Barbados’ most celebrated festival is “Crop Over,” a huge celebration that can be traced back to when the island was the world’s largest producer of sugar to mark the end of a successful sugar cane harvest. The festival includes a number of events and activities including Speightstown Market. Speightstown is one of the island’s four major towns and is treasured for its antiquated charm and strong history.
|A “tuk band”, an entertaining Barbadian musical ensemble that plays rukatuk music.|
This town means a lot to me personally, it’s a place I spent a great deal of my childhood visiting because it was close to home. It’s where I went grocery shopping on Saturdays with my mother, where I got my first job as a waitress at Island Plates and it’s where I spent evenings on the jetty fishing with my little brothers and playing with stray cats. To see so much festivity in a town that is usually forgotten because of it’s antiquity and location brought warmth to my heart.
|Ayeisha Headley and Jerome Codrington of “Flour Petals”|
On my adventure in Speightstown I ran into some familiar faces, specifically that of Ayeisha Headley and her partner. Ayeisha owns an order-based home business called “Flour Petals” specializing in anything “cakey”. When asked about the festivities Ayeisha said that it was “great and brought much attention back to Speightstown.” When asked why she chose to be a vendor at Speightstown Market, Ayeisha stated that it was a good idea for exposure.
|My complimentary Cookies and Cream Cupcake, delicious!|
Another vendor that I had the pleasure of talking to was “Natty”, as he is commonly referred to, of Natty Ted Plants. This well-known eccentric man is known for his lively spirit, colourful hand-painted attire and love of nature. With a vast knowledge of cultivation and landscaping, Natty’s home-grown plants are some of the most beautiful on the island. He is located in Rock Dundo, St. James and can be contacted at +1-246-419-0639 for inquiries.
|Natty Ted wearing his hand-painted “One Love” T-shirt|
|Natty making sure his plants are happy.|
John “Birdman” Gibbons is a craftsman who designs and makes drums from local materials and is known island-wide for his unique vocal repertoire of birdcalls, sound effects, wind instruments and nature sounds. He teaches Caribbean drumming and folklore and retails in the well-known St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church. He caught my eye walking down the street with a rooster by his side, which he occasionally put on his head or carried in his arms.
This concludes my inaugural “Island CULT” feature of my blog where I share my experiences with Barbadian culture and history. I cover expressive art forms, fashion, festivals, expos or anything that catches my eye! Look out for more and feel free to leave a comment giving your opinion or any suggestions you may have!