English, 17th century Dutch, 18th century FrenchShow more In general English from the late 16th century, but perhaps now obsolete; perhaps from Salampur, a city in the Nellore district of India. (Cf. 17th century Dutch salamporij, 18th century French salempouri.)
1.A blue (often striped) cotton cloth, originally made at Nellore in India, and commonly worn in the past by African people. Also attributive.
The cloth was originally exported to the West Indies for use by slaves.
1863W.C. BaldwinAfr. Hunting 21Paid them on arrival with brass wire and blue salempore, or calico.
1883B. MitfordThrough Zulu Country 189On shelves against the walls are arranged blankets, Salampore, cloth [etc.].
1921H.J. Mandelbrotetr. ofO.F. Mentzel’s Descr. of Cape of G.H.I. 143He sells wholesale, by the piece, East Indian cotton goods such as chintz, calico, ‘salemporis’,..as well as quilts and counterpanes lined with cotton wool and cotton yarns.
1949O. WalkerProud Zulu (1951) 71When Catherine heard of the new birth she got out a roll of salempore (native blanket cloth), thinking to send it down.
1961T.V. BulpinWhite Whirlwind 53They took up blankets, Salampore cloth, brass wire, and other items which they traded for the fancy skins the Zulus use in their military costumes.
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