Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Society of America 9th Biennial Symposium, (2004).


Presented at “Appropriation • Acculturation • Transformation,” Textile Society of America 9th Biennial Symposium, Oakland, California, October 7-9, 2004. Copyright 2004 Textile Society of America.


Erekosima and Eicher (1981) first published a cultural authentication (CA) analysis. Of the Kalabaris’ adoption of Indian madras cloth, they asked four questions. Selection: how was the new cloth selected by society members? Characterization: what is the adopted cloth now called? Incorporation: how has the cloth’s use changed vis-à-vis categories of persons who wear it, occasions of wear, and its meaning? Transformation: how has the cloth been physically transformed?

Lutz (2003) incorporated the four CA questions into her study of the producers and traders of Indian cloth exported to the now transnational Kalabari market. She found Indian workers culturally de-authenticate the textiles as they produce and export it.