>>Trousers (including shorts) make their first appearance in the RW with
>>horseriding basically because no man wants his balls flapping around
>>between himself and a horse's spine, so he wears tight trousers to
>>hold them out of the way. Everything else is status, fashion and social
>I'm glad to know those Eskimos are so fashion-conscious (since it's
>clearly not their horses).
The association of trousers with status goes back at least 2000 years and they have been adopted exclusively in the majority of the world for about 1500 years. I don't know when the Inuit separated culturally from the other asian immigrants to North America but it is possible that the social convention already existed then. Alternatively it may be a relatively recent change and previously they wore leggings under their knee length tunics (AKA dresses).
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