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Hat weaving with Jipi, Carludovica palmata (Cyclanthaceae) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Fadiman, M.
Economic botany 2001 v.55 no.4 pp. 539-544
profits and margins, weaving, ethnobotany, cultural heritage, economic development, marketing, soil fertility, land use, income, Carludovica palmata, Mexico
Weaving hats withjipi,Carludovica palmata (Cyclanthaceae) has built the local economy and cultural identity for the people of Becal, in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. They obtain most material from cultivated sources, weave in man-made caves, and market the goods to commercial centers. BecauseJipi does not appear to deplete the soil, they do not need to clear more land for sustainable production. Although weaving traditionally served as the main source of income and social activity in Becal, interest in weaving is declining as the town modernizes. Although profits gained from weaving add to family earnings, because of the many hands through which the hat passes, this income remains low compared to the final selling prices. Thus, many who have the opportunity to pursue other careers are doing so. However, for rural communities, without other earning options, weaving may provide an economically and environmentally advantageous way to use the land.