Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A PONCHO BY ANY OTHER NAME…is still the same

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Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia
Depending on where you are, the poncho has a different name:
In Central Chile – chamanto
In Mexico - sarape or jorongo
In Switzerland, Bavaria & Austria - kotze
In Columbia – ruanas
In the Middle Ages - grugels
The Roman Catholic Church - cassocks are called kasels or pluviales.

I thought I’d look at the longevity of the poncho. It’s basically a single piece of fabric with a hole in the centre. But what an amazing history it has had with its many uses and incarnations.

The poncho was first thought to be used in the 16th century by Jesuit missionaries in Argentina. This utilitarian clothing item was given to the indigenous people to cover up their nude bodies for the sake of modesty and warmth. They were used regularly in the mid 1850’s for the military in the Great Plains. Soldiers used waterproof ponchos as rain gear and ground covering.

Jen's Pirate Booty Long Fringe Kaftan in White - photo
Photo courtesty of Google.ca
Since its humble beginnings, the poncho has become a staple fashion item for  many decades.  It transcends age and even gender.  Now how many fashion accessories can do that?  I remember them as hippy wear back in the 1960’s.  The 1980’s saw a resurgence of them.  I am seeing them again in mainstream stores for casual use but also knitted or quilted varieties for that night out at the opera.

'Ugly Betty' poncho
Photo courtesy of http://www.indianapolis.metronix.com/
Humourous poncho worn by Betty Suarez in "Ugly Betty"
With cooler weather heading our way, look at the many items available to you:

Black Plaid 100%CASHMERE RUANA PONCHO Shawl w/ hood

1 comment:

Charlotte Fairchild said...

Since I am a poncho fanatic, I am posting this on my blog! I have 12 blogs, so I could do a different blog each day for a very long time!

http://hugstory.blogspot.com/2010/09/donation-for-hug-story-empowerment.html Please read my new novel I will begin posting tonight!