Sunday, October 31, 2010


No surprise the neckerchief, or bandana, is very popular among graffiti artists and their annoying little cousins, the taggers.
Instant, but questionable, protection from toxic fumes as well as from the eyes of building, vehicle and viaduct owners.
In Israel the bandana itself becomes graffiti...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monks, Red Shirts and Bandanas

No, there is nothing 'cool' about this picture; a Buddhist monk protesting against the Burmese Myanmar) government. The largest protests in twenty years in Burma have seen a reported 10,000 bare foot monks march today (23 September 2007) as part of a crowd estimated at up to 20,000 people. Some of the monks had greeted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the pacifist Nobel Peace laureate and house-arrested leader of the Burmese democracy movement.

In contrast, here are Thai police officers in combat gear with the Red Shirts' red bandanna tied around their arms (March 2010). 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Neckerchiefs for Christmas

Some of the nicest neckerchiefs around are only available through South Pacific Cowboy.
Superbly made neckers and bandanas in patterns from the South Pacific, true repicla's of Spanish anarchist scarfs, panuelos from the Argentine pampas and a large variety of toggles and slides.

Do your Xmas shopping on-line and let them know you want it Christmas wrapped!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dogs and Instant Coolness

While the use of the neckerchief among us humans is on a steady decline, there is a trend among dog owners to dress up their poodle or mongrel with a colourful bandana. 
Some 30 years ago, while frequenting one of my favorite Amsterdam cafe's, I remember this big old hairy thing always lying under one of the tables,  a red bandana tied around his neck. I liked it.
These days it's a wholesale business; they're even ready-tied with a buckle for you and available from every self-respecting pet store. 
It's sad when looking cool is so readily available for the masses...

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Considered to be Europe's oldest inhabitants, their language, Euskara, is an anomoly - not related to any other known language. It is widely renowned to be the hardest language on Earth. Typical Basque costume includes the compuslory beret (txapela) for men, with a red neckerchief. 
They are widely known in the United States as shepherds. The largest concentrated Basque diaspora population in the US is in Boise, Idaho, followed by Reno, Nevada. 
Traditional activites include improvised singing competitions (bertsolariak), and "strong man" feats of strength.

Monday, October 18, 2010

International Day of the Cravat

The 18th of October is the International Day of The Cravat. In some languages the tie is still called cravat. E.g. in German Krawatte and in French cravate, so let us look at the history behind it.

Croatia is often considered as the mother country of the modern necktie. At the time of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) Croatian mercenaries in French service wore their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs as part of their uniform. The (probably) oldest portrait of someone wearing a cravat was painted in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. The poet, Ivan Dživo Gundulić, on a portrait dating from 1622 is wearing a scarf around his neck, tied like a cravat. The new article of clothing started a fashion craze in Europe. It was „à la croate“ they said in French - or so the story goes. The word cravat seems however to have been around in both French and Italian as far back as the fourteenth century (with a pronunciation resembling cravat or croate). All in all it seems more than plausible that the word "cravat" comes from the French cravate, and that this is a corruption of"Croat" — Croatian "Hrvat".
Thanks to Ole Nielsen

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Start looking at 'neckerchiefs and gangs' and it's easy to drown in the flood of information that comes your way.
Gangs, and motorclubs, are probably the best known (and consistent) users of neckerchiefs these days. Gang colors are the types or color of clothing, neckerchiefs or insignia that are worn by gang members to identify each other. Tattoos may also come under the category of gang colors.
Street gangs wear many colors, for example the Sureños wear blue and grey, and their rivals the Norteños wear red and black. Bloods wear red. Their rivals the Crips wear blue, the Bloods' allies the Latin Kings wear gold and black. Latin King rivals Folks Nation also wears blue and black, and are allied with the Crips. Other gangs such as La Primera wear white as their main color. Their rivals the Cholos wear all black. Etc, etc. 
Here in NZ the various (Maori) gangs like Mongrel Mob (Red) and Black Power (Blue) have their own colours and symbols, often linked to Maori traditional symbols.
Motorcycle clubs wear their colors in "cuts". Denim or leather jackets without sleeves emblazoned with patches. Generally the club logo is centered on the back with banners known as rockers reading the name on the top and location on the bottom. Often an "MC" for Motorcycle Club sits next to the club logo.
The front of the club cut can feature a myriad of different patches with different meanings based on the club. Common ones are 1%er patches for Outlaw clubs as well as patches denoting rank or deeds done.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Rromani Series - #1 Jan Yoors

