The origins of the panama date back to the 16th century Incas, who used tequila palm to make hats. The term panama comes from the Panama Canal builders, who wore the hat as sun protection. The black band dates back to Queen Victoria’s death in 1901.
This hat has been handwoven in Ecuador from the tequila palm. Working in a specific humidity, the weavers split the fibre razor thin, plaiting ring after ring - constantly dipping their fingers in water. Each hat can take up to six months to make.