A bandanna or bandana is a type of large, usually colorful, kerchief, usually worn on the head. Bandannas are frequently printed in a paisley pattern. Bandanas are most often used to hold hair back, either as a fashionable head accessory, or for practical purposes:
- Cowboys would typically wear bandanas around their face to keep dust out and keep the scent of their horse's manure away as they traveled slowly.
- Outdoor workers, such as farmers and cowboys, wear them around the neck to wipe the sweat off their faces and keep dust out of their collars.
- Wildland firefighters wear them over the mouth and nose to lessen inhalation of dust and fumes.
- Dancers and other athletes wear them during practice as a simple way of keeping hair and sweat out of their faces, or as part of their costume/uniform.
- Soldiers wear them to keep their own sweat and blood out of their eyes.
- Kitchen staff may wear them to keep hair from falling into the food that they prepare.
Colors, and sometimes designs, can be worn as a means of communication or identification.
In gang subcultures, the bandana could be worn in a pocket or, in some cases, around the leg.