The majority of Brazilian hammocks
at Seaside Hammocks are produced in Ceará, which is located in the northeastern
part of Brazil, famous for its beautiful coastline, deserted beaches, and warm
climate. It is one of the largest Brazilian States by population and by area.
It is also one of the main tourist destinations in Brazil. The state capital is
the city of Fortaleza. Long before the Portuguese landed on their shores in the
15th century, Brazilians used hammocks not only for sleeping, but also for the
transportation of goods. Fruits, vegetables, and even the occasional
chicken can be bagged up in a hammock and carried where necessary. Today hammocks and cotton goods represent a
significant portion of the area’s exports.
Many people of northeastern Brazil
still prefer to sleep in hammocks, whereas throughout the rest of the country
they serve a primarily decorative function, that also offer enviable
relaxation. Because they are designed for sleeping, special care is taken to
produce the highest quality possible. Typically the hammock's main body is
woven on a loom, which may be a traditional hand loom, or the more modern
mechanical loom. Some may use pedal looms known as mucamba. However loomed, by hand or mechanically, the
final product is a cross woven textile product similar to canvas. The textile can be of varying degrees of
thickness, coarseness or finesse, but the softness inherent in cotton gives a
comfortable sleeping platform.
After the hammock bed is woven
the work is generally given to the women of the area to complete. Edges are sewn by hand. Beautiful crochet borders are created by hand
and added. And the support harness
completes the assignment. The women frequently work from home while caring for
the children and household. Many of the
women teach their hammock making techniques to their daughters and
granddaughters, thus ensuring the hammock-making tradition is kept alive. This
tradition is not always easy to keep alive because of competition with the
artifacts of modern life and living.
So long as a market for hammocks and
hammock exporting continues, there is strong financial incentive for the
younger generation to keep up the good work. To see the best of this good work visit Brazilian Hammocks at Seaside