Poncho is a sleeveless coat or shoulder garment in the form of a square blanket with a slit to stick your head through. Ponchos are usually made of warm, waterproof wool textiles, but can also be, for example, thin raincoats made of plastic materials. The garment originates from Peru and is especially known from traditional costumes in South America.
Chamanto is a type of double-sided ornamental poncho from Chile, made of wool with woven-in silk threads. The dark side is worn out during the day, the light side at night.
The word poncho comes from Quechua, which in turn is borrowed from the language mapudungun, where it is called pontro.
The poncho was one of the typical clothes of many South American cultures. Although investigations have concluded that Ponchos’ origins could be Ecuador or Peru, It is not known where the first Ponchos were fabricated. Nowadays the poncho is commonly associated with the Americas. As traditional clothing, the local names and variants are:
- Ruana, in cold regions of Colombia and Venezuela.
- Poncho, most Spanish-speaking countries and worldwide.
- Pala or Poncho, in Brazil (mainly in the South).
- Chamanto, only in Central Chile, poncho in the north and south.
- Jorongo, usually larger or full-length, and often used for special occasions or horse-back riding.
- Gabán, typical in Michoacán, Mexico.
- Poncho chilote, a heavy woolen poncho of Chiloé Archipelago.