Describes a large, coloured necktie or headscarf; the word made its way into the English language during the mid-18th century. It is not of Hispano-American origin, even though the wearing of bandanas or bandannas (as it is sometimes spelt) was favoured by cowboys in the American West. The word is originally of Hindi origin bandhnu, which means to tie, which gave rise to a method of dyeing fabric by means of tying knots in it. This was done to prevent the dye from reaching some parts of the fabric in order to create a random colour effect. The Portuguese were of course in India long before the British, thus the etymology is a fusion of Hindi and Portuguese.