10 February 2009

History of the Mayan Hammock

The Mayan hammock is the original hammock, dating back over 3000 years. Hammocks were very practical for the weather conditions of the Yucatan Peninsula. The health and safety factors weighed heavily on the fact that it elevated the sleeper off the ground protecting the sleeper from snakes and other forest floor crawlers. It also elevated the sleeper above water, dirt and other unsanitary conditions.

The conquering Spaniards soon adopted them as the standard sleeping practice during the early Spanish Colonial Period. Even the Viceroy had a hammock on his hacienda. The first Yucatan hammocks were woven from Henequen fiber, which comes from a cactus that grows in Yucatan.

An elevated sleeping area also exposed the sleeper to cooling breezes that are crucial for staying comfortable in the humid rain forests of Central America and the Yucatan.

The main focus of a Mayan hammock is the intertwined, sprang-woven pattern that is the trademark of a Yucatan hammock. Each hammock is handmade and therefore each hammock bears the distinct finger print of the artisan. It is the vivacious color signature of Mayan hammocks that make them both unique and appealing.

And speaking of hammocks, Leslie and Marieke highly recommend the two you see here. Of course the view of the Caribbean makes a difference too!

1 comment:

Cancun Mexico said...

Very interesting. The hamac, "hamaca" belong to the culture the most indigenous from latinoamerican. Isn't it? In our next vacation mexico travel I will try to buy one. Hope won't be so expensive.


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