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Old 01-30-2005, 03:19 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 5,891
Did Ancient Minoan women REALLY walk around in bare-breasted outfits?

I have read some articles about Ancient Minoan dress from several encyclopedias mentioning how the blouses of women's dresses did not cover the breasts (A from this 'backwards' American ). However, they always use this Minoan snake goddess statue as evidence. This bothers me, because just because the Snake Goddess is wearing something that looks like Frederick's of Hollywood might sell doesn't mean everyday Minoan women might. Maybe if they were breastfeeding, it would be convenient, but beyond this little statue I haven't seen any other indications (paintings, illustrations on pottery, etc) of these breezy blouses Minoan women wore.
Old 01-30-2005, 03:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
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Check out the Ladies in Blue in Minoan frescoes.
Old 01-30-2005, 04:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 56,010
I trust you meant "women of Ancient Minoa", because ancient women generally should not be topless.

I mean, ew.
Old 01-30-2005, 08:24 AM
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There are several art pieces besides the famous priestess statue showing the barebreasted fashions of Minoan women in everyday life. Dressed up for a party, doing the housework, etc. Wearing the tight open bolero bodice that supports the breasts without covering them, plus the flounced layered skirt and the little apron over it.

The available evdience from art shows that Minoans valued beauty and gracious living more than war and military might. When the women are dressed up for a party, they wear piled-up hairstyles with tendrils of hair like spit curls hanging out. The archaeology shows a culture with less of a gap between rich and poor, where women had higher status than in militaristic cultures like the Mycenaeans who replaced them.

There were other ancient civilizations where women went around bare-breasted, including Egypt, India, and Cambodia. The difference that makes us take note of Minoan fashions is that instead of wearing loose drapery as in the other places, the Minoans wore more elaborate fitted styles and they had that soigné look. There were also young women in the bull-jumping sport who, like the young men athletes, competed wearing only a loincloth. It was a coed sport.
Old 01-30-2005, 12:07 PM
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Location: NY but not NYC
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Also note that all the named civilizations were in warm-weather locations. Weather is as much an indicator and driver of clothing preferences as culture. Nobody thinks twice about tribal women in areas from Africa to Polynesia going topless. It's only the addition of "civilization" that somehow has come to mean that breasts must be covered. But that's a modern practice that has little meaning for the past.

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