Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Part Nine
The Cultural Center

The next stop was the Cultural  Center where David Bowen, the Director of Culture for his country, explained the  history of the islands and how they used to live and how their lives are now. Similar to our WV Folk Festival, they are stressing the importance of teaching their children the old ways so that the skills and arts can be preserved.

Judy added to the economy by purchasing a handmade doll in traditional dress and a fanna reed  basket. Fanna reed only grows in the Turks or Caicos.

The colors of the National Dress are :

Yellow  represents Gods glory as the sun shining down on all islands.

Red was chosen for the Turks Head cactus the national plant and represents Grand Turk.

White was chosen for the salt industry and the white sandy beaches and represents Salt Cay.

Orange was chosen for the fishing industry and the lobster and represents South and East Caicos.

Tan was chosen for the straw and thatch used by craftsmen and represents Middle Caicos.

Green was chosen for the vegetation of the islands and represents North Caicos and Parrot Cay.  North Caicos is known as the breadbasket of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Turquoise was chosen for the beautiful ocean and the newest industry Tourism and represents Providentiales ,Pine Cay, and West Caicos. 

Pink was chosen for all the remaining cays, the conch shell, and the flamingos. 

The female white cotton dress reflects the humble past as farmers and plantation workers. The male shirt and pants reflect the historic past as salt rakers and fishermen.  The straw hats were made from the silver palm top leaf that grow over the Caicos Islands and was used by everyone as protection from the heat of the sun. To identify a persons island hometown, look to the color of the women's scarf and waist sash and to the mans band on his hat. The solid color corresponds to one of the islands where they'd were born but anyone can choose to wear any color to display their national pride and love for the Turks and Caicos. The order and islands move from east to west, sunrise to sunset,  the national dress was unveiled during the Queens Jubilee in 2002 and was designed by David.

The presentation included local music and instruments.  People are so amazing. David received his advanced degree in Japan. He also danced in Michael Jackson's Thriller video.  David and Desmond presented rake and scrape music performed on a saw with a knife.

Here are a few interesting facts on the Turks and Caicos.

The national flower is the Turks-head and the national bird is the brown pelican.

Wades Green is a salt plantation. George Washington demanded salt from Turks and Caicos to preserve food during the revolutionary  war. 

John Glenn and Scott Carpenter landed in the Turks and Caicos when the space capsules came back to Earth.

Conch provides food, money , building materials. 

 We were told that fresh conch sells for about $5.00 a pound on the island, which we thought was a steal.  We ate conch fritters, conch salad- which is raw- conch  chowder,  and conch fingers.

 Tomorrows blog - You won't believe Chalk Sound!


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