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Peru | Guest bloggers Marie-Louise and Una

Updated: Aug 14, 2018

The poncho

Where does the garment term poncho come from?

The European languages have also integrated a loan word for a Latin American garment, the poncho, in Quechua punchu. This garment term can be found in various Central and South American languages cf. Araucanian (Chile) pontho "woolen fabric." Other sources indicate that the garment term stems from the Mapuche language.

However, it is also possible that the garment term stems from, or is influenced by the Spanish adjective poncho, a variant of pocho meaning "discolored, faded."

Bonus information: in late 3rd mill BCE Ur III (Mesopotamia) texts the finest wool is termed “royal”. This is still the case today in the Republic of Peru: the best alpaca wool is the Royal Quality. In Danish trade and manufacture sources, “Peruvian wool” is a merchandise of very fine quality, in white or reddish hues, first described in 1807.


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