Crafts from Larouma Products
Larouma is the reed that is widely used to make the delightful craft items the Kalinago Territory is famous for: baskets, mats, hats, bottles and more, all woven by hand into a variety of sizes and styles.
It is believed that the Kalinago people transported the Larouma plant to Dominica from South America over 1,000 years ago. As part of the culture of the Kalinago people, the plant was passed on from past to present generations and they nurtured the skills and creativity to weave extremely beautiful, valuable and functional craft items.
For use it is manually converted into thin, flexible strips that can be used for weaving. The strips can also be converted into different colors such as black, purple, and yellow through natural processes.
Throughout the Kalinago Territory one can find many Craft Shops, most of which are traditionally constructed.
Crafts from Calabash Products
Within the Kalinago Territory, calabash are carved with creative and traditional designs on them.
The calabash can be used both as eating utensils and as decorations. Calabash as wall decorations are pictured below.
Pottery has been an art form practiced for thousands of years by our Kalinago ancestors and handed down from generation to generation. Pottery items often have mythical or religious designs and items range from: water goblets, ceremonial bowls, tea cups, cups, ashtrays of different animal formations, plaques of Kalinago Territory and Dominica, and flower vases.
During the days of our Kalinago ancestors, while the men hunted and fished, the women sat and made pottery. They used the coiling techniques with rolls of clay dough. Utility vessels were often decorated such as Cassava griddles and bottles where sweet potato and manioc alcohol was stocked. However, other ceramics in different forms used for ceremonial purposes were decorated with patterns incised or painted in red, white or black.
Kalinago women often shaped small animals or human representations called “adornos” on the rims of their pottery. Some figurines are of great authenticity and are easy to identify such as human faces, agoutis, frogs, birds, manatees and dogs. Others are more complex and mysterious. A religious and mythical signification is transcribed behind these geometrical decorations.
There is a Kalinago Traditional Pottery Stall at the Kalinago Barana Autê.
Crafts Made from Coconut
The coconut tree provides many components for making crafts such as the roots, trunk, flowers, fruits, leaves and the nuts. A large percentage of the Kalinago population is directly and indirectly dependent on coconut, and a wide range of craft products, foods and drinks are derived from the coconut.
Carved Hanging Planters are one type of craft made from the coconut (photo at right).
Coconut Oil is also a very important product of the coconut. It is made by using fresh coconut meat with no chemicals added. Hence a natural, pure coconut oil is obtained this way with a shelf life of several years. Coconut Oils are used to help fight attacking viruses, bacteria, and other pathogen. It can be used for cooking or applied directly to the body.
Kalinago Arts & Crafts Photo Gallery
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