Aso ni èdidi èniyàn, “cloth is what binds people.”

(Yoruba proverb)

I first met Joanne Bubolz Eicher in the summer of 1977 at Michigan State University (MSU) where she was then teaching in the Department of Human Environment and Design (Fig. 1). My meeting with her was warm and inviting, and I was all ears as she conveyed all she knew about the Akwete weaving industry I would soon be studying for my PhD. She also introduced me to two of her Akwete Igbo colleagues at MSU, Enyinna and Chijundu Chuta,1 who, through her encouragement, had already made the essential contacts and arranged a place for me to stay in their village. I was grateful for Eicher's efforts and saw in them the very qualities and abilities that many of us have come to respect and admire in her. Eicher showed me her passion for the subject of African textiles, a willingness to share that vast knowledge with others, and an exceptional knack for networking. Bobbie Sumberg, a former student of Eicher's who went on to do curatorial work at the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe2 summed it up well when she said:

1

Portrait of Joanne B. Eicher, October 21, 2014.

1

Portrait of Joanne B. Eicher, October 21, 2014.

Joanne Eicher is an idea generator, a people connector, a promoter of scholars and students and their work, a tremendously engaged and interested scholar in a wide ranging field, a big-picture thinker, and a strategist.3

Heather Akou, now an associate professor of fashion design and merchandising at Indiana University, shared similar thoughts: “I could not have asked for a more open-minded, supportive, and talented mentor, or one with a better knowledge of African textiles and dress.”4

Now, nearly forty years since my first meeting with Joanne Eicher, and reflecting on testimonies such as these and her extensive list of accomplishments and awards, I am honored to celebrate her illustrious and successful career in building and shaping the field of African textiles, dress, and fashion. My essay begins by discussing her educational background, the roots of her interest in African cloth, and her sociocultural approach to its study. It then gives a broad survey of her extensive scholarship and professional work centered specifically on Africa. Where relevant, I reference Eicher's work on Western-focused topics but leave it to others to give more thorough attention to that important dimension of her career. Seen as a whole, Eicher's accomplishments underscore her ongoing and strong commitment to collaboration and coauthorship, a social science-based model that distinguishes her work from that of many of us in the field of African art and visual culture.

Michigan State University was the center of Eicher's academic life from her undergraduate years to the late 1970s. She earned her BA in 1948, with a major in languages and literature and a minor in textiles and clothing. With the latter remaining very much on her mind, she turned to sociology and anthropology for her graduate studies, earning both an MS (1952) and a PhD (1959) at MSU in those areas. From the late 1960s until 1977, she taught in MSU's Department of Human and Environmental Design. By the summer of 1977, when we first met, the University of Minnesota had already recruited her to head their Department of Textiles and Cloth.5 Now retired from UMN after nearly thirty years of teaching there, she retains the honorable title of Regents' Professor.

Eicher's foray into the world of African textiles began in the 1960s. In 1963, she and her husband at that time, Carl K. Eicher, an agricultural economist,6 began a three-year residency in the Economic Development Institute at the newly founded University of Nigeria-Nsukka (UNN).7 Working under contract with the University of London, a team of MSU faculty was charged with the responsibility of setting up programs in economic development at UNN. At that time, the university was divided between two campuses, Nsukka and Enugu, and it was in the latter where the Eichers lived and worked. Though Eicher was already teaching at MSU, she was not allowed to do so at UNN because of AID nepotism rules prohibiting the employment of spouses as professionals in the program. However, she kept herself busy tending to her family needs, giving birth to their second child, and doing a lot of entertaining. She described that period of her life to me in 2000 when I was interviewing her for an article I would be writing for a publication about her Nigerian textile collection (Aronson 2001:17–28).

