One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A fibre resembling sisal, which is chiefly used for binder twine and paper pulp.
- ‘Countless Yeomem Indians were hanged throughout Sonora, and countless more were rounded up and shipped to Oaxaca and the henequen plantations in Yucatan.’
- ‘Baskets, mats, and hammocks are woven from plant fibers such as henequen.’
- ‘Most in this area produced henequen, an agave fibre that we know under the name ‘sisal’ and which the Mexicans nicknamed ‘green gold’.’
- ‘He subordinated most of a wide set of social, labor and political reforms to his overriding interest in realizing a sweeping agrarian reform in the henequen zone.’
- ‘He is the author of ‘The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica,’ and is completing a manuscript on the history and ecology of the Yucatan henequen industry.’
2A Central American agave from which henequen is obtained.
Agave fourcroydes, family Agavaceae
- ‘Potential sources being tested include soy, hemp, ramie, kenaf stems, pineapple and henequen leaves, and banana stems.’
- ‘They labored on vast tobacco, sugarcane, and henequen plantations, in virtual slavery enforced by their continuing debt to the landowners.’
Early 17th century: from Spanish jeniquen, from a local word.
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