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Discover the influences behind the Bathsheba Collection 2019

In the ‘behind the collection series’, we will share the reasons for the elements which influenced and inspired the collection.

The long cascading beach of Bathsheba, became in part, the inspiration for our popular Bathsheba Silver Dangle earrings from the Unique & Sustainable collection. Located in St, John, tall looming bent shaped formations of lush beautiful Palm trees decorate the sea edge. The waters are well known for it’s healing and replenishing properties, mineral-enriched salty waves, crystal clear- revealing the tiny life residing underneath.

Our Summer 2012 ‘Island Collective’ is an eclectic mix of handmade fashion and accessories. From that collection came The Bathsheba Silver Dangle earrings. Featuring a wave design and amber wooden bead. This design depicts Sun setting over the  waves of Bathsheba. Crafted by hand in Silver and embellished with Vintage wooden beads- taken from a 1980’s bead curtain which hung from the frame of the ‘back door’ in Shantell’s parents home for many years.

‘The Cock It Back’ Jumper- SS upcycled collection entitled ‘Hard + Sweet’. Created from a thrifted Jumper, remnant material. Hand printed using a ghosting technique. The prints feature a zig zag pattern layered with a cicular symbol.

The zig-zag pattern derives from the negative shapes within the fishnet tights worn by Jamaican Dance Hall Queens + Punk Goth women- were in part influences of the collection.

The circular pattern derives from the negative shape of a common indigenous symbol of communication used by Tribes of the Caribbean. In the 14th century, this symbol was transferred into a pair of earring by the  Arawak Tribe, dated 14th century.

The island of Hispanola, known by the aborigines as Babeque or Haiti possesses the largest and richest heritage of cave art in the Caribbean, and probably the most important collection in the Americas. Symbols were a communicative system as well as a means of documentation. Art depicted spiritual beliefs, religious rituals, political organisation, tools ,horticulture , wildlife and everyday life of the Amer Indian. Symbols were used across tribes.

Martial Arts Geometry – the common angles within defence, attack and diversion. Effective execution of a movement relies upon exact measuring of space, distance, and angle of one’s body in relation to her opponent as well as mastering transference and direction of applied energy. The practice of execution is taught through a sequence of ‘forms’.

Wing Chun is Chinese – requiring a balance of quickness, softness and flexibility. It is practised through learning 6 forms. Its beauty is based on its blend of science and spirituality. In its spiritual sense – mind and body communicating between each other.

‘My Mona’ is original illustrated artwork form Shantell’s 2015 art series, named ‘Barbados Adventures and Afro Tales’. Mona’s adornments are inspired by tribal chains. They feature historical Arawak and Taino jewellery artefacts dated 14th century.

Once a prosperous culture , the Arawak people spanned a population in their millions. Gifted crafters and makers, they are believed to have originated from the Orinoco river in Venezuela. They populated large ears of South America and the Caribbean.  Thought to be gold,  earring crafted in the 14th century. The design is a symbol used by indigenous tribes. The symbol is believed to be a depiction of a frog.

Adorning the body is a common practice within African and Amer Indian tribes.  Adornments hold many symbolic meanings- including sexual maturity, ancestral history and political organisation. Common organic textiles for adornments are feathers, beads, shards of bone, metal materials and tassels.

The Moorish

Jamaica was one of the final destinations for many of these Moorish captives who were referred to as Negro slaves from Spain.”

Given the background of the Moors who were not only once conquerors establishing empires over three continents, but were also culturally enlightened people, resistance to subordination or subjugation in various forms by them became a common feature in the New World.”

Dr. Sultana Afroz author of  “From Moors to Marronage: The Islamic Heritage of Maroons In Jamaica”

The Kalinago tribe named Caribs by Europeans , are an indigenous peoples of the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.  The predominant settlers of the Island of Dominica, Eastern Caribbean. At the time of Spanish contact they the most dominant groups in the Caribbean, which owes its name to them. They also lived throughout Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Winward Islands and the possible Leeward Islands including Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

Today, the Kalinago they are the only people to have a reservation. In the entire Caribbean, they are the only tribe community.

Of mixed Arawak, Carib and African ancestry, the Garifuna or ‘Black Caribs’ is a group living principally in Central America today. Historically, enslaved and transplanted from West Africa, they either were shipwrecked or escaped from  Barbados , St Lucia  and Grenada.  Intermarried with the local population of Arawaks , Carib Indians from South America.

A common organic material for tribal jewellery is wood. Holding religious, and spiritual meanings, they also indicate the status and positioning of a  tribe. Other common types of adornments were chains, headdresses, wrist + ankle cuffs and pierced jewellery.

Slavery and disease brought by European colonizers decimated the tribes. Amerindians from several groups of Kalinago and Taino tribes, who were the first population of people in the Caribbean region.  Amerindian people settled in the Caribbean chain of Islands as far back as c 3100bc. Settling in Dominica from around 3000bc.  Orstoiroid people ( the hunter-gather)  settled in Dominica from about 3000bc to 4000bc, to modern day Kalinago, who date back to 1000 AD.

 

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