Jamaican Bandana Material.
The ‘bandana’, a red plaid cotton material, is undeniable part of Jamaican heritage and regarded as unofficial national fabric.
Bandana cloth originated in Eastern India. It was a cheap and cool fabric that British slave owners secured from Madras in the 19th Century to cloth their slaves. This fabric was worn with pride by the enslaved and Black working class women in the Caribbean.
In Jamaica it continued to be worn with distinction, making the head tie and apron of female Jamaican farmers and vendors in the markets. The bandana was the choice of costume for Miss Lou (Louise Bennett-Coverley). Miss Lou was a famous Jamaican folklorist, poet, and actress well-known for her poems in Jamaican patois.
After the 1940′s this light, inexpensive and cool cloth became a symbol of Jamaican national culture.