Unusual piece of clothes: a poncho


Unusual piece of clothes: a poncho

According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary the definition of poncho is

1a blanket with a slit in the middle so that it can be slipped over the head and worn as a sleeveless garment

2a waterproof garment resembling a poncho and having an integral hood.


Generally speaking a poncho  is an outer garment designed to keep the body warm. The so called „rain poncho“ is made from a watertight material designed to keep the body dry from the rain. Ponchos have been used by the Native American peoples of the Andes and Patagonia since pre-Hispanic time, from places now under the territory of Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina and are now considered typical South American garments.


In the late 18th century, Basque navigator José de Moraleda wrote that the ponchos of the Huilliche of Osorno were less colorful than those of Chiloé Archipelago. The Huilliche are the principal indigenous population of Chile from Toltén River to Chiloé Archipelago. Mapuche ponchos were once highly valued, in the 19th century a poncho could be traded for several horses or up to seventy kilos of yerba mate. 19th century Mapuche ponchos were clearly superior to non-indigenous Chilean textiles and of good quality when comparing to contemporary European wool textiles.

Nowadays all kind of poncho is a unique piece of clothes wearable at all seasons and events.











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