Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays Dear Blogger Friends!

Poor little Snoppy! His music wouldn't stop and I had to delete the post! "Oh Christmas Tree," you went too far into January...I could hear the visitor noise swelling over cyberspace, "Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP!! :-)" or was it me??

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dancing "Traditional" in Dominica


Oasis Dominica(n) Feature: A Hat Romance

(photo of Marcelle John)


I have heard that the points of this hat are significant: One point and the girl's single and available, two and she is married, three and she's a widow...so the folk wisdom goes...

~~~~In Dominica, the traditional dance costume is worn for special cultural occasions and is often made with great care. Marcelle's grandmother made this costume-the last one before her death.

On the afternoon of our visit, we saw the beautiful costume laid ~~~~~~~~~~out on a traditional piece of furniture. I was surprised because this is the same traditional furniture you find in Puerto Rico. The open weave back and seat area make it particularly suitable for hot tropical weather.




~~~~~~It wasn't long before we convinced Marcelle to dress up for us so we could see how the outfit was worn. She was a great sport about it! Her sister, Irma Bryon, helped to tie and adjust the carefully made parts.~~~~~

Once all the pieces are put together, we are treated to a most festive and dramatic costume!


~~~~~~~~ A view from the window... imagine the family getting dressed for church and walking through town on a Sunday...only I think they wore a different outfit...a more formal
outfit. We were shown one of these in the family photo
album...~~~~~(the long sleeved dress on the left would be worn to church.)



~~~~~Here are some young people dancing for us at the Caribbean Cultures Conference...an adorable romance -where the boy appeals to the resistant girl -is acted out in the songs. We were entertained by a delightful folk musical.
I imagine that the original house look like the neighbor's lovely wooden home complete with the cutout lacy detail...sigh...romantic, yes, but cement is more practical in the storm tossed tropics.
Thank you...
Mar
celle and Irma for showing us your beautiful rich Dominican traditions, but most of all, thank you for sharing your warmth with us in your family home.
~~~~~~
Bloggers, thank you also for reading about my visit to this unique island. If you missed the previous posts in this feature, please go back and read more about Dominica. (I just received my copy of "The Unburnable" by Marie-Elena John in the mail and have just read the beginning...these women are the author's aunt and mother.)

Post Script:
I'm sure we all agree with the "World Peace" sentiment on this Dominican building...and let it begin with all o
f us.