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Panama hat vs. Pintao

The Panama Hat is a hand-woven straw hat whose production began in the 17th century, not in Panama as is incorrectly assumed, but in Ecuador.

It is woven from fine toquilla straw. This weaving art was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in 2012.

The French first gave the Panama hat the wrong designation of origin in 1855 as a "Sombrero de paja toquilla" for Napoleon III. was embarked in Panama. The hat ultimately got its name from Theodore Roosevelt because he wore an Ecuadorian Toquilla straw hat while touring the Panama Canal construction site in 1906.




The Pintao, also known as Pintado, is a straw hat that is traditionally produced and worn in Panama. It has deep cultural significance. It often has a pattern of black or brown stripes. However, each region has its own patterns and styles that indicate their local culture. It is woven from the fibers of palm leaves, reeds, peach palms or agaves.

Depending on the combination in which the brims are worn up or down at the front, back or side, the wearer expresses different moods or life situations.




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