Lifecycle Body Arts
In all human societies, the different stages of the biological life-cycle... are often marked by a change of dress and the adoption of appropriate ornaments.
In the West in recent years, puberty has been associated with rebellion against the taste and style of the previous generation and the adoption of radically different dress: as with hippies, punks, and goths, for example. In many cultures, however, puberty is marked by the adoption of socially approved ornaments that draw attention to the new status and sexual maturity of the wearer.
The dead body may also be subjected to ornament and decoration, but here we focus on the decoration and ornament adopted by those left behind: such as mourning jewellery and widows' weeds.
Further information is available in the Museum's Introductory Guide to Lifecycle ornaments, which is available here.