It was a very social kind of situation for me because there were a lot of people in and out from the US and Europe. We lived a very expatriate type of life on the Enugu campus, meaning there was a large group of Michigan State people there and so there was a lot of socializing at that level.8

When time permitted, Eicher also took the opportunity to learn as much as she could about Nigerian textiles and dress. Some of that knowledge came to her by way of Dakuru Rose Ordor, an Akwete weaver and cloth seller who traveled to Enugu on a regular basis to sell cloths to members of its bustling expat community. Eicher's encounter with Mrs. Ordor inspired her to pay a brief visit to the Ordor family compound in Akwete and to begin amassing a collection of Akwete cloths that now numbers twenty-eight in total (Fig. 2).

2

Akwete cloth with ikaki (tortoise) weft float design. Collection of Joanne B. Eicher.

2

Akwete cloth with ikaki (tortoise) weft float design. Collection of Joanne B. Eicher.

Like so many others, Eicher was drawn to the technical virtuosity of Akwete cloths, as well as to the richness and variety of their designs, but she also saw in them wearable attire that carries social and cultural meanings. Her initial inspiration for looking at dress from a sociocultural perspective came from an article by sociologist Gregory P. Stone (Stone 1962), under whom she briefly studied,9 in which he argued that one's appearance, dress in particular, is the basis for one's identification with others (Sklar 2011). Stone's ideas about dress and concepts of self inspired much of her subsequent thinking and writing about dress.

For much of her scholarship, Eicher embraced the social science model of collaboration and coauthorship. One of the most inspirational and enduring collaborators was Mary Ellen Roach-Higgins (1929–1999),10 a fellow graduate student at MSU with whom she went on to forge a lifelong working relationship based on their shared interest in the social meaning of dress. Their earliest coauthored work, Dress, Adornment and the Social Order (Roach and Eicher 1965), laid the essential groundwork for a socially and culturally based study on the subject. The following quote from their introduction highlights the way they were thinking about dress:

Studying dress and adornment, we begin to realize that it is a study of man in relation to certain phases of the material world. This relationship is highly social because the material environment in which human beings live is one of the foremost achievements of mutual endeavor. Once created, this environment becomes the backdrop against which social interaction takes place (Roach and Eicher 1965:2).

This groundbreaking anthology brought together fifty-four previously published articles, mainly by sociologists, Stone among them, that addressed aspects of dress and related issues of identity and concepts of self. They organized the articles according to five categories: (1) Origins and Functions of Dress and Adornment; (2) Diversity in Cultural Patterns Related to Dress and Adornment; (3) Social Organization and Dress; (4) Dress and the Individual; and (5) Stability and Change in Patterns of Dress. Organized as such, their book provided students and scholars a useful framework and set of models for understanding dress as an extension of the social self.

Not surprising given the state of scholarship at that time, only three of the fifty-four articles focused on non-Western topics, and only one of them was about Africa (Gillette, Baldwin, and Dina 1965). Eicher helped to fill that gap by citing African examples where appropriate in their coauthored introductions for each section, adding any existing African scholarship on dress to the book's fifty-nine-page annotated bibliography.

Eicher would go on to edit or coedit three more anthologies, each centered on a particular theme and with a combination of essays that offered a greater balance of Western and non-Western topics: Dress and Gender (Eicher and Barnes 1992), Dress and Identity (Eicher, Roach, and Johnson 1995), and Dress and Ethnicity (Eicher 1995b). The classroom was always the intended target for these various anthologies. So too was the textbook The Visible Self: Global Perspectives on Dress, Culture, and Society that she coauthored with Roach in 1973. Now in its fourth edition (Eicher and Evenson 2014), and a popular pick in college curricula, the book ensures that Eicher's more global perspective on dress remains ever present in the classroom.

