A chair that heals old war wounds

The location of one the cruellest massacres in the history of Colombia is producing a hybrid between a hammock and a rocking chair - "La hamadora".

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In Spanish, "amadora" refers to a woman who loves. "As the 'h' does not have a sound, the one who hears the name would think that it is about something related to love and passion, and at the end I think this gadget has just a bit of those things," says hamadora maker Nilson Oliveros, 38.

Indeed, the hamadora has served as a balm to heal the wounds left by war in El Salado town, which saw one of the bloodiest events of the conflict in Colombia. In February 2000, about 50 paramilitaries gathered the town's residents in a football field and killed 66 members of the community.

Today, three blocks from that place, there is a workshop of artisans, where Mr Oliveros and his friends make the hamadora, a hybrid of a hammock ("hamaca" in Spanish) and a rocking chair ("mecedora").

The hamadora was the brainchild of architect Simon Hosie, who designed El Salado's cultural centre. Visiting the town's homes, he realised that each of them had a metal rocking chair and a hammock - and the idea was born.

Mr Hosie invited some of the townsfolk to join the project, and the workshop has since sold scores of chairs.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has bought three.

"We are going to keep innovating so that the one who gains is our town, which has suffered so much," says Mr Oliveros.

JUAN CARLOS DÍAZ/ EL TIEMPO (COLUMBIA)