A tanga is an undergarment and swimwear for both sexes which has no material around the sides other than the waist band. A string tanga is a type of tanga swimwear which has the waist band replaced with strings which are tied. The term originated from the Kimbundu term "ntanga", meaning loincloth. Often, the name tanga is used to refer to thongs or g-strings as well.
Sports Illustrated - Christie Brinkley 1975 - Tanga by Giorgio di Sant'Angelo
The thong is first spotted on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro in the early 1970's, which soon spread as a beach fashion among the young and nubile. The tanga never became mainstream in Europe or America, despite the fact that the 70's was about revealing flesh more than anything else on the beach.
Glamoursurf was recently contacted by the Australian National Maritime Museum for their upcoming exhibition called Exposed! the story of swimwear. They are trying to source a Rudi Gernreich Tanga suit. If you have one or know of any available we'd love to hear from you.