The first of her many publications on African dress per se was her 1969 annotated bibliography on that subject (Eicher 1969).11 Seven years later, she published her book-length survey of Nigerian textiles based on the research she had done while living in Nigeria (Eicher 1976). By the end of the 1970s, she had turned her attention to what would become her signature area of research, cloth and dress among the Kalabari Ijo of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

By all accounts, cloth in Kalabari Ijo culture offered Eicher a gem of a topic. Like all of the Eastern Ijo cultures, the Kalabari had been taking in cloths through centuries of engagement in trans-Atlantic commerce. Europeans were trading cloths from Europe and Asia in exchange for slaves through the eighteenth century, and then palm oil throughout the nineteenth. The impact of the influx of cloth imports on Kalabari Ijo societies was profound. The women in many prominent Kalabari households would, and still do, maintain steamer chests filled with a range of textile types traded to them from other parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

One of those cherished imports is a cotton plaid familiar to some of us as Indian madras (see Fig. 6). The British acquired it originally from their crown jewel, India, and by the mid-1850s had also begun manufacturing a European variation in Manchester for export to Africa. Referring to it generically as injiri—a transliteration of “India”—the Kalabari Ijo to whom the British traded the cloth would integrate it well within their culture. One of the many ways in which women did so was to cut threads strategically within the weave and pull them out to create openwork patterns within and around the cloths' intrinsic plaid designs. The Kalabari called it pelete bite, meaning “cut cloth” in the Kalabari language (Figs. 34).12

3

Dated circa 1860, this early example of pelete bite was once owned by Osanta, wife of John Bull, who died ca. 1923. Fowler Museum of UCLA, X84.600, purchased with Manus Funds.

3

Dated circa 1860, this early example of pelete bite was once owned by Osanta, wife of John Bull, who died ca. 1923. Fowler Museum of UCLA, X84.600, purchased with Manus Funds.

4

Kalabari woman making pelete bite by pulling out threads from imported injiri cloth.

4

Kalabari woman making pelete bite by pulling out threads from imported injiri cloth.

Eicher first learned about pelete bite in the mid-1960s during her visit with Tonye Erekosima and his family in Port Harcourt. Here is her description of that encounter with the Kalabari family. “When Erekosima's family was getting dressed up for me so that I could take their photographs, they were wearing pelete bite as a whole gown—an heirloom gown—for the father that had been in the John Bull family.”13 In her 1976 book on Nigerian textiles she illustrated and briefly referenced the cloth (Eicher 1976:91–92), identifying it as an example of “drawnwork” rather than by its Kalabari name. Working with Erekosima as her chief collaborator, she then went on to study pelete bite more thoroughly.

Eicher and Erekosima complemented each other in their approach to the study of pelete bite. Eicher was interested in documenting the cloth's means of production, collecting biographies of its female makers, and determining its sociocultural meaning(s) based on the various contexts in which the Kalabari used it. Much of this information appeared in the catalog for her 1982 exhibition of pelete bite at a UMN's Goldstein Gallery (Eicher, Erekosima, and Thieme 1982), an exhibition space that she would direct over the next three years (Fig. 5).14

5

Photo of Joanne Eicher taken at her 1981 exhibition of pelete bite at the Goldstein Gallery, UMN.

5

Photo of Joanne Eicher taken at her 1981 exhibition of pelete bite at the Goldstein Gallery, UMN.

Erekosima, a trained instructional technologist, offered a more critical and theoretical read of this fascinating cloth tradition. He theorized in an article he coauthored with Eicher that pelete bite is the product of four stages of “cultural authentication” (Erekosima and Eicher 1981). This process involves (1) “selecting,” or taking in, the imported cloths, (2) “characterizing,” or naming, the imports, (3) “appropriating” them by using them in various ways and contexts, and (4) “transforming” them through the actual making of pelete bite (Erekosima and Eicher 1981:50).15

The authentication model is equally applicable to Eicher and Erekosima's study of yet another Kalabari cloth tradition, the art of ede (Fig. 6). This funerary-related artform involves the folding and laying out of numerous varieties of imported cloth on a series of beds upon which the deceased are laid in state prior to burial. All of the cloths they use in their ede display, injiri included, are imported. Moreover, in laying them out as they do, the Kalabari, as Eicher and Erekosima argue, are creating designs—such as jellyfish, for example (see Eicher and Erekosima 1987: Fig. 6)—that like those in pelete bite are germane to their worldview. Eicher's research on ede with Erekosima would appear in three publications (Eicher and Erekosima 1987; Eicher and Erekosima 1989; and Eicher and Erekosima 2002). For the Fowler Museum's “Ways of the Rivers” exhibition, Eicher recommended Tonye Erekosima's sister, Rose Barango, to do an ede display to enable viewers to experience for themselves the stunningly visual impact of this cloth-based construction.

