Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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chinchorro (hammock)
  • Venezuela
  • chinchorro (hammock), late 1800s–1967
  • Where object was made: Orinoco River delta, Venezuela
  • palm fiber, weaving, dyeing
  • Object Length/Width: 456 x 202 cm
    Object Length/Width: 179 1/2 x 79 1/2 in
  • Gift of Philip R. Montgomery
  • Not on display
  • 2007.7299

The very large hammock is woven from palm leaf fiber in a tight but flexible weave. Most of the field is the light tan natutural color of the palm fiber and there are four lengthwise, thin, dark brown stripes alternating with five light brown stripes. At each end the fibers are twisted into thin cords that are joined into a thick loop at the end for hanging.

It is made from the leaves of a palm tree found in the area, each leaf is separated into “strings”, and the strings are wound together to make the cords which are then woven into the hammock. In Venezuela, hammocks like this are called “chinchorros,” because of the net-like manner in which they are woven. “Chinchorro” is also the name used for a type of fishing net used along the Caribbean coast.