You may think the hammocks we have today were invented at the turn of the century – but you'd be wrong with the hammock dating back nearly 1,000 years when the Mayans were in Central America.
The Taino people of the Bahamas were also using hammocks; which is probably the reason why Christopher Columbus and his men recount experiencing hammocks during their voyages. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if he took a few home with him to Spain!
It is also believed that hammocks were first used in Brazil to keep native tribes from sleeping on the forest floors which were home to poisoness reptiles and insects. We don't blame you!
Whether from the Mayans, Taino people or native South Americans, the hammock has woven its way into other parts of the world. The materials used today are very different from what was used many years ago with society today favouring cotton and sythetic fabrics.
Historically, traditional materials were used for hammocks like bark, sisal and palm fronds. They were woven from a loom or done by hand, similarly to how we make our hammocks here at Simply Hammocks. Eventually new materials were used which solved problems associated with comfort, rain and humidity.
In Venezuela, they began using breathable materials to prevent fungal infections due to rain and humidity. Eventually, they added nettings to provide protection from insects and a waterproof top sheet for the rain. An early Mosquito Traveller Hammock perhaps?
Indian soon followed, manufacturing hammocks from Sari material. Due to the hot climate in this region, the light material of the Sari allowed for proper ventilation and cooling.
Purpose through the years
From its utilisation in the household and to get campers off the forest floors, hammocks were also adopted by the military - providing a comfortable and yet space saving structure for the Navy as they sailed the rough seas, and for those deployed by land now had a ready made bed on the go.
Our hammocks today
There is not much difference between the hammocks that we have today compared to what they had then. The materials have improved and are stronger and able to cope with different conditions, but the hammock’s functionality and practicality still remains the same as it was when the Mayans used them over 1,000 years ago.
Well we say the same, if we have it our way things are going to change thanks to our new patent pending hammock coming soon!