6

Kalabari funerary bed design (ede) made of interwoven cloth imports, including injiri, on the walls and Akwete Igbo cloth on the bed and headboard.

6

Kalabari funerary bed design (ede) made of interwoven cloth imports, including injiri, on the walls and Akwete Igbo cloth on the bed and headboard.

The “cultural authentication” model that emerged from Erekosima and Eicher's collaborative work remains as a valuable theoretical contribution to the field of African art and visual culture. The model is useful for many of its scholars, myself included, in that it challenges preconceived notions of the colonized as passive recipients by highlighting the degree of agency and control cultures exercise in appropriating imports, and making them their own.

Eicher also looked more broadly at Kalabari cloth and dress, and authored or coauthored many articles on that topic. A good number of them are about Kalabari dress and ceremonial attire per se (Eicher 1973, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2015; Eicher and Erekosima 1995), while others compare Kalabari attire to Western modes of dress (Eicher 1995a, 2001; Eicher and Sumberg 1995). Yet others address the Asian sources of some of Kalabari's cloths and the interglobal commercial connections and industries they underscore (Eicher 1996, 2005, 2014a, 2014b).16 Eicher cowrote some of the above with former graduate students whose MA and/or PhD work under her advisorship focused on Kalabari-related topics, yet again emphasizing her generosity in sharing data, and the value she places on collaboration.

This brings me to the subject of Eicher's graduate level teaching and mentoring, a central aspect of her career, and one that helped further research and scholarship on dress both in Africa and beyond. During her years at MSU, she advised or coadvised twenty-three graduate students, and at UMN thirty-five more, with roughly a third of them opting for African topics that led, in some cases, to important and often cited publications on those subjects. Two of her MSU graduate students, Betty Wass and Ruth Neilsen, went on to publish their African-related thesis work under Eicher, Wass's on change in Yoruba dress (Wass 1979) and Neilsen's on African wax-prints (Nielsen 1979). A third, Ila Pokornowski, did her thesis on beads under Eicher's supervision and later served as chief coeditor of the second of Eicher's two annotated bibliographies on dress (Pokornowski et. al 1985).

Eicher's Kalabari dress research was in full force by the time she had moved to Minnesota, and several of her MNU graduate students wrote their theses and/or dissertations on Kalabari-related subjects. For her PhD, Kathleen Daly did an extensive study of the dress of Kalabari women's coming of age, iria, while Susan Michelson studied dress in Kalabari women's societies, and Susan Torntore looked at the trade of coral and its use among the Kalabari. For her MA under Eicher, Elisha Renne expanded on Eicher's initial study of pelete bite, and two other Eicher students, Helen Lutz and Sandra Evenson, focused on Kalabari's cloth imports from India and the cloth-making industries in both India and Britain that produced and marketed them. Eicher deserves credit for creating an environment that has inspired students to move forward with her work, giving us many more studies to draw on.

Though it may appear otherwise, only a small portion of her students pursued Kalabari-related topics for their MAs and/or PhDs. At least one, Bobbie Sumberg, was able to find her own niche, thanks, as she notes, to Eicher's open-mindedness, and her “lack of attachment” to her Kalabari work

… as a graduate student I was having a difficult time coming up with the topic for my Master's degree. Joanne had some suggestions regarding more work that could be done with the Kalabari. I was resistant to that, wanting a topic of my own that might be related to her work but not that closely. When I finally had an idea that I thought was both interesting and possible I was quite nervous about telling her. I thought she would be upset that I wanted to pursue my own idea, not hers. When I finally approached the subject, she was delighted that I had found my topic and did everything in her ability to make it happen. It made no difference that I rejected her idea for my own; what was important was that I could move forward and pursue my research.17

Sumberg's MA thesis on dress and ethnic differentiation in the Niger Delta looked beyond just the Kalabari Ijo. For her PhD, Sumberg went even further afield, again with Eicher's endorsement, by studying the history of cloth production and use in Côte d'Ivoire. Heather Akou brought the study of African dress close to home by looking at dress among Somalian immigrants in Minneapolis.

