Hanging Hammock Tip

Hanging Hammock Tip

Rope hammocks will stretch during the first few uses. Keep this in mind when hanging your new hammock. See How to Hang a Hammock.

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History of Hammocks
Hammocks--Hundreds of Years 

 

 

AH! Those wonderful, comfortable hammocks! Whether cotton rope or colorful fabrics, whether hammock beds or hammock swing chairs, they represent RELAXATION to many of us. On vacation or in our own yards, hammocks provide a retreat from the busy world. But, their origin may have been much more utilitarian. 

The origin of hammocks dates back at least to pre-Columbian times in a location somewhere between southern Brazil and central Mexico. After Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492, he reported seeing cotton “hamacs” on the islands of Exuma, near San Salvador in the Bahamas. During his voyages including Spain and Portugal, explorer Francois Froger wrote in 1698, “ There is nothing but Famine that can draw them out of their Amacks.”  Hammock use spread to Africa, reportedly as a means of transportation, as native peoples carried leaders around in the hammocks. 

Early hammock use can also be traced to the navies of Europe in 1597 with the first authorized British Navy payment for hammock canvas. An account by William Falconer published in 1771 described the use of hammocks as beds on warships. The hammocks were hung closely between decks, with each hammock limited to a width of 14 inches. The hammocks were hung parallel in rows to provide beds for sailors as well as barriers to ship invaders. The hammocks could be quickly removed when cannons or large weapons were needed on deck. 

In the late 1800s, more comfortable hammocks were imported to the United States and Europe from Brazil and Mexico. Hammocks became popular before the First World War, perhaps as a way to relax on the front porch and enjoy leisure time. This and more information can be found in a fascinating book “HAMMOCK--How To Make Your Own And Lie In It” by Denison Andrews, printed March 1978 by Workman Publishing Company in New York.

Enjoy a present day poem about being carefree and relaxing

Enjoy a present day poem about being carefree and relaxing

Kaleidoscope *

With head back and arms outstretched
i twirl beneath the gnarled oak,
whirling round in circles
like a tipsy ballroom dancer,
swirling greens of branches
with bits of sky
like a human kaleidoscope.

Erratically i spin. The leaves
churn and crunch underfoot,
until, down and out, dazed,
i sprawl, knees pointing skyward
across tan, dry, wet, and black leaves.

Right thumb and forefinger
gripping the musty Earth,
i observe the universe blur
onward towards infinity.


William W. Jackson

* © 1987