Beginning in Merida

The ancient history of the Maya people and the making of hammocks has been covered in our website, and elsewhere, so that this once arcane piece of history has been ardently publicized over the internet. In this blog I will be covering in text and pictures my latest trip to the hamaca holy land. These trips generally begin after a flight from one’s homeland to the airport in Cancun. From there, the amazing ADO buses (freezers on wheels) bring you across the Yucatan to Merida, the ancient and modern capitol city of the Maya. Over 60% of the population is of Mayan descent, a fact that is celebrated in a seemingly endless cycle of festivals and celebrations of the Mayan culture. The city hosts amazing art galleries, and the oldest cathedral on mainland North America. Opposite this cathedral is the the most important square of the many throughout the city. The cathedral itself was built on the foundations of ancient Maya temples.

This is the center square across from the Cathedral, site of many Maya festivals, one such festival being announced by the main door.

.cathedral squarefestival announcement

Inside the cathedral the architecture incorporates structural elements from the Maya temples in the stone foundations and the bases of the columns.  The beautiful marble work utilizes the best of Italian marble.

marble altar rail sanctuary view ttwith organ

 

Making of the Mayan Hammock

It is doubtful that the majority of users of Mayan hammocks have any idea of what an amazing process the making of a hammock is. These next posts and photos will be an effort to bring some of this to light. When I look at our shelves of hundreds of hammocks in all colors of the rainbow and beyond, they may appear as simple artifacts, as I suppose they are. But let me transport you to the village into the home of Noemi Colli Chilam from the village of Chican. She is 43 years old, married with two children and has been weaving hammocks for our company for ten years. The cottage is surrounded by vegetable garden and a few chickens and a small number of farm animals. Like many of our weavers she makes hammocks to bring in extra income for her family. Her bastidore is set up outside now in the coolness of fall. When she is not weaving she will be cooking for her family on the ubiquitous wood burning stoves of the region, which impart that faint smokey aroma to the cotton hammocks.

weaving the hammock

Los Pueblos

Entering the Village of Chumayel is to drop back in time and space to an ancient way of life and living. The houses are constructed in the old Mayan style of vertical pole and beam, palm thatched roofs and ventilated stick construction. In every home you can look into the door, or even through the walls and see the hammocks. Either inside or outside, depending on inclination and weather, you can often see the Bastidors, or weaving frames with hammocks in process. Viaje1through every doorTommy@ChuJuan stringing