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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Calle Larga 10-41 y Padre Aguirre streets, Cuenca City, Ecuador
Monday to Saturday 08:00 - 17h30
Sunday 09:00 - 13:30
ATTENDING COMMERCIAL EVENTS
The traditional weaving of the Ecuadorian toquilla straw hat is Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity declared by UNESCO since December 5, 2012. In Cuenca there is a Hat Museum, owned by the Paredes-Roldán family, dedicated to the public dissemination of this centennial craft.
The Museum opened its doors in 2007. A traditional house of the Tomebamba river’s ravine, with more than a century of antiquity. The house was converted into cultural center, to make known to the world a family tradition for generations: the production and commercialization of the toquilla straw hat.
The Paredes Roldán house is also part of the El Vado neighborhood, an important area of handicraft activity in Cuenca. Its Museum tells in detail the history and the present of a craftwork admired in the world. The objective is that the tourist has a first class and pedagogical experience, about the toquilla straw hat in the Southern Region of Ecuador.
The Hat Museum is divided into several rooms, which exhibit different collections: tools that were used to make custom hats, recreation of a workshop for arranging hats and what are the steps for the elaboration of a hat (harvesting, processing of the fiber and weaving). All this craft industry is supported by the skillful hands of thousands of Ecuadorian craftsmen and women.
In the factory, visitors can appreciate live the making of the hat, from the hand-weaving in a traditional way, the work of the potting machines, the steam presses and the finishing with the making of bands and tafiletes (leather decorative borders). In the sales area, those interested can purchase a finished hat, which can be perfectly adjusted to the different head sizes. There is a great variety of models and designs. The cultural complex also has spaces for events, a cafeteria, a gallery and the terrace with a panoramic view of the Tomebamba river’s ravine and the south of the city.