Hammocks originated in Central America over 1000 years ago and are still very popular. Bocas is no exception. You can find all types and colors of hammocks in the stores and street vendor’s stands in Bocas.
It is believed that the first hammocks were made by the Mayan Indians. The Mayans designed a web like rope hammock that is still popular. The earliest were woven from the bark of the Hamak tree. Later fiber from the Sisal plant was used to make the rope for hammocks because it made a softer robe. It was not until relatively recently that cotton hammocks became comfortable.
Columbus took the first hammocks back to Europe after he visited the Bahamas. Soon the British sailors were using the canvas hammocks to sleep in on their ships.
It was not until the 1880’s that hammocks became popular in North America. Today it is estimated that over 100 million people use hammocks as beds or furniture all over the world.
In Bocas you will find primarily the colorful cotton hammocks so typical of Central America hammocks today. Many tourists choose a hammock as their Bocas souvenir or gift to take back to family or friends. You can find wonderful traditional woven patters or the newer designs with “Bocas” or “Panama” woven into the hammock.
The hammocks are not just a colorful reminder of Bocas they are symbolic of the relaxed and leisurely Bocas life style. A siesta in a hammock is what Bocas is all about.
When buying your hammock in Bocas shop around. You can find hammocks for anywhere between $15 and $45. The price to some extent reflects the quality of the fabric and the hangers but to a large extent what the vendors believe you will pay. If you are willing to negotiate, especially if you are buying more than one hammock you can often get a lower price.