In today’s world we’ve seen a decline in Folkloric and traditional clothing styles from original peoples. Although there are preservationist movements as well as the older generations inability to seize using these clothing items, these fashions are far from popular. There are some mainstream designers, whom have morphed traditional styles into modern European ones for their clothing lines. Men's alignment with the struggles against white man’s hatred for his woman has resulted in a beautification model based on rebellion and misapplied freedom. A freedom that doesn’t take into consideration the science of a woman’s predominant nature as Creation, which must be preserved and aligned appropriately in a high level of refinement. From the ample existing proof that the grafted man and woman are in direct opposition to the reality of Creation and its ideas of refinement, then the history itself is right. The white woman is supposed to rebel in the way that she has, for she seeks recognition for a freedom that will allow her to carry out devilishment in the constructed Babylonian illusion. She is fighting for her piece of the pie in the carrying out of oppression and inequality. What is of most concern is the adaptation of this ideology by most 85% Original women, whom are either involved in Black, Asian, Latino feminist movements who share this same idea, or are just plain living a savage freedom.
Economics, technology, white woman’s ideology, and loss of knowledge, have all contributed to the adaptation of an inaccurate clothing practice for the original woman. One should be developed where it is based on her scientific nature, cultural/historical context, and awareness of her natural role in the sacred partnership of man and woman. Thus, before the original woman can even attain adequate clothing practice, one that embraces her individual and whole identity, the factors mentioned above must be explored.
In a set of lessons from the Nation of God and Earth, the build (8th)degree in the 1-40, states that the planet Earth is covered with water ¾ths of its surface. This statement, not being the “meat” of the understanding in that degree became the most important to the culture of the woman with a Knowledge of Self. This planetary fact was taken and applied to the dress codes of the Earths, as women who are living with Knowledge of Self are called. Being that the majority and first waves of women attaining the knowledge were of so-called African-American (Black) background, a dressing style was adapted that traced back to the cultural dressing styles of Africa. This style generally consists of a hair wrap, a long skirt or a long dress, with tops that do not show cleavage. This African based style has been correctly adapted, as the history of the so-called African-American is one rooted in Slavery and the ancient civilizations in Africa. Within the nation, it simply became the norm that Earths would dress covering ¾ths of their bodies. This metaphor became the lived reality of the woman, as she embodied natural aspects (birthing and nurturing life) like the planet does to all within it.
In many Nation of God and Earth sub ciphers, a prerequisite in getting Knowledge of Self is to drastically change the dressing style in the traditional African garb of ¾ths. I once met a sister who was fully geared up in 3/4ths. While she visibly looked refined, this woman was still dealing with high levels of unrighteousness. She spoke of 3/4ths in a regurgitating manner, not truly showing her understanding on why she was dressed the way she was. This sister was appropriately guided by the other Earths to dress and do as expected from a woman receiving the knowledge of self. What was not provided for this sister, however, was an adequate learning path where she could individually explore all issues related to dressing as an Earth. This sister was not given tools to question the current state of original women and its relation to their choices in clothing. The processing of becoming Earth is one that lacks in providing an adequate way of learning: one where following a culture, rather than questioning it first, proving its right and exactness, and adapting it as her expression as Earth, is followed blindly and its corresponding understanding parroted.
As I made these observations on the way in which original women were being taught a ¾ths dressing style, I thought of the details within the culture (4th) degree in the Supreme Mathematics of the Nation of God and Earth, as a component of the ¾ths reality, and a quote I had once read in the book by Daniel Roque entitled, The Culture of Clothing, where he argues that the clothing culture of the 1600s and further eras was based more on style rather than functionality and usefulness, came to mind. There he states that “the history of clothing tells us much about civilizations, it reveals their codes.” This means that with Knowledge of Self comes the most right and exact codes proven through its questioning and testing, as well as its application to the individual adapting this component of the culture. In this case, what I found to be missing (based on my own observations on nation pedagogical methods, my understanding on the lessons as it relates to the original woman) from the reality of the collective dressing of ¾ths was precisely the individual component of its application. Is ¾ths the same for every woman? How does the scientific understanding, her cultural background, body type, ideas of dressing, and personality inform her Earth attire? Is there one attire that is more ¾ths than another? How can these factors (from second question) combine to make clothing attire that is in tune to the present reality of righteousness?
