Glossary of Traditional Caribbean Craft Materials - S

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
Sansevieria
(Sansevieria trifasciata)
Synonym
Country
Lily
Barbados
Mother-in-law tongue
Guyana
Snake bush/plant
Barbados, Belize, Guyana
Definition

Any of several varieties of an ornamental plant, comprising a cluster of mottled green or variegated erect and stiffish, sword-shaped leaves … which when beaten yield a lustrous white fibre suitable for cordage.

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Term
Silver-thatch palm
(Thrinax argentea (Palmae))
Bahamas, Trinidad
Synonym
Country
Broom palm
Trinidad
Fan-leaf palm
Barbados
Latanyé
East Caribbean
Palmetto
Bahamas, Bermuda
Pimento
Belize
Silver-top palm
Bahamas
Thatch
Jamaica
Definition

A palm with several round, shiny-green, multi-fingered leaves, each standing on a smooth, slender stalk wrapped together at their base with a brown netted fibre; its dried leaves are much used for straw-work, thatching and brooms…

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Term
Stiltwalker/stiltman
Synonym
Country
Moko-jumbie –
Grenada, St. Kitts, Trinidad
Bwa-bwa –
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Tiltman –
Barbados (archaic)
Definition

A traditional type of masquerade dancer on high stilts, always a man in costume wh, in some territories, is usu a woman’s dress

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