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"In Indonesia (especially in Java and Bali island), we have a traditional under-garment which has the same function
and effect as a corset.  It is called "stagen," made of ribbon clothes and wrapped around the waist.

This picture displays a traditional Javanese statue called "Loro Blonyo," with the exaggeration of the
'stagen'" effect on the waist. I took this picture at a shop in Kuta Bali beach Indonesia."

Ed: Interesting. It appears men and women wore this garment. 
Click here for Antonius' full image, as this has been cropped for detail.



A very attractive image of a tightly-laced
 Indian (?) 'princess'.



Valery: "Perhaps you will be interested in the following material: Some Caucasian peoples (Adyg or Cherkes) previously had a custom of regulating waist circumference in girls. This is not quite a corset in the European or American sense of the word, there are some differences. It required to achieve some proportions, depending on other body sizes. As far as I know, this corset was removed only in the event that its repair was required. The use of such a corset stopped on the day of the wedding. In the past, I sometimes saw on the TV Caucasian dancers, but was of an even,  conical shape. Probably such regulation took place
 in the late 1970s, but already for some people. There are articles on this subject, for example: 
#1    #2   #3, but they are in Russian."


"More about Indonesia: On Java Island, we have a very old shadow puppet show called 'Wayang Kulit' ('Skin/Leather Shadow Puppet'), made of cow/goat skin/leather, complete with a set of musical instruments called 'Gamelan,' played by a group of people. This show has been in existence for more than a thousand years; I think this is among the other great arts that we have of the world.

"There are many different shapes for each role of the Wayang, categorized based on the role in the story. There are the Protagonists (the good guys) = kings/queens, princes/princess, knights, hero, gods, angels, etc.; and the Antagonists = all the bad guys, as well as the Entertainers = the clowns, servants, etc.

"The interesting part of it is that the shapes of the Wayang are surrealist, and  our beloved ancient artists expressed/created them based on their surrealist values of beauty; most of the good guys (which are presumed to have handsome/pretty faces/shapes) always have very-very tiny waists, this applicable for both the male & female Wayang. On the other hand, the bad guys (ugly faces, demons, giants, etc.) mostly  have bulging waists.

"Conclusion: more than a thousand years ago, our ancients had admired the tiny waist as a good/positive thing to have…"

More on this here


Fashion from Antiquity -- Minoan Corseted Figure

Minoan "snake priestess", c.1700BC. The Minoan civilisation is the first in history known to have practiced artificial restriction of the waist to improve the figure. The famous "bull-leaping" fresco at Knossos
 shows both  men  and women wearing only kilts with very small waists: There also survive a small number of statues of female figures with apparently corseted bodices, wasp waists, and long flounced skirts.
This mysterious  early appearance of corseted clothes and hourglass figures, three thousand years before they appeared again in Europe, has never been satisfactorily explained. 
(contributed by Stephen)


Adoption of corseting in Japan

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