Terri is writer who loves to inspire with words. She is also a facilitator of Ecopsychology workshops & wellness retreats and loves being immersed in nature! For more on her work visit www.onelovelivity.com
The human eye is attracted to beauty although beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and not everyone’s tastes are the same! However in a world of increasing plastic and machine-made items that all look the same, it is a wonderful thing to be able to decorate our homes with unique, handmade and local items.
The Caribbean has a wealth of both traditional crafts and new innovative artistry. From paintings to sculptures, cloth to baskets there is a beautiful item ready to capture our imagination and decorate our homes (or body) in a unique way.
Many artists are skilled in using natural resources in a unique, innovative and sustainable way. For example the basket weaving of the Kalinago people in Dominica which uses a type of grass that grows in the region, is a time-honored tradition that is passed on to each generation. The array and design of the crafts and the skill taken to create the work is phenomenal.
Kalinago Basket Weaving
Some of these artists have small galleries or workshops tucked away in towns and villages but they are open for the public to meet the artist and find out about the story behind the craft. I will always remember the kindness of a local person who took me to buy a bag in Grand Cayman. We drove out to the home of an eighty-year old lady who still weaves the bags in a traditional way from thatch gathered from trees in her garden. Hearing her talk about the craft and gaining an understanding how much work went into producing the item made it far more valuable than anything I could have bought from a generic souvenir shop!
Buying from these small initiatives encourages creativity, provides ways for local people to support themselves and helps the younger people sustain interest in their cultural heritage. So next time you are looking for a basket, painting, sculpture for your own home or to offer as a gift – check the label and see if it’s made in the Caribbean!