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Also called Ki, by the Mayans, and sisal, in its heyday during the 19th century in honor of the port from which it was exported, henequén is a species of plant from the agave genus and is native to the state of Yucatán in Mexico. It is ancestral because it was cultivated by the Mayans in pre-Hispanic times, who domesticated it due to the great use of the fiber and its high resistance.

Despite the Spanish conquest and the end of the Mayan civilization, the production of henequen continued to give very good results, thus adopting the name "green gold" due to the economic benefits it generated during the industrial revolution. This fiber was exported to several places, to the United States and Europe, and they worked on the haciendas of Yucatán and other states of Mexico. However, despite 50 fruitful years of production in the state, at the beginning of the 20th century, with the invention of synthetic fibers (which were cheaper) and the preceding social and economic changes (the Mayan community demanded a stop to enslavement), the henequen agroindustry suffered a strong blow, thus causing the closure of many haciendas and the use of fiber. Nowadays, with the conditions in which the environment finds itself, henequén once again earns the name "green gold", since it is a renewable and 100% biodegradable resource that is produced in an integral manner, that is, that all the processes and waste that arise in its production are used. This is how this fiber promises to be one of the possible solutions to climate change due to its artisanal and sustainable production, from which different products can be produced such as bags, ropes, shoes, mats, paper pulp, and in our case, bags. and accessories.

However, although there are still shredders that work with henequen in Yucatan, companies and businesses have stopped using this fiber and many artisans, who are the main buyers, end up changing jobs due to a shortage of this fiber, something that we we have been able to witness. Despite the growing demand that henequen is currently experiencing in the industry, many local businesses are beginning to import it from other countries such as Brazil, reflecting the poor attention that its production receives in the state, putting farmers and shredders at risk along with to our Mayan heritage.

In the Paloma van den Akker team we are very proud to remain in contact with the shredders and artisans who work with this material, who fight every day to remain in business, and that with our work we preserve the art that goes into producing henequen. , giving it life through contemporary, durable and resistant pieces, without neglecting the environmentally friendly process.

Visit our boutique in Mérida, Yucatán, located at number 498 A of Paseo de Montejo, where you will find various accessories, made 100% with green gold, 100% sustainable and 100% made in Yucatán. Give your look or your home a touch of tropical, fresh and the best… natural materials!

We will be happy to see you!