Glossary of Traditional Caribbean Craft Materials - A

Caribbean artisans have used similar natural resources in fashioning traditional crafts and preparing local foods. Yet these materials are often known by different names throughout the region.

Scroll through this glossary or use the search box at right to find out more about regional craft materials and recipe ingredients. You can filter the glossary by the first letter of the term using the alphabet below. To reset the alphabet filter, click “All” to the right.

Term
Agave
Agave americana Forest & Kim Starr [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Synonym
Country
Antigua Pride
Antigua
Cactus
Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica
Century Plant
Barbados, Trinidad
Coratoe
Jamaica
Dagger-plant
Antigua, Dominica, St. Vincent
Lang-béf
Dominica, St. Lucia
Maypole
Barbados
Rope-bush
Guyana
Sisal
Bahamas, Barbados
Definition

One of a family of succulent plants (Agavaceae) with long, thick, fibrous, stiff and spine-tipped leaves radiating from the root; they are often used as barrier hedges…. This plant is a source of fibre familiarly known as sisal.

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Term
Alpargatas
Synonym
Country
Alfagats
Barbados, Guyana
Poor-donkeys
Barbados
Saphats
Barbados
Sampats, sapats, zapats
Caribbean region
Shampata
Jamaica
Definition

A type of sandal of plaited rope, or cut from a piece of motor-car tyre or wood; its toeless upper is a broad instep strap made of canvas, leather, or other suitable material….

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