Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Hats and Headwear from around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Hats and Headwear from around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

Hats and Headwear from Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia. By Beverly Chico. Santa Barbara, CA: ABCCLIO, 2013. 531 pages. acid free $100 (ISBN: 978-161069-062-1). E-book available (978-1-61069-063-8), call for pricing.

This volume is an extensive study of headwear that discusses both the physical attributes of headwear and how it reflects the culture of the people who create and wear these items. Utilizing an A-Z list of entries, Professor Chico has compiled an informative and comprehensive guide to millinery from around the globe as a result of collecting and studying the subject for forty years. Although the topic is limited to hats and headwear, the book covers ancient and contemporary headwear from around the globe.

A positive attribute of this encyclopedia is that it covers a multitude of cultures and headwear without bias or prejudice. Her discussion of the Catholic Cardinal's red hat and the Islamic Burqa receive a similar treatment where a detailed description of the hat is provided and complemented with a background of the hat's historical and cultural significance. Additionally, Chico details the religious importance, historical events, and ethnic issues in her entries. Her objective observations and contextual information make this a compelling read that is enjoyable while being informative. …

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