The majority of Eicher's students steered clear of African subjects entirely and opted instead for topics such as Japanese women's wedding dresses (M. Suga); Hispanic weaving in northern New Mexico (S. Baizerman), the dress of female Hungarian socialists (K. Medvedev); or the social messages conveyed by high school prom attire (J. Hegland), to name just a few. One of her MA students even revisited Gregory Stone's 1962 article mentioned earlier in this essay to ascertain its relevance for dress study in the twenty-first century.

In addition to encouraging students to pursue their passions, Eicher worked hard at mentoring and supporting them every step of the way. One significant way in which she did that was to host weekly meetings where students could share their work with each other, and with her. Helen Lutz writes:

We secretly called ourselves the Eicherettes. The agenda [for those weekly meetings] usually consisted of one of us students presenting a draft of a conference paper or draft of one of our dissertation papers…. For Joanne, the group advising was an efficient use of her time in both disseminating information and keeping abreast of what her students were doing. For we the students, the group advising was incredibly supportive…. We practiced presenting our work to a critical … audience. We were testing out our visuals, our organization of thoughts, our timing, and our presentation skills. We gave each other encouraging feedback. We also got to discuss some of the hoops we had to jump through to complete the degree program. We celebrated each other's progress.18

By hosting sessions that encouraged students to work with each other as well as with her, Eicher was teaching them the value of collaboration, an approach they could take with them in their own careers. So successful were those sessions that students working with other faculty began attending them, leading the group to rename itself EGAF (Eicher Graduate Advisees and Friends).

At the same time that she was fully engaged in teaching and mentoring students, Eicher was exploring exciting new avenues for the study of dress and fashion. In 1994, Berg Publishers (now Bloomsbury) hired her to be chief editor of her newly proposed series, Dress, Body, Culture. According to the Bloomsbury website, the series interrogates “the often interdisciplinary dialogue between identity and dress, cosmetics, coiffure and body alterations.”19 The titles and descriptions of its sixty-six published volumes to date indicate that the series is also critical and global in its discourse on dress.

Eicher's close involvement with this series led her to take a more broadly based and conceptual approach, and revisit her anthropological training, in some of her own scholarship. A good example is her chapter on the body for Adam Geezy and Vicki Karaminas's edited volume Fashion and Art (Eicher 2012), which considers how factors such as biology, environment, and gender influence how people dress their bodies. In another article, she considers the ways the field of anthropology has influenced the study of dress by encouraging a holistic and cultural focus, a reliance on fieldwork, and a greater emphasis on the voice of women, both as researchers and as the subject of the research. The remainder of the article consists of an annotated, chronological overview of anthropological literature on dress beginning with Ernset Crawley's 1912 essay on the subject, and ending with the many dress-related studies that have now flooded the field of anthropology (Eicher 2000).20

