In the municipality of Calkini, located in the north of the Mexican state of Campeche, is the town of Bécal, known as the “ cradle of the hats of Jippi-Jappa and Palme”.
The “Jippi-Japa” or Carludovica palmata is a species of plant that belongs to the family of Cyclanthaceae. It is not a palm proper because it measures between 1.5 and 2.5 m and does not have a large stem. However, it is very resistant because used to make basketry and hats. After three years of culture, it is collected and worked.
The palm of Chiit, known in the Yucatan Peninsula as “Huano” is a palm that measures between 3-7 m in length whose leaves are used to develop hats and basketry. the basketry was of great importance in the Mayan culture; It allowed them to perfect other methods such as crisscross or cross-linking. After the Spanish conquest was the basis for the manufacture of local fiber hats, including the “Huano”.
The elaboration of the hats in palm of “Huano” or “Debbie” and of the basketry in general, is done in cellars, because they allow to keep the freshness and humidity required to work. This activity is carried out for most of the 11 000 inhabitants of the city; In every house there is a cellar in the garden to develop these products that require an average of one and a half hours of braiding, depending on the size of the items.
The outside temperature is 35 °c on average, so it is better to work in good conditions for the raw material and craftsman! Here is a video presentation of our collaborator, the restaurant Ki’Janal which makes us know the city of Bécal and its handicrafts in palm.
In the solidarity shop you will find hand-braided hats in 100% ecological palm. It’s not too late to protect you from the sun while contributing to development!