Sunday, December 16, 2007

The tourist lathe

Just at the corner of Prince street, Port of Spain, there is a tourist gift shop that sells a number of memorabilia items related to Trinidad and Tobago. From pepper condiments to wood carvings and an artist with an ingenuous skill to the front of the store.

What he is doing is carving the surface of a calabash with a common knife utensil
and producing a variety of decorative imagery that makes up the culture of Trinidad and Tobago or the Caribbean.

There is the Hibiscus flower with the Hummingbird, the palm trees at sunset and a panman with his steelband drums. The artist is faster than a lathe as the short video uncovers.

In Caribbean folklore, to drink water from the shell of the calabash may reduce the discomfort of menstruating....the words from the human lathe as he whizzed away at his calabash.

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