CBSE NCERT Class IX (9th) | Social Studies | History
CHAPTER 8: CLOTHING : A SOCIAL HISTORY
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS [3 MARKS]
Q.1. Why is most of the knowledge about clothes inferential?
Ans.1 Most of the knowledge about clothes is inferential because clothes do not reveal anything directly.2 Clothes indirectly reveal the attitude, personality and socio-economic status of the wearer.3 Moreover, we can only draw inference about attitudes, styles, personality andSocio-economic conditions of the people who wore various kinds of clothes in the past.
Q.2. In what way do clothes give a message? Ans.
1. Clothes do give a message, as the clothes of Sans Culottes did. They were men without knee breeches different from the aristocrats who wore knee length breeches.
2. Their clothing, loose and comfortable along with colour of France — blue, white and red – was a sign of patriotic citizens.
3. Gandhi made homespun khadi a symbol of national sentiment and his dress code of short dhoti was his way of identifying with the poorest Indian. Khadi became a symbol of purity, simplicity and poverty.
Q.3. What did a patriotic French citizen wear in France after the French Revolution?
Ans1. French patriotic citizens in France started wearing clothing that was loose and comfortable. The colours of France blue, white and red became popular as they were a sign of the patriotic citizen
2. Other political symbols too became a part of dress : the red cap of liberty, long trousers and the revolutionary cockade pinned on to a hat.
3. 3 The simplicity of clothing was meant to express the idea of equality.
Q.4. Explain how European dress codes were different from Indian dress codes. Ans.
1. In different cultures, specific items of clothing often convey contrary meanings.
2. 2 This creates misunderstanding and conflicts. Consider the case of the : turban and the hat. These two headgears not only look different but also signify different things.
3. The turban in India is not just for protection from heat but is a sign of respectability and cannot be removed at will. In the western tradition, this has to be removed before social superiors as a sign of respect.
Q.5. Discuss the witty answer of Mahatma Gandhi about his dress. What did it signify? Ans.
1. Gandhi wore a short dhoti without a shirt when he went to England for the Round Table Conference in 1931.
2. He refused to compromise and wore it even before King George V at Buckingham Palace.
3. 3 When he was asked by journalists whether he was wearing enough clothes to go before the King, he joked that ‘‘the King has enough on for both of us.’’ This was the reason for Gandhi’s witty remark about his dress.
Q.6. How did styles of clothing during Victorian Age in England emphasise differences between men and women?
1. Women during this time were groomed from childhood to be docile, dutiful, submissive and obedient. Men were supposed to be strong, serious, aggressive and independent.2.
2. These ideals were visible in the way they dressed. Girls were dressed in stays and were tightly laced up.
3. They also wore tight fitting corsets.
4. These clothes restricted their growth and kept their mould small and frail. Slim and small waisted women were admired. This was not so in the case of boys and men.
Q.7. How did the French Revolution end all distinctions imposed by the Sumptuary laws? Ans
1. After the French Revolution, it was income and not class which decided a person’s clothing. Men and women began to wear loose and comfortable clothing.
2. The colours of France became popular as they were considered a sign of the patriotic citizen.
3. 3 The red cap of liberty, long trousers and the revolutionary cockade pinned on a hat became fashion these were political symbols. Simplicity of clothing was meant to express the idea of equality.
Q.8. With the help of an example show how cultural difference in dress can create misunderstanding. Ans
1. Let us take the example of headgears — a turban and a hat. Both although headgears signify different things. Turbans are not only for protection from the sun but also worn as a mark of respectability.
2. It cannot be removed at will. The hat is for protection and is removed in front of seniors and superiors. This difference created misunderstanding between the turban wearers, i.e. the Indians and the hat wearers, i.e. the British.
3. When the Indians walked into English company they did not remove their turbans as they wanted to assert their national and regional identity. This at times offended the British.
Q.9. What changes came in women clothing as a result of the two world wars? Ans.
