A poncho is not just a huge piece of woolen fabric with a head cutout in the middle. This is a true symbol of Latin America - like the kimono for Japan - and including the fashion trend that conquered the catwalks. The appearance of this type of unstitched clothing is shrouded in secrets and legends, at one time the patterns said a lot about its owner.
The word "poncho" originates from the Indian pontro - "woolen fabric". It is still unknown who first came up with the idea of making a hole in a woolen blanket for the head and putting it on like clothes, and not the material in which they are wrapped. Perhaps it was some Maluche Indian who lived in Chile before the Spanish rule. He returned from hunting with full hands of prey, froze, he did not have a raincoat with him, and he decided to keep warm in this way, so that nothing would interfere and hinder movement.
Another version - some Catholic missionary could not stand the sight of those running around in what the mother gave birth to the aborigines and came up with a comfortable and loose dress for them. In general, there are no certain facts, but archaeologists found the first sample of a poncho back in the 13th century.The Spaniards who came to conquer the Andes in the 17th century, the "wide coat without sleeves", as they described it, apparentlydid not like to taste: few of the engravings are depicted inponcho over European clothing. They considered that this outfit is more suitable for the peasants - it does not restrict movement when riding a horse and field work.
Interestingly, the Indians themselves considered making ponchos a real art and approached it with certain traditions. For example, only women worked with coarse fabrics - and these products were intended for the poor. Men were trusted with finer materials, and capes were subsequently worn by wealthy people. Commoners were content with "avaska" - a cloth made of llama wool, rather prickly.
The alpaca coat was worn on a poncho for the rich. Vicuna wool - the weightless gold of the Andes - was used exclusively for the outfits of the chiefs.By the patterns it was possible to determine from which class a person was: for example, aristocrats preferred to wrap themselves in black fabrics, and people were more simply content with colored ones.
So the poncho would have remained exclusively a national treasure of the Indians, if not for hippies: in the 60s of the XX century, "children of flowers" appreciated this type of clothing. It is comfortable and warm in it, it can be covered and used as a bedding. Well, what a hippie heart will not flinch at the sight of a handmade product with original patterns! This is how ponchos spread throughout the world.
The contribution of Westerns to the spread of this practical clothing in the West should not be belittled: the courageous Clint Eastwood in the unchanging poncho and with a cigarette in his mouth with all his appearance said that this was a very successful acquisition.
Finally, at the end of the 20th century, ponchos were noticed by eminent fashion designers. American Michael Kore was the first to release models dressed in traditional Latin American clothes on the catwalk. It was an overwhelming success - products made of soft fur with tassels of fringe became a decoration of the evening. The rest of the fashion houses picked up this trend, so the poncho became popular among the practical and at the same time loving originality fashionistas and fashionistas. At the same time, a colorful painted piece of fabric, along with a huge sombrero hat, is associated exclusively with Mexicans and broadcasts everything that is authentic and special that is associated in our minds with this distant country - the heir of ancient civilizations.