The art of adorning a life

From 20 to 22 July 2014



                       The art of adorning ... a life 


In extra-european societis and in "primitive" cultures, belt is not considered as an ephemeral object depending on the fashion of the moment, but is it an object which besides having a pleasant ornamental function and a useful practical function has a prevailing cultural value too.

 In all the numerous and different Asian cultures, belt has aprevailing symbolic role, realy important in social communication.

 Besides being a useful accessory both for mens-and womenswear, in all the Asian cultures, belt is especially an object which underlines the individual's identification and adhesion to the culture of the membership group and which tells the others the social status of the wearer, thanks to a real universe of evident or secret symbols of meanings, recognized by the whole comunity.

Belts is always involved in interpersonal and social communication, also with ritual and social meanings: for instance, in many ethnic groups fastening and undoing one's belt is not a casual gesture, since "undoing" symbolically means opening to the Other, an offer of one's intimacy, as well as "fastening" means aloofness and incommunicability towards the Others.

In many cases belt has even subtly or strongly erotic meanings, both in an explicit and metaphorical way, recognized by all the community members.

Mereover, belt plays the invaluable role of necessary accessory to hook many useful objects (knives, any kind of containers, keys, steels, tobacco and betel cases, any kind of amulets).

Besides having a pratical function, in many cases belt:

•  carefully identifies a specific social condition

•  testifies its owner's richness

•  protects the wearer's health and, in many cases, becomes a form of      symbolic protection of females from intrusion of negative forces

•  communicates the richness and the importance of women's dowry, that  is the bride's social status.


Bruno Gentili