Skip to main content

Free Content Costume in carnival: Social performance, rank and status

Download Article:
This article deals with the range and evolution of costume in organized and spontaneous carnivals in Malta during the British colonial period (1800–1964). It discusses the performative qualities of carnival costume. The article also delves into the type of connections that can be made between costume, social stratification and political power in particular periods of Maltese colonial history. It shows how costume revealed social aspiration or recognition in certain contexts, while also providing a means to play with identity and dissimulation in others. It examines how control and power were affirmed on a micrological level through choice of costume, especially when the latter became subject to prohibition.

Keywords: class; colonial; devised costume; power; social aspiration; status

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Malta

Publication date: April 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Studies in Costume & Performance aims to encourage, generate and disseminate critical discourse on costume and the relationship between costume and performance. It considers costume as a symbiotic articulation of the body of the performer which is visual, material, temporal and performative. Whether performed live, seen through the camera lens or found in an archive, costume embodies and reflects the performance itself.

    The journal will bring together experts in costume, scenography, performance, fashion and curation as well as critically engaged practitioners and designers to reflect and debate costume in performance, its reception in production, exhibition and in academic critical discourse. Submission will include visual essays. The journal is double-blind peer-reviewed in order to maintain the highest standards of scholastic integrity.

    Past and current practice is considered through the ‘reading’ of the costumed body as a communication of embodied, cultural, social, artistic and historical narratives. As such this journal is an articulation of practice, which, through this process redefines practice itself.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Intellect Books page
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content