Ecuador wants to reclaim iconic Panamanian Hat

Global Business

Ecuador is trying to reclaim something it says is rightfully theirs – the world-famous Panamanian hat.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.
Follow Dan Collyns on Twitter @yachay_dc

Ecuador wants to reclaim iconic Panamanian Hat

Ecuador wants to reclaim iconic Panamanian Hat

Ecuador is trying to reclaim something it says is rightfully theirs – the world-famous Panamanian hat. CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.
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In 1906, Ecuador’s president Eloy Alfaro ordered more than 200,000 hats to be sent to workers at the Panama Canal. The misconception started then.

“The Montecristi hat is our first designation of origin which means the geography and the human factor highlight the true value of this product,” Francisco Ramirez with Ecuador’s Intellectual Property Institute said.

The production of the hat starts with the palm shoots that line the forests around Montecristi.

Once they are gathered, the shoots are finely cut into strips. Then they are boiled, and hung to dry. Finally, the strips are smoked.

Hat producers usually get about $100 per hat. They said production is labor-intensive and uncomfortable, adding the value of the hat is in the fineness of its weave.

“My mother was recognized by UNESCO for her excellent work, chosen from a group from all over Latin America, because there are sun hats woven everywhere in this region but here in Montecristi is where they make the finest sun hats in the world,” Pachay said.