The sombrero vueltiao, also known as the vueltiao hat, is a traditional Colombian hat made out the fibers of a type of cane called "caña de Flecha" in Spanish. The word vueltiado is a Colombia regionalism from the northern Caribbean region basin that originates in the word for "turn" or "lap" and arose due to the way the hat is made.
This hat is an iconic symbol of Colombian culture, particularly in the region of the Caribbean coast where this was created it. The process of making each hat is a long and intricate, involving the extraction and preparation of the fibers, the weaving of the strands, and the shaping of the hat which takes a lot of time and talent to do properly.
Take a look at part of the process in the video below made by our suppliers in Sucre.
The origins of the sombrero vueltiao can be traced back to the pre-Columbian era, when indigenous tribes in Colombia began weaving hats from natural materials. It is believed that the first hats were made by an indigenous group called Zenu 300 years ago. The caña flecha plant, which grows abundantly in the wetlands of the Caribbean coast, proved to be an ideal material for weaving hats due to its strength and flexibility and therefore, since the beginning this has been the material used to make these special hats.
Over time, the design of the hats evolved, with different indigenous groups developing their own distinctive styles. The zigzag pattern that is now characteristic of the sombrero vueltiao is thought to have originated with the Zenú indigenous people from the northern part of Colombia.
The sombrero vueltiao gained widespread popularity in the 19th century, when it became a symbol of resistance against Spanish colonialism. During this time, Colombian peasants began wearing the hat as a way of asserting their cultural identity and rejecting the authority of their Spanish colonizers.
Today, the sombrero vueltiao is recognized as a national symbol of Colombia, and it is worn by people of all social classes and backgrounds and it is a ubiquitous part of the country's cultural heritage. These hats are often featured in festivals and celebrations throughout the country.
Photo description: Traditional Black & White hat
Photo description: Colombian Flag hat