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.
A grass originally planted as a border to prevent soil erosion and as a boundary between fields. Now widely used in crafts to make mats, baskets and other articles
A medium-sized, evergreen tree with a scaly-brown bark on slender trunk… it yields an extremely hard, resinous wood which is used for furniture and other wood products
A very hard, light brown, straight-grained wood much favoured in furniture-making and boat-building and for pilings
A green cylindrical fruit about a foot long, resembling a cucumber…cooked as a vegetable when young… better known in its dry, massively fibrous state as a useful scrubber.
A week of annual national festivities and celebrations surrounding Republic Day, February 23. The word was borrowed from the Arawakan term masaramani ‘voluntary work done cooperatively’.
An elongated, basket-work cylinder used for squeezing the juice from grated cassava thereby expelling the poison
A male masquerader dressed in one or other distinctive type of clownish costumes made of rags and bells, pieces of jute bags etc.
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.