Dressed to Kill

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    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Technology is often defined in terms of tools or machines but, in this article, it is treated as the human capacity to make. The author focuses on clothing as an instance of making in war. Specific attention is paid to the junction between the power to make (or unmake) and the social and ritual capacities for regulation through which making is governed. In this sense, the study is intended as a contribution to a revived interest in the incomplete Durkheimian project on elementary forms of technique, and techniques of the body in particular. The case-study material derives from the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991—2002) in which dress was as important an aspect of making war as weaponry. Various functions and social and material entailments of battle dress are described and differentiated, and the central role of magic for understanding clothing (and technology more generally) is underlined
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)495-512
    JournalJournal of Material Culture
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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