María Dilia Dávila Ríos
hat maker, Aguadas, Departamento de Caldas
María Dilia Dávila weaves the fine hats made from the iraca palm, which grow in the región. The iraca palm fiber is very fine and contributes to the hat’s light and elegant style—and the fact that the hat is soft enough to roll for storage. María Dilia Dávila is among the three hundred hat weavers in the town of Aguadas, all of whom learned this craft from their mothers. This hat weaving tradition dates back to the nineteenth century.
"Hats are a tradition of our mothers and grandmothers. They taught us a dignified profession that allows me to educate my daughters."
María Dilia Dávila Ríos is in the middle of weaving a hat in the traditional aguadeño style.
Photo by Cristina Díaz-Carrera, Smithsonian Institution