December 2, 2020

Hammocks

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Thousand of years ago, the people of Caribbean South America had a need for a versatile but comfortable device to sleep in. Using the supple bark of the Hamack tree, the Latin villagers wove a mesh like net. The net could be hung out of the way, not taking up very much space in the small thatched hut, and was extremely comfortable to sleep and relax in. The woven bed quickly became popular and was soon traded throughout Central and South America.

Today, this ancient Caribbean creation is known as the hammock. The hammock is still a standard furnishing in most homes in many areas of Latin America and even here in Cayman – especially the traditional Caymanian homes. Its popularity has spread far beyond these Latin and Caribbean countries. Hammocks can be seen in several styles and varieties and have numerous uses around the globe.

Most modern hammocks are machine made from a synthetic blend of cotton and nylon. Hand woven hammocks can still be found in many areas of Latin America, though they are now made of cotton rather than plant bark. The traditional Cayman hammock is made of a single cotton sheet that wraps itself around your body as opposed to the modern flat type that looks and feels more like a bed.

The most common use of a hammock is for resting, sleeping, or relaxation. Many Cayman and American homes have backyard hammocks for reading or just enjoying the outdoors. These swing-like seats can be hung between two trees or may be attached to a metal frame.

Hammocks were once used in the cramped sleeping quarters of US Navy ships. They have also been used inside space ships. Others are made for carrying in your knapsack on your back.

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