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Hammock

Etymology and Historical Origins: – The word ‘hammock’ originates from the Taíno culture’s Arawakan word meaning stretch of cloth. – The Amerindian origin of the […]

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Etymology and Historical Origins:
– The word ‘hammock’ originates from the Taíno culture’s Arawakan word meaning stretch of cloth.
– The Amerindian origin of the word was often obscured in English-language sources.
– The word ‘hammock’ transformed into modern German, Swedish, Dutch, and Finnish.
– In Europe, ancient writers mentioned hanging beds for sleep or health improvement.
– The English canvas hammock may have spread through European navies.
– Spanish colonists noted Native Americans using hammocks in the West Indies.

Naval Use and Evolution:
– The Royal Navy adopted sling hammocks in sailing ships around 1590.
– The Royal Navy adopted hammocks in sailing ships in 1597.
– Hammocks were used on warships for sailors sleeping on gun decks.
– Traditional naval hammocks wrapped around the sleeper like a cocoon.
– Naval hammocks were used as emergency flotation devices and for comfort.
– The United States Army and Marine Corps adopted jungle hammocks during World War II and Pacific campaigns.

Cultural Significance and Variants:
– El Salvador is a large producer and exporter of hammocks, integral to Salvadoran culture.
– Venezuelan hammocks are designed for protection against insects, with breathable material and sandfly netting.
– Indian culture includes ceiling-mounted hammocks for babies made from woven Sari.
– Different materials and designs are used in various types of hammocks, such as cotton, nylon, canvas, or polyester.
– Brazilian hammocks are durable and made of cotton fabric, while travel or camping hammocks are typically made of sturdy nylon parachute fabric.

Practical Usage and Construction:
– Hanging method is crucial for comfort, with higher attachment points and sufficient length between them.
– Various suspension systems like ropes and webbing straps can be used for setting up hammocks.
– Different types of hammocks have unique construction differences, like Mayan hammocks having a looser weave compared to Nicaraguan hammocks.
– Travel or camping hammocks may include mosquito nets and ridgelines for easier setup.
– Hammocks can provide relief for users with back and joint pains and are popular among leave no trace and ultra-light campers.

Specialized Uses and Innovations:
– Hammocks were used by Apollo astronauts in lunar modules for rest during crewed missions.
– Indian culture includes ceiling-mounted hammocks for babies made from woven Sari for safety and cooling.
– Special webbing straps called treehuggers are used for attachment points.
– Hammocks can be used lengthwise or across width, but the diagonal position is recommended for more room and support.
– Hammocks have evolved into specialized types like jungle hammocks with waterproof bottoms and insect protection.

Hammock (Wikipedia)

A hammock, from Spanish hamaca, borrowed from Taíno and Arawak hamaka, is a sling made of fabric, rope, or netting, suspended between two or more points, used for swinging, sleeping, or resting. It normally consists of one or more cloth panels, or a woven network of twine or thin rope stretched with ropes between two firm anchor points such as trees or posts. Hammocks were developed by native inhabitants of the Americas for sleeping, as well as the English. Later, they were used aboard ships by sailors to enable comfort and maximize available space, by explorers or soldiers travelling in wooded regions and eventually by parents in the early 1920s for containing babies just learning to crawl. Today they are popular around the world for relaxation; they are also used as a lightweight bed on camping trips. The hammock is often seen as a symbol of summer, leisure, relaxation and simple, easy living.

Hammock with a lakeside view
Hammock beside the beach
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