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Dress and fashion can be used not only to symbolize culture, religion or spirituality, but it can also be used as a tool of oppression as well as liberation. For many people, dress is an expression of personality, faith, choice and identity. It can also deeply affect one's spiritual self and help connect the wearer to her inward self. Marco Pallis describes the significance and meaningfulness between dress and spiritual identity and how, according to him, clothing ranks among the most important but least analyzed sites of colonization. He is particularly interested analyzing clothing as a component of spirituality. He writes that ?of the many things a person puts to use in the pursuit of her earthly vocation there are none, perhaps, which show more content?

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This is one of the starting points of colonization, which aims at   usurping the cultural/spiritual self identification of indigenous population.  From a psychoanalytic framework, Fanon envisages any sort of cultural usurpation ? traditional clothing, racial profiling, etc. as corollary to the creation of a new meaning/identity for the colonized person. As a medium between the self and the body, traditional garments represented yet another fertile site of colonization and dominance; precisely because they confer meaning upon the indigenous cultural, religious, spiritual identity. 
 
Now, we can see how these realities were translated within a colonial context. French colonialism in Africa created an environment for cultural exchange under conditions of social and economic inequality, dependent upon France's clear distinction between the motherland and the colony. The interactions between France and its African colonies were mainly distinguish
 
Some have it in accordance to the latest trending vogue in the market, after scrutinizing for hours the innumerable fashion magazines, while others set out to be the visionaries in the field, creating and endorsing their own ?label?. And still, there is yet another category who adorns it attributing to the mood swings they are going through, Clothes have evolved from being a mere covering to the body to the one that complements an individual's whole personality, thus defining whether the person is outgoing or cultural, boisterous or taciturn, modest or clumsy.

Available in indefinite sizes, small, large and extra-large, with fabrics ranging from khadi to nylon and cotton to silk, Clothes are one of the Indispensable necessities for the survival of humankind, which defies any classification pertaining to richness or age. Right from the Stone Age, clothes have served their basic primary purpose of providing protection from the negative effects of the environs, namely heat and cold, dust and rain, although the pre- historic apparels were an animal's skin and the present age attires are of animal's print. Varieties of clothes are inexhaustible, from cotton, light- colored clothes in summers to the woolen, furry jackets and sweaters in the winters, casual tees for an outing with a friend and bejeweled ethnics for that same friend's wedding. Even different regions have their own indigenous clothing, the extremity of which is evident in India itself, ghaghra- choli in Gujarat and saree in Maharashtra, lungi in Tamil Nadu and kurta- pajama in Bihar.
 
 
Life without air is definitely impossible but life without clothes is surely indignant, if not unreasonable, it is because of this reason that donating clothes is no less than providing a hungry food, or giving the homeless shelter. Clothes have an eminent role to play and the proof can be statistically claimed with the burgeoning number of customers attracted by a small garments shop even in a remote locality.


Last updated: Oct 28, 2021

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