henequen

henequen

[hen-uh-kin]
noun
the fiber of an agave, Agave fourcroydes, of Yucatán, used for making ropes, coarse fabrics, etc.
Also, henequin.


Origin:
1875–80; < American Spanish henequén, earlier geniquén, jeniquén, heniquén, perhaps < an indigenous language of Hispaniola, where the word was allegedly first used

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World English Dictionary
henequen, henequin or heniquen (ˈhɛnɪkɪn)
 
n
1.  an agave plant, Agave fourcroydes, that is native to Yucatán
2.  the fibre of this plant, used in making rope, twine, and coarse fabrics
 
[C19: from American Spanish henequén, probably of Taino origin]
 
henequin, henequin or heniquen
 
n
 
[C19: from American Spanish henequén, probably of Taino origin]
 
heniquen, henequin or heniquen
 
n
 
[C19: from American Spanish henequén, probably of Taino origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

henequen

(Agave fourcroydes), plant of the family agave (Agavaceae) and its fibre, third in importance among the leaf fibre (q.v.) group. Varieties of A. fourcroydes include ixtli, longifolia, minima, and rigida. The henequen plant is native to Mexico, where it has been a source of textile fibre since pre-Columbian times. It was introduced to Cuba in the 19th century, becoming the country's chief fibre crop by the 1920s. The fibre is sometimes referred to as Yucatan, or Cuban, sisal.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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