THE BIGALLI HERITAGE

Ezio Bigalli Corbani

Ezio Bigalli Corbani inherited his passion for hat making from his father Giovanni who was a Raffia Fiorentina producer in the beautiful Toscana at the end of the 19th century. As many young men of his generation, Ezio decided to embrace a new life and sail to the Americas. Full of hope and determination he had disembarked in several ports until finally he landed in Guayaquil in the year 1920. He remained penniless, however filled with hope anda box full of hats and merchandise.


Guayaquil was and still is the main port of the “Hat Country”, Ecuador, where the finest weavers of PAJA TOQUILLA revealedto him their chief treasure. These women and men aretrue artists, who using“paja toquilla” a special Ecuadorian straw,their hands and an incredible devotion to perfection create the “PAJA TOQUILLA HATS” declared by UNESCO as INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY December 2012.

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