How things change when you go from being a tourist to being a homeowner! Though Tom and I are excited about everything that’s been accomplished at Fish Hooks over the past three weeks (there’ll be a post on that soon, I promise), we haven’t had much playtime.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that we didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as we wanted at last weekend’s Island Roots Heritage Festival. I missed all the lectures I wanted to attend as well as most of the Royal Bahamas Police Band performance.
Fortunately, we managed to catch two of my festival favourites – the plaiting of the Maypole and the Junkanoo rush.
Thanks to Tom for the video at the beginning of this post, showing the Green Turtle Slammers in action. There were fewer costumed Junkanoo performers than in previous years. The upside, though, is that it really allowed the Junkanoo musicians to shine. From the brass instruments to the drums, to the cowbells and whistles – it was a terrific and engaging performance. And the little musicians-in-the-making were adorable!
After admiring his work at several previous festivals, I finally had the chance to meet artist, Anthony (“Big Mo”) Morley as well as his colleague, Katerina Kovatcheva. (Their work can be found at Iggy Biggy in Marsh Harbour.)
I also enjoyed chatting with straw worker, Rose McKenzie. Like my grandmother, Rose and her sister, Neuiza Rolle, learned to prepare and plait straw from their mother when they were young girls in Exuma. These days, the sisters live in Nassau, where they can be found selling their creations on Bay Street, near the Scotia Bank.
I have to say, the quality of all the Bahamian crafts and artwork on display was excellent. Only wish I’d had more time to browse…
Though I didn’t get a chance to visit the Family Tree Research Center, I did learn a little more about my own island roots, as I got to know relatives I hadn’t met before from the Curry and Gates branches of my family tree.
Congratulations to the Island Roots committee and a big thank you for all their hard work in putting this event together. I was so sorry not to be able to participate in more festival events. Next year, for sure!