The first step I took, as I continued on my path towards understanding myself beyond my sociological identity (Latina/Dominican), seeing that the original woman was to cover 3/4ths of her body, leaving 1/4th of it in exposure, led me to a contextualization in my mind that went as follows:
Universal Reality – Macrocosm – Earth – 3/4th Covered in Water
Human Reality – Microcosm – Woman – 3/4th Body Water (Circulation &Reproductive system)
Supreme Culture – 4: Culture-Freedom – ¾ Clothing
I also took into consideration and contextualized various degrees within the Student Enrollment 1-10 and the Lost-Found Lessons #2 1-40 set of lessons of the Nation of God and Earth. The equality (6th) degree states that 29,000,000 square miles is the total land that’s useful and used by the total population of the planet Earth out of a total of 196,940,000 total square miles of the entire planet earth, but that 23,000,000 square miles is used by the Original Man. The power (5th) degree in the 1-40 states that 57,255,000 is the total square miles of land. This means that 40%, attained by multiplying the 23 million times 100 and then dividing that value into the total miles of land, gives the percentage of useful land coverage. When the same type of calculation is done to receive the water coverage of the planet Earth, by taking the total area of the planet earth (196,940,000) and dividing it by the total of 139,685,000 times 100, a total of 71% of water coverage is attained. This means that
¾= 139,685,000x100/196,940,000=71%-Modern day 75%(3).
If the original woman was to cover ¾ths of her body, which in its planetary reality is more than the useful land coverage; I refused to accept that there was nothing useful about the water coverage. Some of this water mass had to be useful. What made most of us think that useful was only land? Why couldn’t useful land also be what’s inside the Water? What led me to these questions was finding the percentage of the useful land by including the entire square miles of the whole planet (23,000,000/196,940,000). The answer is 11%. These digits are just a speck in comparison to the massiveness of the planet. While the degrees are very clear in pointing out that useful land constitutes only the dry land, there is an indirect inclusion of other fertile land. Useful land is also the Earth's wet fertile land that’s represented by the woman’s vagina and breasts,the vagina constantly secreting a self-cleansing juice from within her uterus and the breasts, which produces and stores the milk for the newborn baby.These areas are ¾s covered and must be protected. The understanding is when we apply the microcosmic reality of the woman’s universal nature into her supreme culture and freedom, she is protecting two important physical traits related to nurturing and developing the new and future generations of man=mind. This means that as long as you cover your breasts and thighs thoroughly you are good or else you'll be causing unnecessary volcanic eruptions (attraction) drawn up by the Sun of Man, especially if you already got a man.
The second step lies in studying the history of clothing as a way of including this component into the scientific framework of what 3/4ths is to original women with knowledge of self. The historical part is very important; it clues us into the styles and its moral influences of our predecessors. It should be included within our showing and proving our ¾ths dressing reality. In the nation, the woman is automatically accepted if she is dressed in ¾ths, gives the traditional planetary metaphor as her reasoning to her dressing, and bears children. No real scientific analysis with a supreme mathematics application has been truly internalized by the Earth. She is merely a parrot of her God’s and/or other Earth’s knowledge on the topic. This impedes an appropriate development of her ¾ths understanding rooted in research.
In researching one should go as far as one can in learning about the topic. For me, it started with the traditional and folkloric styles, as well as other Latin American styles, of Dominican women. Whatever I could find on the Tainos, colonial Dominican Republic and Moorish Spain that might possibly lead me into Ancient Africa and Asia would provide a thorough understanding on the clothing styles as well as the moral and ethical codes of these societies. In turn, I would be learning more about my origins of ¾ths.
