunca

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