UNESCO has just declared the Ecuadorian traditional woven straw hat (also known as a Panama hat) as an Intangible cultural heritage of Mankind. This declaration restores historical justice and symbolically re-claims this famous straw hat as Ecuadorian, after over 100 years. — In Quito you see examples at El Quinde Gift Shop, located near the Plaza Grande.
The traditional technique for straw hat production has been handed down from generation to generation. The hats are made from toquilla straw fibres that come from a palm found on the Ecuadorian coast. Weaving a hat can take from one day to several months and can cost from $5 to $500.