Because there is vast research unavailable,one should also study European dressing, take the best part because it will eventually lead into Africa and Asia. Of example is Ziryab, who is extensively discussed in Golden Age of the Moor edited by Ivan Van Sertima. In Moorish Spain,
“Ziryab is said to have had a lasting influence on fashion, bringing styles from the Middle East to Al-Andaluz, including sophisticated styles of clothing based on seasonal and daily timings. In winter, for example, costumes were made essentially from warm cotton or wool items usually in dark colours and summer garments were made of cool and light costumes involving materials such as cotton, silk and flax in light and bright colours”(4).In addition, Ziryab added different dressing styles depending on the time of day,
“he also added dresses of half season for intervals between seasons. Through him, the luxurious dress of the Orient was introduced in Spain. Under his influence a fashion industry was set up, producing coloured striped fabric and coats of transparent fabric, which is still found in Morocco today”(5).Here we are presented with advances made in dressing by an original man in Islamic-Christian Spain. Ziryab, specifically taught the Christian Europeans (whom after 500 years grafted back into the original) the meaning of garments based on the corresponding time of year due to the planet’s changing seasons (weather patterns). This means one of the principles behind the dressing of the people, as taught by the Moors, was based on scientific facts regarding weather patterns and usability of materials used to make clothing. Therefore, the woman’s dressing was dictated by the seasons. 3/4ths was a fluid adaptation based on weather. It is simple logic that a woman will not dress in a winter ¾th attire during the summer or vice-versa. This was Ziryab’s major teaching to the Christian European world. As seen through the quotations above, the original Cultural contexts of dressing were African, Arabic, and Asian, exemplified through long skirts, short sleeve shirts, and other varieties. Most designs came from these areas as the Moors were from these places.
Lacking from a real cultural context the Europeans have always sought the help of original people in building their own civilization, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. It all started with Musa (Moses) who in 2000 B.C. went to civilize the people within the Caucus Mountains because these people did contain the necessary intelligence to build a thriving civilization(6). The extreme weak condition these people were in (could not synthesize the rays of the sun into their own bodies, did not know how to grow food, thus eating raw animals) led them to a wicked state, one that was guided by devilishment (greed, violence). This means that during and after the 8th century, when it came to creating fashionable attire, the white woman looked towards the original woman as the example. Thus, European fashion was made to mimic the Black woman’s body. Different part of the dresses women wore was meant to add curves, voluptuous breasts, and accentuated hips. What was naturally the original Black woman’s body had to be artificially constructed for the white woman. Three very important objects used in European dresses helped white women attain this physical image: the corset, panniers, and crinoline.
The corset's most common function and usage were to slim the body and make it conform to a fashionable silhouette. For women this most frequently emphasized a curvy figure, by reducing the waist, and thereby exaggerating the bust and hips.
Panniers were “three or more hoops of cane, metal, or (later) whalebone…suspended from tapes attached to the waist, giving a dome-shaped structure to the skirt”(7)Eventually, these types of hoops became very difficult to walk with and other forms of hoops were adapted, where two bag-like structures were tied to the sides of the thighs. These were referred to as “false hips." You can see these kinds of clothing material in Disney's Cinderella. The step sisters, the women at the ball, and even Cinderella's shining silver dress have these "false hips."
The crinoline was a steel object made to support and add volume to the skirts and dresses of mainly the upper middle classes of Europe. This volume aimed at emphasizing the overall voluptuousness of the woman. In the royal courts it was common to see the women sporting their oversize dresses, making it hard for them to walk, but in their eyes, the bigger the dress, the more physically appealing was the woman as she would appear to be one whose body was filled with curves.
