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Men and women wearing pagnes


Borrowed from French pagne. Doublet of pan, pane, and pannus.


pagne (plural pagnes)

  1. A length of wax-print fabric made in West Africa, worn as a single wrap or made into other clothing, and serving as a form of currency.
    • 1997, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, A Modern Economic History of Africa: The nineteenth century, →ISBN, page 286:
      In Senegal the local cloth currency, pagne, made of tama, or strips, was increasingly supplemented by French imported indigo-dyed cloth from India called guinee . The guinee was used as currency in lower Senegal. In upper Senegal it became a larger unit equivalent to a number of pagnes. The exchange rate between guinee, pagnes, and francs became more complicated from the 1830s as a result of excessive imports of guinees and francs.
    • 1998, Judy Rosenthal, Possession, Ecstasy, and Law in Ewe Voodoo, →ISBN, page 204:
      If a woman wears her sister's pagne [cloth] to go and have sexual intercourse with a man, she has committed afodegbe. This happened to the wife of a sofo recently. She took her sister's pagne, went and stayed with her husband, and then took the pagne back to her sister. As her sister's husband [the husband of the woman who took the pagne] is a sofo, the vodu caught her sister [the woman whose pagne was taken] right away. She was ill.
    • 2011, Kris Holloway, Monique and the Mango Rains, →ISBN:
      When young girls are first learning how to wear a pagne, sometimes we sew straps onto the corners so the pagne can be tied and doesn't fall down if they don't wrap it right.
    • 2016, Nina Sylvanus, Patterns in Circulation: Cloth, Gender, and Materiality in West Africa, →ISBN, page 2:
      Pagne is part of the transfer of wealth from a prospective groom to his intended wife prior to marriage or the inheritance a woman leaves for her daughters.




Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from Spanish paño, from Latin pannus. Doublet of pan.


pagne m (plural pagnes)

  1. loincloth
    • 2001, Hervé Beaumont, Égypte. Le guide des civilisations égyptiennes, des pharaons à l'islam;, Editions Marcus, 213.
      Statue en calcaire de Ranofrê portant la perruque et un pagne court, provenant du mastaba de Ti à Saqqara.
      Limestone statue of Ranofre wearing the wig and a short loincloth, originating from the mastaba of Ti at Saqqara.
  2. grass skirt

Etymology 2[edit]

From French panier.


pagne m (plural pagnes)

  1. bed

Further reading[edit]