In Cayman Brac Shared traditions

Kids Day on Saturday

The Cayman Brac Heritage House debuts Live Demonstration Day on Friday, 18 February. The series of events will re-enact Caymanian traditions, explains Saskia Edwards of the Heritage House.

“Historically, Caymanians had a unique way of life and proved to be very resourceful and innovative people.

From the creative tools and vessels they made to the everyday routine and chores they undertook emerged the remarkable Caymanian way of life.

It is a chance to relive history, really. For this particular Live Demonstration Day, we will be conducting the traditional art of twisting thatch rope.”

Demonstrators this week are Annalee Ebanks, Laurel Martin, and Keino Daley.

Natural landscape

The silver thatch palm is part of Cayman’s natural landscape and an important part of the islands’ history and culture, continues Saskia.

“In earlier times our Caymanian ancestors gathered the leaves of the silver thatch palm at every stage of development to make things to sell and to use at home.

Our people quickly discovered the strength of the tree and the dried leaf’s incredible resistance to saltwater.

From this discovery came the production of thatch rope, and it was one of the most important industries in the Cayman Islands.”

Thatch rope was highly prized in Cuba and Jamaica in the shipping, fishing and sugar industries.

While the men were away at sea or busy with their farms, the women and children would make rope, says Saskia.

“Thatch rope was a way of making a living for some families as the finished rope could be sold to purchase basic needs such as clothing, flour, medicines and so on.

Twisting the thatch rope was a skill, and the rope-making process involved a number of different stages.”

All of that and more will be on show at Cayman Brac Heritage House from 10am today.

Kids Day

On Saturday, 19 February, Heritage House Kids Day is on between 10am and noon. There will be activities, craft times and games for the youngsters, explains Saskia.

“I generally try to share the lesson with kids by incorporating many different methods of illustrations, such as videos of locals talking about topics that pertain to our particular lesson.

The games are always centred around the lesson plan to test just how much they have learned. Some of our previous themes have been on the National Symbols, Caymanite, National Heroes and more,” says Saskia.

For more information on the Demonstration Day or the Kids Day, please contact Saskia on 948-0563 or [email protected]

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