The originators of this style of incredibly comfortable hammock were
the ancient Maya. This brilliant people, who devised a highly advanced
mathematics, strongly built pyramids, and a fascinating calendar that
accurately predicted the future, developed the hammock as a
comfortable and safe alternative to sleeping on the ground, subject to
attack from insects and predators. For over 1000 years, Maya Indians
have used hammocks as beds. They were conceived in hammocks, born in
them, slept in them, and died peacefully in them, that is, if they did
not have the misfortune of being mutilated, shredded and killed as
human sacrifice in the ancient Mayan religious festivals. The Hamaca
was designed to be safe as well as comfortable, fashioned in a "sprang
woven" style, which allows the hammock to be able to expand from the
size and and shape of a large ship's hawser to six to eight feet
across or even wider. This stretching weave provides a constant
support as you move about within the hammock. It is literally possible
to become more comfortable in a hammock than in any other device known
to man with the possible exception of a float tank.

The weaving style of the Ancient Maya followed their course of empire
throughout Central and Northern South America. The descendants of the
Maya weave hammocks today in small villages in the Yucatan. and
Central America. Their techniques of weaving originated in the dim
past of these ancient people, whose civilization began two Millennia
BC and evolved with them over the centuries. By the time of the
Spanish conquest hammock weaving had evolved to its current state of
development, using fibers from the Hamac tree. Today, cotton fibers
give the beds of the hammock a wonderful luxurious comfort, while
nylon cord provide powerful suspension. The Hamaca Maya of the Yucatan
is considered to be the finest of their type in the world. Each
hammock has up to two miles of quality cord and can take an
experienced weaver 40 to 90 hours to complete. Soft to the touch, they
are amazingly strong, capable of holding hundreds of pounds. Some have
even been pictured holding the weight of a napping Volkswagon! Even
though they stretch out as long as fourteen or fifteen feet they fold
up into a light compact bundle smaller than a pillow.

Eulogist, poet and hammock historian, James J. Bogan says: "It is not
often scholars can cite the first day a word entered a language but in
1500 on the 27th of April, a Monday, the Portuguese explorer Pero Vaz
de Caminha walked along a sandy beach in Brazil. On that day he noted
in his journal: "In their thatched houses the natives sleep in NETS
that are attached with cords to the wooden beams above. Below always
burns a small fire to keep them warm and to repel bugs and demons." He
saw an Indian dozing happily in what looked like a fishing net, and so
from that day the Portuguese expression for hammock is rede de dormir:
"a net for sleeping."
In English, the word "hammock" came by way of Spanish
con˙quistadors,who derived the word hommoca from the Caribs, who wove
fibers of the hammok tree. The ferocious Caribs learned the craft from
a people they had conquered, the inventive, but more peaceable, Arawak
tribe whose own word hammock--ini--trans-lates as: "bed-threads."
And what is more peaceable than a hammock? It accompanies us from our
first day to our last: it is our cradle, our nuptial bower, our
sickbed, our coffin."