Copies of ‘sombreros vueltiaos,’ a flashy, wide-brim style Colombian hat, have been fabricated by Chinese manufacturers, reported local media on Wednesday.
Artisans that make the Colombian hat protested against the arrival of the Chinese product, claiming the Chinese imitations are a far cry from the original.
The iconic hats are primarily produced in the town of Tuchín, located in the North Colombian department of Cordoba. A Tuchín hat can fetch up to $85.00, while the Chinese imitations retail for a mere $5.
The “vueltiao” hat is not just something that shades its wearer from the sun; its status as a national cultural symbol was enshrined in law by Colombia’s congress in 2004.
According to the hatters from Tuchín, the Chinese fabrications give the hat-wearer a headache. The real headache to watch out for, however, is Tuchín hatters’ sales.