Wednesday, February 9, 2011
a day in the Jamaican life
Everyone in Jamaica carves wood and this vendor has a stunning piece that I must have. The young artist tells me it is "Nanie," a heroine of the Maroon nation. The Maroons were Africans that escaped from the slave ships into the Blue Mountains of inland Jamaica and the British soldiers were never able to recapture them, a remarkable feat considering the differences of weaponry. Nanie has one arm missing due to a soldier's sword and she is looking steadily into the eyes of a child. And now comes the traditional form of commerce in Jamaica, higgling and I have no talent or taste for this. It involves a crossfire of price finagling between seller and customer and this makes no sense to me. Just tell me what it is worth. I will pay it. Dave clears his throat and steps up to the plate. He is a wagering fellow and quite adept at this process. I walk away wondering why he just can't give the guy the extra five dollars. The poor fellow looks like he owns just the one pair of pants.