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Hammock Makers
Hammocks are not mass-market items made in factories. You will not have 15 people working independently, each tying the same knot repeatedly on dozens of hammocks each day on an assembly line. Hammock makers are artisans, proud of their craft and dedicated to making each hammock uniquely beautiful and durable.

Hammock makers in South America are respected workers who spend years learning and perfecting their technique. Many hammock makers learn their craft from parents, and pass it onto their own children. Others are apprenticed at a young age so they can learn hammock making from a known master. Creativity is prized, with many hammock makers designing their own signature color schemes and making each hammock a work of art.

If you visit the home of a hammock maker, you will see family members and apprentices are watching at all times, learning first through observation, then through imitation. They will follow designs until they can make a flawless hammock with strong, regular knotting and colorful, even patterns. Later, they may visit other regions to study various weaving techniques that can be incorporated into their work as a way of improving quality and resiliency of the hammocks.

The earliest hammock makers developed hammocks as a place of sleep or relaxation from a variety of materials, including tree bark and sisal (a native plant). Later, they developed a variety of techniques to strengthen them and enhance their appearance through intricate knot-work and a wide range of vegetable dyes. They developed combinations of colors based on the world surrounding them - tropical birds, gorgeous sunsets, and the deep blue and green colors of the ocean. These methods were passed down through generations of hammock makers. When the conquistadors discovered the usefulness of hammocks and traded for them, the status of traditional hammock makers was elevated and the making of hammocks became a family tradition in many areas.

Today, a finely made hammock can take five days to weave and finish. The hammock maker is justifiably proud of the detailed, time-consuming work that ensures each hammock is perfectly finished and true to tradition. For hammock makers, the art of creating a unique hammock is a part of their way of life. It is a craft to be proud of, a tradition to be passed down, and an example of skilled handiwork. With more than 1,000 years of tradition behind them, the hammock makers have developed a marvel of beauty and textile engineering that they now share with the world.
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