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Re: Caribbean Islands


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Nov 09 2001 - 08:27:05 PST

Laura Carey wrote:
> <snip> I am having difficulty coming up with projects that
> relate to the Caribbean Islands...


Having visited a number of Caribbean Islands (as a diver), I've observed
that there's not really a "Caribbean art" style. On many islands there
are no remaining native populations; the resident populations are often
decendants of slaves and plantation owners. Local art techniques are
imported from elsewhere and seem to boil down to: paintings done in a
conciously "naive" style with bright colors; coconut shells carved and
decorated; jewelry made from shells or bits of carved wood; silk
painting or batik of shells/fish/palm trees; imitation Mexican or
Central American art forms like brightly colored carvings. Basket
weaving had a genuinely utilitarian beginning on many of the islands
I've visited; I'm guessing the craft was started by slaves.

A colleague who recently came back from serving in the Peace Corps on
Jamaica confirmed these observations, and that there's really no such
thing as "Jamaican art."