What Do People Wear in the Rain Forest?

People living in rain forests wear many different types of clothing, including those that they make themselves out of natural fibers or those manufactured in the developed world, depending upon the tribe or village. Tribes with little contact with outsiders do not wear clothing at all. By contrast, westerners who visit the rain forest generally adorn themselves in the modern, moisture-wicking, synthetic fibers to cope with the heat and humidity.

Rain forest are usually hot and damp places, so primitive tribes often find that the best way to stay comfortable and clean is to refrain from wearing clothing. Those that elect to wear clothing place an emphasis on clothes that breathe well and allow the quick evaporation of sweat and water. Some people, such as the Yaguas of northern South America, divide the labor of the tribe so that the men hunt for food and the women weave their clothing out of natural fibers.

Tribes that have frequent contact with modern people often trade with the visitors to acquire modern clothing. Such people often prefer loose-fitting, lightweight garments to keep them comfortable in the jungle. Loose-fitting skirts, wrap-around sarongs and large T-shirts are common items for such villagers to wear.