La Graciosa is a small island, yet it brims with a unique charm. Its imposing landscape and peerless Atlantic nature are just the beginning. It’s the customs, the people, and the culture that set it apart.
Those who reminisce about La Graciosa do so longing for its breeze, its seas, and its golden sands, especially the frequent visitors seeking to relive that inexplicable sense of peace. However, only a few are lucky enough to truly immerse themselves in its vibrant culture. For this reason, we want to spotlight one of the most significant symbols of the island: the Sombrero Graciosero (La Graciosa’s hat).
La Graciosa: Island of Sun and Wind
La Graciosa welcomes visitors with mild temperatures throughout the year, where the sun and wind join forces to create a perfect climate.
This is where the Sombrero Graciosero comes into play, designed to shield faces from the trade winds and the sun.
Crafting the Sombrero Graciosero
This emblematic hat is crafted from palmetto fibre, a resource originally sourced from Haría in Lanzarote. Tradition has it that palmetto fibres are harvested on Saint John’s Day and left to dry until they acquire their characteristic white colour. Once dried, the fibres are moistened to facilitate the braiding of the hat, culminating in the creation of the Sombrero Graciosero. Additionally, this charming accessory includes a chin strap to keep it securely fastened under the chin, which is especially useful with the island’s breezy gusts.
This iconic hat is worn by both men and women, each with a subtle distinction: for men, the bow is placed on the left side, and for women it is placed on the right.
Uses of the Sombrero Graciosero
These hats continue to be a vibrant symbol of identity, cherished and proudly worn by the island’s residents. In a delightful local tradition, even the statue of the child Jesus in the Virgen del Mar church in Caleta de Sebo is adorned with a tiny Sombrero Graciosero, handcrafted by local artisans, every 16th July during the festive celebrations for the Virgin del Carmen.