A wamus is a type of jacket worn in America. The term is applied to several different types of upper-body garment.
Early American history
One of the more consistent uses of wamus is to describe a fringed leather tunic that slips over the head. For early American pioneer families in the Southern United States, the buckskin (later, cloth) wamus was widely worn by young and pre-teen boys in the late 18th and very early 19th century. The wamus, if it opened down the front, was either laced shut or held closed with a belt, with dressier versions made from elk skin. If made from cloth, the wamus was dyed blue and trimmed with yellow fringe.
As worn by the Lakota people, the wamus was a ceremonial tunic which was coloured to represent the type of person the wearer was, as well as painted with mnemonic designs. Traditionally, if a warrior had scalped his enemy, he was allowed to trim his wamus with human hair cut from the heads of mourning women in addition to the cut fringe.
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- "Roundabout". The American Tailor and Cutter. Jno. J. Mitchell Company. 23: 125. 1902.
Roundabout — A name for a certain kind of jacket. (See Wamus.)
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