A man named Saturnino in Akumal made the first hammock I acquired. I picked out the light and dark blues and stopped off to see its progress on the loom every day for weeks as I walked to my studio garage apartment from the dive shop. Below, Pablo shows it's still usable upstairs outside on the patio. I've been toting it around the globe for over 25 years. It has seen its better days, but it keeps hanging.
When I furnished this house I counted hammock hooks to buy hammocks accordingly. I found enough hooks to hang 25 hammocks, but I settled for ten.
I think the hammock is the most practical and versatile piece of furniture. We watch TV from our hammocks. I wrote this piece in the hammock. Pablo prefers to sleep in the hammock. We roll up our hammocks and can easily pitch camp between two coconut palms OR two monterrey pines!
My research on the history of the hammock produced weird results. First the NYT article puzzled me. Wikipedia said Philipinos invented hammocks, but there was no information to support that theory. Most reports state they originated 1000-3000 years ago in the Mayan world. They were found along their extensive trade routes in all of Mexico, Central and South America. One source reported Amazonian Aborigines (?) wove hammocks from the bark of the hamack, hamak, or amac tree. Thus, its name, the hammock or in Spanish hamaca.
I read that Columbus was credited with discovering the hammock, but all he did was take some back to Europe after seeing how comfortable the Bahamians, or per another source Dominican Republicans, were lying around in them in the tropical heat. The sea faring men found them practical and they became the preferred bunks on many European ships. The ships used canvas hammocks, narrow, uncomfortable, and spaced only inches apart from one another.
Yucatecan hammocks are intricately woven, usually out of cotton, nylon, or a polyester combo. They're all the same length. It is the width and the weave that make the difference in quality. The more threads in the weave the better. A 'familial' (literally big enough for a family) size hammock or a 'matrimonial' (double) is more comfortable than a 'doble' (single) or 'individual'(just barely there). The trick in sleeping in one is to lie diagonally. The hammock supports the spine nicely if you manage to get yourself situated in there correctly. It takes some kicking and pushing and pulling for me to get it right, but I can get there. Pablo is a pro.
The other most comfortable sleeping position is crosswise, like this:
Russell concentrates on a creative moment sitting in the hammock. If I am going to sit in mine, I usually grab a couple of pillows to support my back, get my feet up, and put my work on my lap.
There are hammocks for your personal items. These hammocks are not strangers to anyone in the boating community. Here they are easy to find and inexpensive. I like to use them in a variety of places.