Island Roots Heritage Festival 2014

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.)

big mo

Anthony “Big Mo” Morley, his wife, Ann, Katerina Kovatcheva and her husband, George

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.

Rose McKenzie and her sister, Neuiza Rolle

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.

Irene Gates (daughter of Ma May’s brother, Charlie) and me

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!

  6 comments for “Island Roots Heritage Festival 2014

  1. Joy Lowe Jossi
    May 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Amanda and Tom, thanks for giving me this part of the festival 2014. I caught this part of the fun.

    Like

  2. May 6, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Looks like a good time was had by all!

    Like

  3. linda waller
    May 6, 2014 at 4:20 am

    thanks ever so much for giving me a GTC/junkanoo/festival fix!! ah……..i needed that……..

    Like

  4. Irene Lowe
    May 6, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Thanks so much for all the nice pictures Mandy, sorry I did not get to see you all again.
    Irene

    Like

  5. Susan Kennedy
    May 6, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks Amanda! It’s great to see the photos & video when we can’t be there ourselves. We bought 2 of Big Mo’s paintings 2 years ago and they are very special to us!
    Susan

    Like

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