The Americas

The enslaved Africans arrived with few examples of garments or their traditions remaining from their past, except for the African women's tradition of wearing a wrapped piece of cloth on her head. In the northern part of North America, the Inuit people (formerly known as Eskimo) fashioned furs to keep their bodies snugly warm from frigid winter temperatures. The many examples of indigenous people across the two continents often called Indians (also known as Native Americans or Native Peoples, depending on government policy and idiomatic expressions) had traditions that stemmed from various weaving and embroidery practices in Central and South America. Many weaving traditions continue from earlier times that first set apart the garments of indigenous people from the Spaniards and Portuguese who encroached upon their land and wore European-types of clothing. In such cases, it is tempting to call only the indigenous examples "ethnic dress," yet the Argentine gaucho ensemble that arose from the work traditions of Argentinean cowboys can equally be called ethnic.

See also Caftan; Clothing, Costume, and Dress; Dashiki; Jilbab; Kente; Qipao; Sari; Sarong.

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