Bahamian straw workers
typically start their craft at an early age, learning at the feet of
their mothers and grandmothers. Take a close look at a straw product Ė
or plait, as it is known in The Bahamas Ė and you will begin to
understand the intricacies of the weaves that carry names such as peas
Ďn rice, Bahama Mama, Jacobís ladder, sour sop, pineapple and fish
The straw starts as a
green leaf hand-picked from a silver top tree and then stripped of its
rough sides before it can be plaited. It is a time-consuming process.
The more involved plaits,
such as pineapple, can cost a straw worker $60 per 20 yard length.
Sisal, which comes from
the sisal plant and has a twine-like texture, is even more time
consuming to prepare. It is cut, stripped and soaked in sea water for
two weeks or longer, then beaten out, scraped and cleaned. The end
result: a one-of-a-kind product that is 100% Bahamian except for the
lining and the thread.
Donít forget to visit
the straw markets of Freeport/Lucaya.
There are at least 10,
including two at Port Lucaya Marketplace and one each at the
International Bazaar, Goombay Park, Freeport Harbour and Garden of the
DONíT BE SHY TO TRY
TO BARGAIN!!!! IT IS QUITE A COMMON PRACTICE AT THE STRAW MARKETS!!