Known as the Cradle of the Gods, hammocks have been in use for over 1,000 years. The first hammock is believed to have been made by the Caribbean Taino people. These suspended beds proved useful at offering protection against poisonous or dangerous pests, as well as keeping the person elevated off the dirty ground. The Taino people would also place hot coals or kindle small fires under their hammocks to stay warm as they slumbered.
Hammocks were initially made from the woven bark of the Hamack Tree. As such, they were first called hamacas, by the Taino people. Eventually, the word hamaca was overheard by a famed explorer, and it morphed into the current word hammock. After viewing these woven sleeping apparatuses, European explorers brought several examples back to Spain. This sparked a craze. And hammocks grew in popularity all over Europe. By the turn of the century, hammocks became an item of leisure for wealthy families in the United States.
The sentiment of leisure remains true today. Nothing quite says summer like a quiet reverie in a hammock strung from two tall oak trees.
We do hope you get to celebrate National Hammock Day. If not, please feel free to immerse yourself in the captured beauty of the fortunate ones below.
History.com Staff. “Hammocks’ Rocking History.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 20 June 2011, http://www.history.com/news/hammocks-rocking-history.