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Hammocks and Hammock Chairs-your best source for Mayan Hammocks :: Hammocks from Bolivia

Hammocks from Bolivia



The story of Bolivian Hammocks at Seaside begins in Salvatierra, a village halfway between somewhere and nowhere in eastern Bolivia. Five years ago, Kristen arrived at this small indigenous community as a Peace Corps volunteer. She fell in love with the 50 families, 20 cows, several monkeys, and dozens and dozens of children, and they accepted her into their lives as one of their own. When Kathryn came for a visit, she too became enamored with the people and the local traditions, rich in music and art.

In that tiny village there is tremendous talent for weaving, a skill passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Women craft the famous Guarayos hammock, known as the best in Bolivia if not all of Latin America, with such care and intricacy that a single hammock will require a month of work.  Each cord is spun by hand from a single fine thread to create a yarn of four threads, then hand-woven on the loom.

But the women were having difficulty selling their hammocks locally because of the high price they had to command. When Kristen and Kathryn first saw their hammocks, they were completely enthralled by them, and were certain that people abroad would appreciate and value their unique design and fabulous workmanship, and most definitely enjoy the abandonment to indolence they inspire when you sink into them.

There aren't many businesses that require getting up a dawn, loading up a bicycle with 40 pounds of hand-woven hammocks, crossing two piranha-filled rivers in dugout canoes and riding 15 miles through the jungle to carry the products to the closest bus. But that's why they are doing it.

The traditional Guarayos braided hammock, hand-knotted of premium cotton thread, is available in lush natural colors. Its intricate pattern is functional too, allowing soft breezes to cool the weary in the tropical heat. This hammock demands one full month for the artisan to complete: spinning the thread, braiding the design, and crocheting the finish. Its sizable width comfortably fits two. Color-fast, 100% cotton. Available in several color combinations.

We are excited to tell you about Salvatierra not only because the name means "save the earth" in Spanish (particularly meaningful because the village is participating in a community forestry program; they are now custodians of more than 100,000 acres of tropical forest). By supporting the art of Bolivia you are also strengthening and preserving some of the most fascinating indigenous cultures of the Americas, and you are directly benefiting the producers by buying from artisan cooperatives. Additionally, Salvatierra Imports donates a percentage of profits to youth music education projects in Bolivia.

We think that you will be enchanted with the unusual beauty of what we offer. Each piece carries cultural and historical traditions found nowhere else and brings with it the story of its unusual journey to reach you.

We hope you enjoy the whimsical, magical, lyrical, idyllic art of tropical Bolivia. Regrettably no one has made it up the river and through the woods for awhile so shopping Bolivian Hammocks won't be available at this time.

The Village of Salvatierra salutes you!

Photographs courtesy of Kristen Evans


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