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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Bodylore includes the ways in which the body is used as a canvas for inherited and chosen identity. Bodylore considers the symbolic inventory of dress and hair, addressing a range of identities from conservative religious groups like the Amish and the Hasidim to edgy goth and punk devotees. The body is scripted in portrayals of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, and politics, including such topics as tattoos, piercing, scarification, hair covering and styling, traditional and folk dress, fashion, and body modification. The central bodylore questions are whether individuals choose consciously or subconsciously to engage with their performative body, as well as why the body is often overlooked as a text within academic studies. This essay identifies the body as a malleable folkloric space, allowing for its symbols to function in both personal and public ways.

Keywords: body art, bodylore, body modification, clothing, dress, ethnography, fashion, folklore, folk symbols, frame theory

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