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Dominating Dress

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is divided into three sections: the first section analyses dress styles worn within religious contexts during the last century of Dutch colonial rule; the second section examines dress styles adopted by those Ambonese who enlisted in the military, and the last section explores the development and implementation of the white colonial suit that became a business uniform of sorts for the European and government elite. Dress was used as a symbol of social and political control, because it regulated the visuality of the body and clearly cited evidence that the wearer was on the right and true path. All ethnic males wore black drawstring trousers and black baju boorci. Regular Church dress for Christian Ambonese women consists of a black baju with a kain cita, sometimes called kain gereja (Church kain). Army uniforms are imposed upon the wearer through retention and fastidious regimentation, its power directed outward.

Keywords: Christian Ambonese women; dress styles; military uniform; Regular Church dress; religious contexts



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