In the wider view of things if Egyptian society was the blueprint for Western civilization with Moorish society bringing it to its fullest development, it makes sense that even in clothing the original woman was looked at for proper orientation. The desire of wanting to be and look like the original woman was so strong that European women endured pain, health problems and infertility resulting from wearing such absurd objects. Eventually, due to certain sects of European society, these dressing styles were critiqued and protested. The Victorian Dress reform is such example, where “various reformers proposed, designed, and wore clothing supposedly more rational and comfortable than the fashions of the time"(8). Even when making reformations in the dressing styles, the white woman looked towards the original woman for guidance. In the 1850s, an English woman by the name of Elizabeth Smith Miller adopted a style of loose pants gathered at the ankles typically worn by Middle Eastern and Central Asian women. They became known as Bloomers because it was featured in the happening magazine of the time named the Lily, headed by Amelia Bloomer.
White women and white gay men would continue to look towards original styles of clothing for inspiration in their grafted versions. However, a new look that was more centered towards the white woman’s real body frame, one characterized as bony, linear, and frail, would develop. The culture of clothing turned towards less clothing as well. Modern society would be ruled by the Twiggy look, a supermodel with thin figure. The change in shape standards (from voluptuous to skinny-thin) simultaneously changed the clothing standard. Less curves, simply meant less clothing. These then become the standard of beauty throughout all societies, resulting from internationalizing products of world powers. Capitalism, imperialism, neocolonialism, and globalization played a huge part in feeding unalike clothing styles to original women in the United States and around the world. Inevitably, original women adapted a clothing framework unlike them. This causes major damage and confusion to the original woman, currently suffering from major self-esteem problems, and an internalized hatred amongst each of the various shades of Black.
When researching my immediate history of clothing through the Latin American-Dominican lineage, I found traditional garments are worn for vudu ceremonies, traditional dances, and carnaval. As the majority of the population is poor, national folkloric clothing comprises campesino identity, of those who live and work the land, descendants of the Black Moors, White Christians, Taino natives, and Africans once enslaved. Clothing includes long skirts with short sleeve shirts that drop down the shoulders or are shoulder length. Some of the shirts are tube tops while others reach the neck and different parts of the arms, ranging from tight to loose. The skirts are wide so women are able to hold the sides with ease during a performance. Both the skirt and shirts contain floral ornaments and vary in colors of green, red, white, and blue, but are not confined to these colors only. The long skirts also serve to keep the lower body from overheating and obtaining too much sun. The breeze naturally seeps in through the bottom and fabric of the skirt. Skirts also come in variations. Some are made knee length. Head wraps are also very popular, as well as floral hats made from palm trees. Flowers (hibiscus) adorn the hair in buns or more elaborate hairstyles. I saw so many commonalities between the Caribbean forms to the Central and South American traditional dressing to even the East Asian styles. Truly it is meant to show that the a-alike mind is even present within the dressing styles of the Original woman wherever she is. These styles are definitely ¾ in that they cover the most valuable assets in women (her upper and lower reproductive areas). Dominican vudu (the Cuban and Puerto Rican version of Santeria), plays a big role in the ethical guidelines of the people. The traditional clothing worn is in direct alignment with the many rituals and ways of life that this belief system is based on.
The last step as women with knowledge of self, learning about 3/4ths is to realize the current cultural reality we are in. Most of my generation was born during the beginning of Hip Hop (1970s) and were teenagers by the Golden Era of this genre (1990s). I also grew up in a big city (New York) in a one bedroom apartment for six people, where my family is still enduring some of the hardest adversity yet. This means I come from an urbanized environment, where the clothing styles that were most popular were those designer based fed to us via the media channels that were made specifically for youth: BET, MTV, and VH1. I am from an urbanized consumer-driven clothing reality. Athletes also played an important role in the designation of popular sneakers, most notably Michael Jordan. I never owned a pair, and was picked on for being a hick, someone right off the boat. Other choices of footwear were Adidas, Reeboks, and Timberlands. In the early 90s, many girls wore baggy jeans, with oversized shirts with a tank top underneath, big hoop earrings, red or dark brown lipsticks, with buns in our hairs. Gel was an important hair product to own. Clothing brands were Polo, Guess, Gap, Old Navy, and Levi’s, among others. By the early 2000s, loose hair became more popular and more feminine styles of dressing started to appeal to us high school girls. I would blow out my hair; wear tighter shirts and jeans with high black boots or Nikes. These styles are still relevant for today’s youth, especially for girls, as man’s style has feminized. Actual Hip Hop clothing lines were made for girls like Baby Phat, Tommy Hilfiger (Tommy Girl), and others of the time. Clothing was big in high school. If you didn’t rock the brands, you were cast out and ridiculed. As I grew older, clothing lost its importance, as long as I looked decent, I was good. One thing was for sure though; I had lost touch with my femininity. I hardly wore skirts or dresses as a result of my low self-esteem.
