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Regional Dress of Latin America in a European Context

Patricia Rieff Anawalt

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

A collision of cultures occurred at the time of Spain’s sixteenth-century conquest of the two great empires of the Americas, the Mesoamerican Aztecs of central Mexico and the Andean Inka of today’s Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Latin America’s present-day traditional dress—the distinctive, non-Western-style clothing still worn by many Central American and Andean Indians—is an amalgam of New World indigenous apparel and Spanish Colonial–period peasant attire: Two contrasting concepts of clothing con

Ponchos of the River Plate: Nostalgia for Eden

Ruth Corcuera

Source: The Latin American Fashion Reader 2005

Book chapter

Rooted in elements that define the Argentine patrimony, the poncho is present in our art, our literature, our songs. It speaks to us of Creole customs and its recollection fragments into infinite images. The poncho is, as is well known, a rectangular garment generally measuring 1.8 m by 1.4 m; it has an opening in the center enabling the wearer to pull it over his head and leave it resting on his shoulders, from which it falls in harmonious and baggy folds, amply covering the body and arms. Depen

Gaucho Dress

Moira F. Harris

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

The Spanish introduced the horse and horned cattle to the New World, and the first horsemen of North and South America were the indigenous residents of the Pampas and plains. Later, the emigrants who dealt with these animals, from the southern gaucho to the northern cowboy, came to symbolize the region by their lifestyle and their dress. The earliest gauchos dealt in contraband hides and tallow, and were considered as vagabonds. Then, in the nineteenth century, they became soldiers in the wars fo

Textile Arts of the Mapuche of Chile

Grace Johnson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

The Mapuche, whose name means “people of the land,” still live close to the land and follow their traditions, which explains the survival of their culture and textiles. In pre-Hispanic times, they were nomadic fishermen and hunter-gatherers, clad in furs. After becoming farmers, they became skilled in weaving, basketry, and pottery. In the mid-fifteenth century, the powerful Inkas invaded Chile. Although unable to conquer the Mapuche, Inka influence on Mapuche culture was considerable. Among othe

Contemporary Ecuador

Lynn A. Meisch

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Ecuador is a small, geographically and ethnically diverse country of 153,822 square miles (398,397 square kilometers), about the size of Oregon. It has three major geographic regions: the hot and humid Pacific Coast; the rainy, sweltering Oriente or Amazon rain forest; and the cool Andean highlands or sierra. The climates of these regions have influenced dress since earliest times.Most of the population is concentrated in Ecuador’s two largest cities, Guayaquil on the coast and the capital Quito

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