The Panama Hat Trail
This 15th anniversary reissue of Miller's travel classic follows the making and marketing of a single Panama hat. It's a captivating story of cultures in collision, raw capitalism, and an exotic, humorous journey.
This book, while perhaps a bit dated by 2017 (we'll see once I get there), does a great job of exploring every step in the long process of turning Ecuadoran straw in the 3rd world into luxury hats in the 1st world.
There are plenty of interesting asides along the way, and Miller was always willing to stop and put things in perspective, whether it was currency ...more
I can't make it on this trip, but I will make it some day. Instead I took a virtual trip courtesy of Tom Miller's, The Panama Hat Trail, one the hundreds of unread travel narratives on my bookshelves.
The premise of the book is that M ...more
For over a century, the fine straw hats woven in Ecuador have come to be known as Panamas, probably because the construction workers building the Panama Canal demanded them for their comfort. Actually, they are manufactured in Ecuador, around the city of Cuenca, using straw that is harvested by ...more
"'The man who doesn't like clouds has no business coming to Ecuador," wrote the Belgian Henri Michaux in 1928. 'They're the faithful dogs of the mountains."" p. 9
"Indians were 'reduced to the most abject state of servitude and bondage,' ob ...more