The last twenty-five years have seen a significant rise in the study of African dress and fashion in a variety of disciplines;21 through her teaching and professional work, Eicher has been a major facilitator behind this expansion. One of her graduate students, Heather Akou, went on to publish the MA and PhD work she did on Somalian dress in Minneapolis under Eicher (Akou 2011) (Fig. 7). Elisha Renne eventually published her MA material on pelete bite (Renne 2001:20–41) as well as her award-winning book on Bunu Yoruba cloth (Renne 1995) and an edited volume on the veil in Africa (Renne 2013). As editor of the Bloomsbury dress series, Eicher oversaw the publication of three frequently referenced books on African topics, Judy Perani and Norma Wolff's book on cloth and patronage (Perani and Wolff 1999), Leslie Rabine's book-length study of Senegalese fashion (Rabine 2002), and Karen Hansen and D. Soyini Madison's edited volume, African Dress: Fashion, Agency, Performance (Hansen and Madison 2013). For their anthology on contemporary African fashion (Gott and Loughran 2010), coeditors Suzanne Gott and Kristyne Loughran selected Eicher to write the forward (Eicher 2010:ix–xii). Victoria Rovine, author of the only book-length study of African fashion to date—a visually stunning one at that—gives Eicher due credit (Rovine 2015:22, 39) for her groundbreaking work on African textiles and dress and her useful distinctions between dress and fashion (Eicher and Roach-Higgins 1992) (Fig. 8).

7

Garments displayed in a shop located at the Somali mall (Karmet Square) in Minneapolis. The garments hanging from the ceiling are for young girls and the dresses (dirac) and petticoats (gorgorad) lining the walls are for adult women. They are all imported from India, Japan, and South Korea.

7

Garments displayed in a shop located at the Somali mall (Karmet Square) in Minneapolis. The garments hanging from the ceiling are for young girls and the dresses (dirac) and petticoats (gorgorad) lining the walls are for adult women. They are all imported from India, Japan, and South Korea.

8

Woman modeling the work of Ghanaian designer Ben Nonterah at the LaboEthnik show in Paris, 2010.

8

Woman modeling the work of Ghanaian designer Ben Nonterah at the LaboEthnik show in Paris, 2010.

Eicher's most comprehensive contribution to the study of dress, both African and worldwide, was through her capacity as Editor-in-Chief of Bloomsbury's exhaustive, ten-volume Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, a post she has held since 2003. Eicher was the ideal pick to oversee this massive project. She brought to it her vast knowledge of dress, textiles, and fashion and her acute organizational and networking skills in bringing scholars on board to serve as volume editors or as authors of individual essays. Eicher wrote introductions and prefaces where needed for each of the ten volumes and was the co-editor for Volumes 1, Africa, and 10, Global Perspectives. As the ongoing chief editor of the encyclopedia's online version, Eicher can add up to 100,000 words a year to further enrich what is already an impressive collaborative endeavor.

Each of the first nine volumes of the Encyclopedia focuses on a different geographic region of world (see below for discussion of the volume on Africa).22 By contrast, Volume 10, Global Perspectives, coedited by Eicher and Phyllis Tortora, offers a more global, cross-cultural, and topic-based perspective on dress. The essays that Eicher and Tortora sought authors for cover a wide range of themes, everything from the notion of dressed vs. undressed in fashion, perfumed dress, dress and religious practices, secondhand clothing, fashion museums, and the virtual world of dress and fashion.23 In Eicher's introductory essay to the volume (Eicher 2010:3–10), she expands on her discussion of the body and revisits her breakdown of the dress-related terminologies (Eicher and Roach-Higgins 1992). She also looks at dress as an art form, the increasingly worldwide attention to fashion, and resources on the latter.

Eicher and coeditor Doran Ross's volume on Africa is a fruitful resource for students and scholars of African art and visual culture at large. Together, Eicher and Ross came up with its organizing structure and list of themes for the volume, and then solicited seventy-five scholars—myself included—to write, annotate, and illustrate the essays. Some of the latter cover broadly based subjects such as environment, history, and the photographic representation of dress, while others—the majority—look at textiles, dress, and fashion within broadly defined regions as well as by country and specific ethnic groups. Eicher called me personally to ask if I would write two essays for the Africa volume, one an overview of textiles in West Africa, and the other an essay on African body modification and art. I was initially hesitant, given the broad and generalized nature of the topics and the amount of time it would take me to yet again write encyclopedic entries. But through her gentle persuasion and expressed confidence in my abilities, I agreed to contribute to this immense project (Aronson 2010a:84–90; 2010b:144–51), and even enjoyed doing so.

