Many Barbadian Craftsmen advertise and sell their wares on the beaches. Sometimes they even show you how they create the work.
In this photo are some of the coconut carvings (or is it sculptures?) which I passed on one of my beach treks. The craftsmen usually use local materials like the Coconut and Coconut Fronds, Seashells, Sand,Fish Scales, etc; as well as materials such as beads, local woods, wire, cotton etc.
Some of the work is complicated, being both intricate and detailed; others are simply made and turned out. Patterning and designs depend on the Artist’s flair, talent and/or skill, and often carries his “signature”.
The Coconut Tree is very popular as hats and utensils can be made from the fronds, the coconut milk and jelly sold, and its oil extracted for home use or sale.
The fibre from the dried Coconut has been used in bedding, for fuel/igniting fires, and as a repellent; but works such as jewellery, or bolder pieces as in the photograph, are made from the nuts or shells.
In using local materials the craftsmen for generations have been both economically and ecologically sound.
Tourists too get value for money, in that all these items are useful and are worthwhile momentoes or souvenirs of a fantastic relaxing holiday.
The Coconut Tree is versatile, and the Barbadian Craftsmen who use its products emulate this versatility.