By the time I got knowledge of self, it’s when I really started to see the importance in my womanhood via dressing. After exploring the scientific reality of dressing and looking at my immediate history of this topic, I thought about my body type and the current fashion trends of the Earths. I had been told by some middle school friends and family that I had an “hourglass” figure. Supposedly, there are 4 major body types: Banana, Apple, Pear, and hourglass. Banana resembles a thin frame with curves that are not over accentuated, apple is a woman whose upper body is curvy while lacking hips, pear shows a thin top with a curvy lower body, and hourglass is an overall curviness throughout the body. I feel like each body type are intertwined, and some women can have aspects of two or more of the body types. It is important to note that the banana figure is not the white woman. The white woman’s original body type (the time when they were in the caucus mountains) is a different form of skinny, one that is weak. A banana frame on an original woman is much different as it is rooted in strength. This entails more heavy research on anatomy and physiology I have yet to delve into.
When putting together all the factors, the science, the social history, the body type, Earths’ current fashion trends, and individual tastes, then I knew I could truly come up with a style that reflected my own Earth individually with a collective ¾ths comradiere. Keeping in my mind that I should protect my upper and lower useful land, the curviness of my figure, I combined these with my research and tastes in Native American, African/Caribbean/Muslim, Asian (East and South) garments, with of course my urban gear. This means that depending on the occasion I will mix and match different clothing styles for some occasions I may be ¾ths with pants, long skirt/dress, or knee length skirt/dress. Shirts vary from turtle necks, tunics, short, long sleeves, and tube tops that cover the chest properly. In this way, you are able to maintain a unique ¾ths expression, while still adhering to a commonality of righteousness with the Earths within the nation. Thus, there is an individual Earth style, for only each earth can represent who they are and how they manifest righteousness through what they wear, taking into consideration all that has been discussed above.
"Showing off your ass 'cause you're thinking it's a trend
Girlfriend, let me break it down for you again
You know I only say it 'cause I'm truly genuine
Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem" -Lauryn Hill, "Doo Wop (That Thing)
1-Cultural context as described in this piece refers to the lineage of the original civilization an individual or group of people belong to that developed in a certain area of the world. It includes the moral and ethical codes that govern that group of people. Clear mention of adapted European ideas and ways will be clarified to provide a clearer analysis on the issue of self-expression, both as a collective and individual identity.
2-Referenced is being made to the Nation of God and Earth 4th set of lessons called the 1-40.
3-Although these calculations might be a little bit off, one must take into consideration that the Earth and other universal bodies, are in constant fluctuation. The Earth’s land mass was once all connected until a separation occurred and we now have the different continents. The same with the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. This means since the writing of the lessons, the land measurements varied slightly due to natural change. Our current percentages are 75% water and 25% land coverage.
4-“Ziryab.” Available at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:oo4DzNjdlrUJ:www.classicalarabicmusic.com/ziryab.htm+Ziryab,+clothing&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a. 16 September 2008.
6- 2nd degree in the 1-14 of the Nation of God and Earth.
7-"Panniers[British] (1973.65.2)." Available at: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1973.65.2 (October 2006).
8-"Victorian Dress Reform." Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_dress_reform. 18 August 2010.