Reviews

In this article Professor Dode of Stavropol University continues her sterling exploration of costume as a cultural marker as epitomised by her monograph Srednevekovyi kostium narodov Severnogo Kavkaza (Moscow: Vostochnaia literatura, 2001).  Using archaeological and artistic evidence, Dode differentiates between, on the one hand, elements of costume which signified adherence to the Mongol Empire, such as heraldic symbols (the sun, moon, phoenix, and dragon), and, on the other, elements of dress indicative of membership in ethnic groups other than the ruling Mongol stratum, in this case, Turkic.  This analysis highlights the social heterogeneity of the Jöchid Ulus, and the affinities of its population with both Mongol imperial and indigenous ethnic identities.  Five illustrations very helpfully illuminate her descriptions of costume.  Dode does not further identify the specific Turkic entities to whom these artefacts belong.  It would have been helpful had Dode put her research into a wider perspective by citing Thomas Allsen’s Commodity and Exchange in the Mongol Empire: A Cultural History of Islamic Textiles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) or by raising the issue of other Imperial Mongol cultural elements which might have intruded into the Jöchid Ulus, such as diet (cf. Paul Buell and Eugene N. Anderson, eds., A Soup for the Khan: Chinese Dietary Medicine in the Mongol Era as Seen by Hu Szu-hui’s Yin-Shan Cheng-yao, London: Kegan Paul International, 1998).

Charles Halperin, Indiana University, Bloomington
CER: I-3.2.B-195