1. Many European women stopped wearing jewellery and luxurious clothes. As upper-class women mixed with other classes, social barriers were encoded and dresses of women became similar.
2. Clothes got shorter during the First World War out of practical necessity. About 7 lakh women who were employed in ammunition factories wore a working uniform of blouse and trousers with scarves, which was gradually replaced by khaki overalls and caps. Bright colours faded from sight. Clothes became plainer and simpler. Skirts became shorter and trousers became a vital part of women's dress. Women also took to cutting their hair short.
3. A plain and austere style came to reflect seriousness and professionalism. WhenGymnastics and games entered school curriculum, women had to wear clothes which did not hamper movement.
Q.10. Describe Mahatma Gandhi's experiment with clothing during his lifetime. Ans
1. As a boy he usually wore a shirt with a dhoti or pyjama, and sometimes a coat. When he went to London to study law as a boy of 19 in 1888, he cut off the tuft on his head and dressed in a western suit.
2. On his return, he continued to wear western suits with a turban. As a lawyer in South Africa in the 1890s, he still wore western clothes.
3. In Durban in 1913, Gandhi first appeared in a lungi and kurta with a shaved head as a sign of mourning to protest against the shooting of Indian coal miners.
4. On his return to India in 1915, he decided to dress like a kathiawadi peasant. In 1921, during the non-cooperation movement, he adopted the short dhoti or loin cloth with a chaddar. This dress he continued to wear until his death.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS [5 MARKS]
Q.1. What were sumptuary laws? How did these laws affect society in France? Ans.
1. Sumptuary laws were those laws which imposed upon members of different layers of society through specified details the codes of behaviour.
2. These laws tried to control behaviour of those considered social inferiors, preventing them from wearing certain clothes, consuming certain foods and beverages (usually alcohol) and hunting game in certain areas.
3. In France, during the medieval period the item of clothing a person could purchase per year was regulated not only by income but also by social rank.
4. The material to be purchased for clothing was also legally prescribed.
5. Only royalty could wear expensive materials like ermine, fur, silk, velvet and brocade. Other classes were debarred from clothing themselves with materials that were associated with the aristocracy.
Q.2. What was the Suffrage Movement? How did it bring about a reform in dress?
1. Women’s Suffrage Movement was a woman’s movement agitating for the right to vote in political elections and democratic rights.
2. 2As suffrage movement developed, people beganCampaigning for dress reform.
3. Women’s magazines described how light dress and corsets caused deformities and illness among young girls. Such clothing restricted body growth and Hampered blood circulation.
4. Muscles remained underdeveloped and the spines got bent.Doctors reported that many women were regularly complaining of acute weakness, felt languid and fainted regularly.
5. By the end of the nineteenth century, change was clearly in the air – the argument was simplify dress, shorten skirts, abandon corsets.
Q.3. With an example, discuss how clothing can convey different meanings in different cultures and how these interpretations can lead to misunderstanding.
1. In different cultures, specific items of clothing often convey central meaning. This frequently leads to misunderstandings and conflicts.
2. The case of the Turban and Hat is one. Turban and hat are two headgears that not only lookDifferent
3. They also signify different things. The turban in India was not just for protectionfrom the heat but was also a sign of respectability and could not be removed at will
4. In the western tradition, the hat had to be removed before social superiors as a sign of respect
5. This cultural difference created misunderstanding. The British were often offended if Indians did not take off their turban when they met colonial officials.
Q.4. How did Mahatma Gandhi's dream of clothing the nation in Khadi appeal only to some sections of the Indian?
1. Mahatma Gandhi’s dream was to clothe the whole nation in khadi. He felt khadi would be a means of erasing differences between religions and classes; etc. But it wasn’t easy for others to follow in his footsteps. Just as the people could not take to the single peasant loin cloth as Gandhi had done. The people, in fact, did not want to do so.
