Ribbon Tie Panama* Hat
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The Making of Our Panama* Hats
*This is a hat handwoven in Ecuador, with love.
An Ecuadorian Treasure
What it took for one hat to get to your house is the story of craftsmanship passed down over generations, hundreds of thousands of hours of skilled labor, and an ongoing battle to give recognition to the artisans who created the original design. In the 1600s, indigenous Ecuadorian people created the art of weaving toquilla straw and, since then majority female weavers have supported their traditional lifestyles by selling their craft. This hat is, by definition, a representation of Ecuadorian history and heritage. Each hat is a work of art, taking at least eight hours to make. From palm frond to finish, the process of creating a Panama* Hat is a true labor of love.
The Misnaming of an Icon
Over the years the rise of mass production techniques in the retail industry has diminished the demand for locally-crafted goods, resulting in a disconnection between a product and its true heritage craft and origin story. The Panama* Hat is a perfect example. This product was given its name after the design was massively exported from Ecuador to Panama during the 19th century. Theodore Roosevelt was then famously photographed wearing this hat during the Panama Canal inauguration, which gave the hat its global recognition. At that point, the true Ecuadorian origin of this treasure became widely unknown. Our mission is to give Ecuador and its skilled weavers the respect and recognition they deserve for creating an iconic design.
Sign Our Petition
Join us in our movement to reclaim the origin story and honor the female weavers behind the Panama* Hat, giving Ecuador and their indigenous artisans the recognition they deserve. Sign the petition to require all US retailers to change the name of the iconic Panama* Hat.
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