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The Tote Bag: Now And Then

What is a Tote Bag? In its simplest form, a tote bag is the most rudimentary of all bag designs: a single panel of material is stitched on two sides to create a bag and looped handles are secured on either side of the aperture. This basic structure can then be enlarged and strengthened by the addition of base and side panels and interior and exterior pockets. History and origin According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘tote’ is a word of American origin. Its precise origins are obscure, but it seems likely that it is from West Africa, perhaps a variant of ‘tota’ – to pick up – in Kikongo or ‘tuta’ – to carry in Swahili, and that it...

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