From Turban to Toe Ring
by Dawn Devine Brown, Barry Brown
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The Gilded Serpent presents
Davina's "Tribal Style Made Easy"
A book review
Jay Bangle

From Turban to Toe Ring, by Dawn Devine Brown and Barry Brown, is a costume book dedicated to the 'tribal' style, which it defines as  

a composite look created from traditional textiles and jewelry pieces produced in countries that have been touched by Islam but come from small social groups living nomadic, rural or tribal lifestyles that pull from more ancient traditions.

As implied by the title, this book attempts to help tribal-style dancers dress themselves correctly and elegantly within these parameters.  Happily, From Turban to Toe Ring fulfills and even surpasses these expectations.  

First off, the book is well thought out. Its covers bound in a convenient spiral format that allows for on-the-fly reference.  The material within those covers proves surprisingly comprehensive, offering much to both the novice dancer and/or seamstress as well as the seasoned veteran of both disciplines. Each costuming concept is elucidated by clear, helpful illustrations.  The book gives useful tips on the purchase of traditional jewelry and textiles as well, and aids the dancer in the sometimes tricky task of combining disparate pieces into a polished whole. It even includes instructions on the care of traditional textiles.  The appendix boasts a wonderful reference section, and an interesting explanation of the methodology used in creating the book.

All in all, I felt that this is a marvelous addition to any dancer's collection, and a "must have" for the beginner interested in 'tribal' style costuming.

From Turban to Toe Ring, by Dawn Devine Brown and Barry Brown. Published by Ibexa Press, 2000. ISBN 0-9678170-1-3.


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