Glossary of Traditional Caribbean Craft Materials
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.
Quarried limestone coral, cut into blocks about 2ftx1ftx1ft, used for building the outer walls of houses
The hard, glossy, red seed with a black spot…the seed is widely used in handicraft and jewellery-making
“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.
A traditional costumed figure of Carnival, portraying the devil
Any organised event during a folk festival season such as Crop-Over.
A public holiday, on the first day, or often the first Monday in August to mark the anniversary of the abolition of slavery as from 1st August 1834.
A hard, roundish, dark-grey (or brown, or yellow) seed about ¾ of an inch in diameter, borne one or two in a very prickly pod.
Used in jewellery-making, as marbles or as game pieces in Warri.
A beige fine-textured straw, the fibre of the long, palm-like leaf blades of a flowering tropical American shrub; it is used for delicate straw-work especially patterned hats.
The leading male street masquerader of a troupe; his costume comprises an elaborate head-dress and a tinselled or jingling, multi-coloured outfit. The Junkanoo festival is one of street dancing and parading largely at the Christmas season.
The parade of competing, costumed bands to culminate the Crop Over festival.