Glossary of Traditional Caribbean Craft Materials - C

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
Candle-wood
(Cupania Americana)
Synonym
Country
Barbados
Guyana
Jamaica
Definition

A light-brown hard wood used in construction and boat-building

In Guyana, candle-wood is a heavy and very tough ‘yellowish-pinkish’ wood useful for saltwater piling, sleepers, bridges etc.

In Jamaica, candle-wood is a light, easily split wood that burns readily

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Term
Cast-net
Caribbean region
Synonym
Country
Seine
Guyana
Sprat net
Antigua, Belize, Jamaica, Nevis
Throw net
St. Lucia
Definition

A fisherman’s circular net about 12ft. in diameter, carrying lead weights around its circumference and controlled by a long cord at the centre by which it is thrown over a shoal of fish in shallow water.

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Term
Casuarina
(Casuarina equisetifolia)
Caribbean region
Synonym
Country
Beef wood
Bahamas
Mile tree
Barbados
Needle-and-thread
Guyana
Whistling pine/willow
Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Trinidad
Willow
Jamaica
Definition

A very quick-growing tree assuming a tall narrow shape resembling a conifer; 18-36m high, ending in a conical spire which waves to and fro in the wind.

The fruit/pine needles of this tree are used in doll-making and jewellery-making.

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Term
Coconut-broom
Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad
Synonym
Country
Cocoyea-broom
Grenada, Tobago, Trinidad
Pointer-broom
Guyana
Definition

A yard broom home-made from the dried spines of the leaf of the coconut branch, tied in a tight bundle.

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Term
Conaree
Synonym
Country
Buck-pot
Barbados
Karahi
Guyana
Definition

Originally, an open, round-bottomed, iron basin 15 ins in diameter for cooking or for potting pork. Now a locally made clay pot of similar size as a traditional heritage vessel.

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Term
Coral-stone
Synonym
Country
Barbados
Definition

Quarried limestone coral, cut into blocks about 2ftx1ftx1ft, used for building the outer walls of houses

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Term
Crab-eye
(Abrus precatorius)
Barbados, Guyana, St. Kitts
Synonym
Country
Buck bead
Guyana
John-Crow bead
Belize, Jamaica
Jumbie bead seed
Nevis
Definition

The hard, glossy, red seed with a black spot…the seed is widely used in handicraft and jewellery-making

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Term
Crop Over
Synonym
Country
Barbados
Definition

“The sweetest summer festival…more than a Carnival” Barbados’ major festival to celebrate the end of the sugarcane season. Costume bands, creative activity in abundance and much festivities mark this month-long celebration.

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