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It’s another super sunny day on Phangan. I am returning to the Hammock Lovers shop in Baan Tai a few days after Mr. Moon and I had our first talk about his Hammock story.
Sa wa dee khaa Mr Moon. How are you? Oi excuse me for interrupting you. You are in the middle of your lunch I see.
“Sa wa dee khaa. Nooo Problem! I am good thank you. How are you? I was waiting for you to come back because I am leaving for Surathani tomorrow.
I like your idea and would like you to write the little story of my Hammocks in your magazine. I don’t advertise but if you want to write a short story about our idea and my shop it could be nice. Did you bring your camera with you now?”
Thank you Mr. Moon. Do you want that we take the pictures now? I go and get my camera!
… Some days ago I had talked with Mr. Moon about my idea to write an articleor a small story about his Hammocks in our Magazine. I like his hammocks. I like the story about the Mlabri Tribe (keep reading… :) and I adore Mr. Moon!
Anyway! Back to the Moment of interaction! I leave the shop and return quickly with the Master Camera of the Magazine.
Armed in the named of art I start shooting. While framing Mr. Moon he stops me and goes to put on his cowboy hat. “Better like this” he say.
I continue to take pictures for a short while, before Mr. Moon interrupts me to let me know that it is a time for a Whisky.“Okay Come! We are finished now with the serious business. Now it’s time for a Whisky. Whisky or Vodka, what do you like?”
Thank you Mr. Moon. Then I would like a whisky. What do you and Nit prefer?
“I don’t drink so much. I did not drink for many days now but I am leaving for short business trip tomorrow in Surathani, so we can drink for Good Luck today! Today we will drink Whisky with you, a strong one!
Do you have many friends like Nit coming here and enjoying some time with you?
“I like to have people in my shop. If you want to come and talk and just sit in the hammocks one day you are always welcome. Everyone is welcome just for looking and sitting in the hammocks. I like when people come to my shop. Maybe they do not buy but then they know about a good place with good heart production if they ever need one. Beside, they can tell their friends. I sit here everyday and if people come by to say hello it makes me very happy!”
All 3 of us take a sip of the Whisky. I look around just to try to detect the burning scale of the current drink in their faces but they are - of course - skilled poker players. I sink and burn trying not to tear up and I think I succeed also! Proud looking around I realize that they went through at least half of their glass while you couldn’t even see that I had drunk anything.
Chatting on as nothing happened about how he would like me to write the article. My idea was to ask Mr. Moon about his background but to be honest it was hard to talk without coughing in that moment so the options were a bit restrained.
Chok dee Kha .. p .. the second sip I take I pretend to be a man. Stupid... like always... Coughing and crying I must admit to Mr. Moon that this surely is a strong Whisky.
Laughing Mr. Moon translate to Nit so he can laugh with him. Some more small talk and the third and last sip are up. We chok dee khas for the last time and empty our glasses. I thank Mr. Moon and Nit for their hospitality and their friendly ways and wobble out the door with burning belly and crossed eyesight. No, it wasn’t that bad but it was a very funny end to my interview with the Hammock Lovers!
As I said from the beginning, I really like Mr. Moon’s Hammocks.
Most of their hammocks are hand woven. As the ropes of the hammock are individual it adapts fully to your body naturally and are woven for great support and are very strong.
The Hammocks are made by the Mlabri Tribe of the Northern Thailand. You offer a great support to their livelihood by chilling in one of Mr. Moon’s Hammocks.
This Tribe used 2 be nomads, hunting and gathering in the forests and high mountains of North Thailand. They would wander from place to place building their temporary homes made of bamboo sticks attached with green banana leafs. When the banana leaves turned yellow they would continue their nomadic travel through the forests and mountains. Since no one ever really saw much else from them, than their abandoned huts, the Thai’s name them “Phi Thong Luang - Spirits of the yellow leaves”. All though if you’ll ask them, they’ll tell you they prefer to be called “People of the Forrest”.
They had a hard time when their natural habitat was taken away from them due to the deforestation.
Around 25 years ago they started to receive help from a missionary and his family. Many things improved like healthcare and education but the need for a steady income remained.
Luckily the tribe was discovered for their remarkable skills in making string bags from the fibers of jungle vines. At that time they would occasionally sell a couple as souvenirs but they would never make a reliable or sufficient basic income.The project started around 1996 when a former textile engineer came by the village.
With a bit more education within the field of weaving and dying the project grew fast and was one of the most successful in the area.
The new handicraft seemed to fit well with their normal quiet life style and mastering the tricky process of dying the cotton and the most intricate weaving techniques was a simple question of small education before they could continue in their own ways again.
Relaxed products for relaxed people!
The production was set in motion for the survival and financial independence of the Mlabris. All made in a way that still let them to live their own life style.
No mass production at lowest cost but rather a production which regards all human needs, as proper labor wages and working conditions. That includes that all hammocks are produced in a healthy family orientated environment at the home village and that the workers there of course also are paid honest wages.
Money is set aside for healthcare and education and there is even a steadily growing social fund.
This good idea makes alternatives such as tough farm work in the fields or sweatshop labor unnecessary. Instead it has brought them healthcare, education and probably the first unemployment fund in Thailand.
Positive products from and for positive people!
So even though the hammocks are designed to help you to relax they were actually designed as a way to “relax” the Mlabri tribe in their search for a new livelihood...
They have now been helping people to Relax since 1996!
They make of course different styles of Hammocks with different design and for different purposes.
They are wide so you can stretch out horizontally what makes them different from other hammocks and very comfortable!
As the ropes of the hammock are individual, it adapts fully to your body naturally and is woven for great support and are very strong. If you are just a visitor on Phangan the light-weighted stringy Hammocks are perfect for traveling.
It’s a weather proof so it’s possible to pack wet if you need to go in a hurry!
They are 2 meters wide and 3.6 meters long and weigh less than 850 grams.
This one is intended for indoor or in dry and shady places.
This is a very thick coarse string hammock and it is strong enough to hold up to 250kg!
The wide hammock provides support when you lay down and made of natural cotton that will keep you cool in warm weather. Good resistance to fire and cigarette buts.
This is a basic hammock with excellent features: it is wide, sturdy & comfortable but don’t leave this one wet.
Their Sitting Hammock is a chair that stretches to full body length! It’s big favorite among the customers. Very comfortable sitting hammock!
The Mlabri sitting hammocks allow you to sit or lie in various positions and are easy to hang.
Just like any new cotton also this cotton hammock will feel more pleasant and soft when you have used it a few times. To keep colors from fading you should avoid direct sunlight and rain.
V-Weave Hammock – The Rolls Royce of Hammocks!
It takes 3 km of yarn and 2 weeks to make this unique hammock!
150.000 loops combined over 3km of soft yarn in a V-weave that slightly change its colors as you move. Family sized and super comfortable!
You can find the V-Weave hammock in either thin cotton or triple acrylic yarn. Natural breathing cotton feels great and stays cool in warm weather. The weather proof version (acrylic) is thicker and has different color effects. It is up to you which one is most sufficient for your needs.
It just makes so much more sense to buy anything when you know its origins and its labors! When you know that you can enjoy without hurting, the pleasure you gain is just so much bigger!
Join the Hammock Lovers in Loving Hammocks and treat yourself to a day in Mr. Moon’s Hammock Lover’s shop and Help out just by Chilling!