One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A South American cape or poncho, worn especially in Colombia and Peru.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Helen Maria Williams (1761–1827), writer. From French ruana and its etymon American Spanish ruana, probably short for manta ruana rough blanket sometimes worn as a cloak by the poor from manta + the feminine of an adjective ruano, of uncertain origin.
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