2. Nationalists such as Motilal Nehru, a successful barrister from Allahabad, gave up hisexpensive western style suits and adopted the Indian dhoti and kurta. But these were not made of coarse cloth – khadi. Those who had been deprived by caste norms for centuries were attracted to western dress styles.
3. Therefore unlike Mahatma Gandhi, other nationalists such as Baba Saheb Ambedkar never gave up the western style suit.
4. Many Dalits began in the early 1910s to wear three-piece suits, shoes and socks on all public occasions, as a political statement of self-respect. A woman wrote to Gandhiji, ‘‘I heard you speaking on the extreme necessity of wearing khadi, but khadi is very costly and we are poor people.’’
5. Other women, like Sarojini Naidu and Kamla Nehru, wore coloured saris with designs, instead of coarse, white homespun khadi.
Q.5. In India caste system played the role similar to Sumptuary Laws of Europe? Justify it. Ans
1. India has no formal sumptuary laws but it has a very strict social code of food and dress. It is the caste system which defines what each caste should wear, eat, give, take, etc
2. These codes are very rigid and are almost as forceful as laws. If there were any changes in these specified codes then reactions were often violent and disturbing.
3. The case of the Shanar caste is an example. The Shanars are a community from Travancore.They migrated to this area to work under the landlords who were the Nairs. The Shanars tapped toddy. They belonged to a ‘subordinate caste’ and as per the traditions had to follow certain specified norms
4. They were not allowed to wear slippers, use umbrellas and cover the upper portion of their body with clothing.
5. When the Christian missionaries came, they converted the Shanars to Christians. Under their
Q.1. How were clothes of the 18th century all over the world different from clothes of the 19th century?
1. In France, in the 18th century sumptuary laws controlled the clothing style. After the French Revolution, it was the income, the difference between the rich and poor which decided what people were to wear
2. In England and America and other European countries, women from childhood, as young girls were tightly laced and dressed in stays. As women they had to wear tight fitting corsets and flowing gowns sweeping the ground.
3. The nineteenth century simplified dresses, shortened them and banned the corsets. Clothes got lighter, shorter and simpler. The two world wars brought in trousers and blouses for women giving them greater freedom of movement
4. Skirts became shorter, frills disappeared. Women now went for short hair as it was convenient and easy to maintain.
5. In India, the western style clothing came in the 19th century. The wealthy Parsis were the first to adopt it. It was also attractive to Dalit. The dress code in India was much under theinfluence of strict codes of caste system. The Swadeshi movement and national feelings alsoset the dress code of Indians.
Q.2. Discuss how society and clothes are linked.
Ans.3. The history of clothing is linked to the larger history of society. Clothing is defined bydominant cultural attitude and ideal of beauty.
2These notions change with time. Change inclothing has come due to changes within technology and economy and pressures of changing times.Changes in women’s clothing came as a result of the two world wars.
3. Women stopped wearing jewellery and luxurious clothes. Now women of all sections of society began to look similar. Because of practical necessity clothes became shorter and without frills.
4. Women began to be employed in ammunition factories. This forced them to wear a uniform of blouse and trousers with scarves. Thus, uniform of blouse and trousers was replaced by Khaki overalls and caps. Sober colours were preferred as the war was on.
5. Clothes became simpler and more practical. Trousers became a common garment worn by women.
Garments became austere and professional.
Q.3. How was the Swadeshi Movement linked to the politics of clothing? Explain.
Ans1. The Swadeshi movement was centrally linked to the politics of clothing. In 1905, LordCurzon decided to partition Bengal to control the growing opposition to British rule.
2. The Swadeshi movement developed in reaction to this measure.
3. People were urged to boycott the British goods of all kinds and start their own industries for the manufacture of goods such as match boxes and cigarettes.
4. Mass protests followed with people viewing to cleanse themselves of colonial rule.
5. The use of khadi was made a patriotic duty. Women were urged to throw away their silk andglass bangles and wear simple shell bangles. Rough homespun was glorified in songs andPoems to popularise it.