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A petate, a bedroll common in Latin America.

A petate [peˈtate] is a bedroll used in Central America and Mexico. Its name comes from the Náhuatl word petlatl /ˈpet͡ɬat͡ɬ/. The petate is woven from the fibers of the Palm of petate (Leucothrinax morrisii). The Royal Spanish Academy defines it as a bed.[1] Generally petates are woven in quadrangular forms, though not to any exact dimensions.


The main use of the petate is for sleeping. It can be extended on the ground for lying down or sleeping. During the day the petate normally rolls up and hangs from the wall, freeing up space in the room. In very warm places it is used to sleep outdoors. Also it is used for drying seeds, grains, tortillas, and other foodstuffs in the sun, to prevent their touching the ground. In several places in México, pumpkinseeds dried on a petate and then roasted are commonly called "semillas de calabaza." Other items made from the fibers of the palm are known as "artesanias de petate" (handicrafts made from the fibers of the palm) including toys, dolls, masks, hats, and baskets.


The petate's diverse characteristics and uses have inspired a number of colorful Spanish idioms: