5 things you didn't know about the Panama hat (Montecristi Hat)

5 things you didn't know about the Panama hat (Montecristi Hat)

Talking about the finest hat in the world is synonymous with culture, art and tradition. In Ecuador it's common to hear the history of this hat. Its mistakenly known as Panama Hat, when in reality its called Montecristi Hat.

20 or 30 years ago the struggle began to change this name and to patent it as Ecuadorian. It has been difficult to get it, but many foreigners already know the real origin of this finest hat in the world. This seeks to make known its appellation of origin.

The straw hat is made 100% by Ecuadorian hands. Thanks to this artisanal work, it has been recognized since 2012 as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This recognition by Unesco is aimed at expressing the knowledge, practices and traditional techniques of hat weaving.

Here is a list of things you may not know about the hat. If you already know them, share with your friends so they can learn:

  1. The first hats were made in Jipijapa: This ancient art is woven by grandmothers, and is passed down from generation to generation. Many of us believe that the place where we started to weave these hats is Pile or Montecristi, because we are wrong.

The place that began with this work was Jipijapa, here the first hats were woven. Later in these lands they dedicated themselves to coffee and Montecristi took command. It is for this reason that many tourists visit Montecristi. Here are the weavers in each store, and there is also the big hat for photos to be taken.

  1. The hats have deep ancestral roots: How do you think the natives of the coast, of the sun, covered themselves? So easy, they used a toque similar to wings to cover the sun; It was a light material. This was his first technique

When the Spaniards arrived with fine hats, they realized that they could also wear hats. When the Spaniards arrived with fine hats, they realized that they could also wear hats. And this is where the idea of making fine toquilla straw hats was born. More than one will say that our ancestors had better cultural ideas than the current generation.

  1. Making a piece can take from one day to 8 months: Although this hat has been woven in Manabí since always, there are times for finishing. It all depends if they are fine, ultra-fine and superfine hats.

The fineness of the hats is identified by the quality of the tissue made by the craftsmen. The finer the fabric, the higher the price. And in the same way, more time is spent in weaving. For an ordinary hat you need 10 buds, for a fine one there are 12 buds and for the draft they are 8 or 9.  The latter is the cheapest and bought by visitors.

  1. There is a school where you learn to knit: Not only do we speak of Jipijapa or Montecristi, but also of Pile, the cradle of toquilla straw hats. In this place there are many hectares of straw plantations, so it's a tradition to weave hats.

In this training center for artisans, they learn how to weave from the cup to the brim of the hat. The technique they teach is to put water on the fingertips to weave and tighten the hat. The teachers teach around 25 steps for the making of the hats.

  1. The toquilla straw hat is a symbol of equatoriality: When tourists visit Ecuador, especially Montecristi, they ask about Panama hats, because that's how they know it.

Although they know them well, they know they are woven in Montecristi. This hat is evidence of the existence of the Chola culture of Ecuador. This is another reason why tourists take photos and record videos of the weavers doing their job. This is a regional and cultural identity that distinguishes the manabitas from any other person.

Travel Ecuador and explore handmade crafts. Ecuadorian products will please more than one tourist. There are variety of memories and good quality and with low prices. Wallets, bags, necklaces, dolls and other things are made with toquilla straw.

All you need is Ecuador, a country that loves life. 


Posted on 03/12/2018 by Lady Moreira Fashion, Hats, Art & culture, Handicrafts 0 1818

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