History of the Mexican Hammock

Hammocks, surprisingly to some, have a long and fascinating story that’s directly related to the culture and history of the Americas. Hammocks first came to European attention when Spanish invaders noticed that the woven beds were used by Native Americans, particularly in the Caribbean. The first hammocks seen by the Spanish were woven from soft strips of fabric-like bark from the hamack tree, although later this was replaced by sisal fibres, which are more abundant in the Americas. It seems that hammocks first became popular among the peoples in Central and South America due to the advantages conferred on those who used them, namely protection from animals on the ground, such as snakes; fewer insect bites; sleeping away from sources of contagion on the ground; and increased safety and security from other predators.

Here at The Original Hammock Store, all of our hammocks are 100% handmade by Mayan craftspeople in the traditional manner. The extraordinary softness of the hammocks makes them a fabulous place to rest for a nap in the afternoon, or to relax and sleep on a hot day. Because our hammocks are made by hand, and never by machine, each one is different and unique: no two hammocks are ever the same. Our hammocks are made with a diamond hand weave, which adjusts to your weight and the shape of your body. All of our hammocks are also handmade, one at a time, by Mayan people who enjoy excellent working conditions in producing their goods for us. By working to produce authentic Mayan products for sale, the ancient practice of hammock-making is kept alive, and buyers can be assured that the hammock or hammocks they purchase are true Mayan originals, made by legitimate Mayan craftsmen and women in the time-honored fashion in the Yucatán Peninsula.

While the quality of our hammocks is unquestionably high, customers can also rest assured that the Mayan weavers receive a decent wage in return for their labour. The hammocks are made and sold according to Fair Trade principles, meaning that our workers don’t receive rip-off wages, but are fairly compensated for their efforts. Buy purchasing our hammocks, you will be supporting, in a small way, the economic and social regeneration of the underprivileged Mayan community in the Yucatán Peninsula. 

The hammocks you can purchase from theoriginalhammockstore.com are designed and produced in the southern Mexican province of Yucatán. It’s thought by historians that hammocks in this area came as a result of trade with Caribbean islands, perhaps around 200 years before the first European colonialists arrived in the Americas. Mayan hammocks were adapted to the materials which were available locally, and were (and still are) woven on looms. While The Original Hammock Store only employs adults, traditionally children as well as men and women were involved in hammock weaving. Even today, hammocks are considered vitally important to Yucatán culture, and even the most humble homes have hammocks on the walls to rock infants, as well as to provide beds and seating for the rest of the family and visitors.

Our hammocks are available in a range of beautiful bright Mayan colors, including blue, green, and yellow stripes in the American Style Hammock; classic cream in the ornate Hacienda Americana Hammock; and many other colors and styles: think azure blues, sunny reds and yellows, purples, oranges, and turquoise, all arranged in attractive stripes or chevron patterns. With a fascinating history, and an attractive appearance, as well as an authentic provenance, hammocks from The Original Hammock Store make excellent housewarming or wedding gifts, and an attractive addition to any home.