Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in Textile Society of America 2014 Biennial Symposium Proceedings: New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future, Los Angeles, California, September 10–14, 2014,


Copyright 2014 by the author(s).


Textiles are primary technology to almost all societies. Puerto Rico and the Caribbean are no exceptions. There is an object that has been weaved in the region since pre-Columbian times and it is still passing through the fingers of local artisans. Hamaca, an invention of the American inhabitants,2 is an indigenous voice incorporated into many languages. It was in the Caribbean, where Europeans saw its utility, and it was quickly incorporated as the best way of sleeping in their transatlantic voyages. Its production has spread throughout the world and today it is made in many countries. In Puerto Rico hammocks have been weaved from cotton and maguey for at least five centuries. Although the commercialization of all handmade maguey hammocks has become difficult after the introduction of industrially made hammocks, there are still local artisans holding up the tradition. Esmeralda Morales Acevedo is one of them.