Dominica photo blog

SV Jenny
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Sun 1 Feb 2015 22:22
Dear Family and Friends,

Not quite finished with the horticultural theme!

This roadside banana palm shows several stages of development! From the bottom, the purple sepals unfold to reveal the creamy coloured flowers a little higher. I am guessing these are fertilised, whither and the green fingers develop into bananas. Up a little you can see the proto bananas are beginning to turn upwards, and they will ripen in an upward facing hand. Each flower head will produce 8-10 hands of fruit, there are 5 already on this head with more to develop within the purple tip. In cultivation, as the whole head has opened and is ripening, the farmers shroud the stalk and fruit in blue plastic to protect the fruit from pests.

We visited the Carib village museum which preserves the indigenous Amerindian culture, within the Carib territory on the East coast of Dominica. The heads are carved from tree fern fibre. The space was used by the men as a meeting place, communal and social. No women where allowed except to bring food. The concrete floor and electric lighting are not traditional!

A Carib canoe, (their traditional word), which would take up to a year to build using stone tools. Once built you were considered rich to have one! This is quite small, the settlers originally came in canoes big enough to hold the whole family and their few possessions, coming from the Orinoco River basin of South America up the chain of first windward and then leeward islands, in around 200BC. The islands are conveniently close, often in visual contact so it would have been possible to island hop without vast knowledge of the sun and stars for navigation, although they did use this too.

Our guide showing us a sugar cane squeezer, all mod cons! We also tried some cassava bread, grated and fibrous white root, it was flavoured with ginger root and pushed together into flat cakes to be cooked on a metal griddle. It wont catch on as the next fast food but it was pleasant, somewhat chewy, a touch of sweetness and ginger flavoured.

View of the East coast from the Carib territories.

There is a head of the Carib tribes and past and late heads are commemorated here as carvings in tree fern fibre!

Trafalgar Falls, one hot and one cold. We dipped our hands in the iron rich sources bubbling from the ground along our path, warm enough to bath in!

With some many amazing sights its hard to prune the photos so there is another!

All our best,

Lynne and Alan