Jan Yoors (April 12, 1922 - November 27, 1977) was a Flemish-American artist, photographer, painter, sculptor, writer, tapestry creator.
Yoors was born in Antwerp, Belgium. At the age of 12, he ran away with a group of Romanies, or Gypsies, travelling with them for several months. When he finally returned home, rather than scold him, his liberal-minded parents gave him permission to spend part of each year with the Romanies, which he did until age 18. Later in life, he wrote a book called The Gypsies about his experiences with them. 

The book, considered a seminal work, is a rare insider's account of Gypsy life. "The Gypsies" includes a number of gypsy words and Yoors suggests that variations of the original Sanskrit have occurred, over the years, between the various tribes. The one area where the differences are minimal is in the adages, a favourite reflection of the gypsy view of life and the world around them. The adages Yoors has quoted are word-for-word the same as those used by English gyspies and those of Zincali/Gitano gyspies from Spain.

Jan Yoors wrote another book entitled the crossing and took all of the photographs for the book "Only One New York"
Jan Yoors was also a popular artist during the nineteen sixties. His art ranged from paintings to the large tapestries that made him famous.

One of the best books of Rromani photographs I know is Yoors' The Heroic Present.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Neckerchief of the US Navy

This is the Regulation US Navy Neckerchief that is worn with U.S. Navy dress blues and dress whites uniform for personnel who work in the Navy: Recruits to Petty Officer First Class (E-1 to E-6).  

US Navy Neckerchief, Tie, for Dress UniformThe Enlisted mens dress uniform hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years and the Neckerchief is still used today.  

(These neckerchiefs are generally available on

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fantastic Neckers from Bollywood

Chor Machaye Shor is a 1974 Hindi movie. The film stars Shashi KapoorMumtazDanny DenzongpaMadan Puri and Asit Sen. The film became a "superhit" and earned the second top spot at the box office in 1974. Because of the success, the film's producer (N.N. Sippy), cast (Shashi Kapoor, Danny Denzongpa, Asrani, Madan Puri), and music composer (Ravindra Jain) teamed together again for Fakira (1976), which also became a box office hit. "Lay jayenge" is a very popular song from the film, which had a key tagline Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge turned into a later blockbuster film title.
The film was later remade in Telugu as Bhale Dongalu.

Vijay (Shashi Kapoor) is an engineer, who is in love with a rich girl named Rekha ( Mumtaz). Rekha's snobby father disapproves because Vijay is not wealthy, and so he has arranged for her to be married to a son of an evil politician. The evil politician is played by Madan Puri. Rekha's father and the politician frame Vijay for a crime that he didn't commit, and he goes to jail. When he's in jail, he becomes friends with three other prisoners. 
All four men escape from jail. After Vijay reconnects with Rekha, they all go to a small village called Shantinagar and help save the village from the evil politician and the bandits that terrorize the town. 

The evil politician is arrested. Rekha's father feels remorse and accepts Vijay. Vijay and his three prisoner friends go back to jail. However, the film ends in an optimistic tone indicating that their good deeds will be rewarded (i.e. that their prison sentences will be shortened and that they can be free again.)

Watch the full film online here!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Hill Side

This is one fantastic neckerchief, but it comes at a price...  S44.- for this piece of denim - if you have the cash, click here.
The Hill-Side takes a tough, working man's approach to neckwear. These ties and handkerchiefs are not fancy or fragile, they are not merely decorative, nor are they status symbols. They are meant to be worn hard, every day, and they gain character with each use. Designers Emil and Sandy Corsillo source the majority of the fabric from Kojima, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, where the best denim in the world is lovingly produced with artisan pride.

  • Fabric Origin Kojima, Okayama Prefecture, Japan 

  • 5oz, 100% Cotton, one wash 

  • Made in NYC 

  • 21" by 21"