In 2011, the American Library Association awarded Eicher's Encyclopedia the Dartmouth Medal for a reference work. This award is just one of many honors Eicher has received throughout her illustrious career. In 1995, UMN bestowed on her its highest honor, a Regents Professorship, with its hefty stipend, for “exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarship or creative work, and contributions to the public good.”24 UMN's College of Human Ecology awarded her a McFarland Creative Teaching Award in 1992, an Educational Leadership Award in 1994, and an Excellence in Discovery Award in 2003. Also in 2003, she received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Iowa State University, and in 2012, her alma mater, MSU, honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Last but not least, our very own Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) awarded Eicher its highest honor, a Leadership Award, at the April 2005 Triennial in Cambridge. For all of these acclamations and her long list of accomplishments, Joanne B. Eicher has rightfully earned her place as one of our leaders in the field of African art and visual culture.

Notes

I wish to thank Kate Ezra and Martha Anderson for their helpful editorial suggestions on earlier drafts of this essay; Elisha Renne for providing the perfect Yoruba proverb; the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Vicki Rovine, and Heather Akou for contributing photographs; and Helen Lutz, Bobbie Sumberg, and, again, Heather for sharing stories about what it was like to work with Joanne.

1

Enyinna Chuta was a Graduate Fellow in the Department of Economics at the time. Chijundu was also studying at MSU, and like most Akwete women, excelled at weaving.

2

Bobbie was Curator of Textiles and Dress at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, NM from 1999–2013.

3

Bobbie Sumberg, personal communication, October 2016.

4

Heather Akou, personal communication, October 2016.

5

Following the path of many college-level home economics programs at that time, the University of Minnesota changed its name to broaden its scope. In 1987, it became the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel in the College of Human Ecology.

6

Carl K. Eicher (1930–2014) was University Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University.

7

The University of Nigeria was founded shortly after Nigeria gained its independence in 1960.

8

Joanne Eicher, interview with author, October 21, 2000.

9

Eicher first got to know Stone's writings when she was his graduate assistant during her brief MA studies in sociology at Boston University. She was living in Boston area while her then husband, Carl K. Eicher, was getting his PhD (1961) at Harvard University.

10

Unlike Eicher, Mary Ellen Roach-Higgins (1929–1999) began her graduate training in textiles and clothing, earning an MS in that field at Iowa State University in 1948. In 1960, she received her doctorate in sociology and anthropology at Michigan State University. From 1960–1984, she taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in their Department of Clothing and Textiles (renamed in 1973 the Department of Environment, Textiles, and Design).

11

She would go on to copublish a second, with Pokornowski and others, in 1985 (Pokornowski, Eicher, Harris, and Thieme 1985).

12

The Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, at the University of Florida in Gainseville, own examples of pelete bite from her collection.

13

Joanne Eicher, interview with author, October 20, 2001.

14

The Goldstein Gallery is housed in MSU's Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel.

15

Tonye Erekosima died in 2008 of stomach cancer. The obituary Eicher cowrote with Tonye's brother Dagogo (Eicher and Erekosima 2009) confirmed that the “cultural authentication” theory was his conception.

16

This list does not include Kalabari-specific articles in which she is the second or third author.

17

Bobbie Sumberg, interview with author, October 2016.

18

Helen Lutz, interview with author, October 2016.

19

See Bloomsbury.com for a full description of the series, and a list of the books the series has published thus far.

20

Taking the baton from Eicher, Karen Hansen published a more expansive essay about dress study in the field of anthropology, and applauded Eicher for her “pioneering work” on dress and “willingness to share her vast knowledge” of it (Hansen 2004:387).

21

For a thorough overview of recent literature on African dress and fashion, see Rovine 2015:21–25.

22

For the full list of volumes in this series, go to the Bloomsbury/Berg website: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/berg-encyclopedia-of-world-dress-and-fashion-9781847881045/

23

For the sake of brevity, I listed only a handful of the themes the encyclopedia covers. I urge readers to consult the volume for the full range of essay topics, and identities of their authors.

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