“Steampunk refers to a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.” (Wikipedia)
Initially, steampunk was Victorian-inspired in both setting and clothing. Then it got popular and people started doing their own thing with it. Like steamfunk or other multicultural steampunk.
The American Old West has been steampunked, zombies have been steampunked, and while steampunk is mostly situated in the industrial era, there’s diesel punk (roughly WWI through WWII), there are elements of steampunk in Leonardo Da Vinci’s work — and don’t forget the Antikythera Mechanism, a computer over 2000 years old. (For more gadgetry inspiration, visit The Museum of Retro Technology. The site design is kinda 90’s, but it has lots of great old tech.)
Some good resources for non-Victorian steampunk: Beyond Victoriana: A Multicultural Perspective on Steampunk; The Problem With “Asian Steampunk”; Multicultural Steampunk Inspiration, and If There Be Steam. The last two are Pinterest boards, so you’ll need an account to view them.
A few photos included below, to jump-start those creative engines:
Also, take a look at traditional ethnic clothing from around the world — anything can be steampunked!
Next up, a few kit-bashing multicultural resources…