Wattle and Red Earth Collective kicks up its heels for National Heritage Week

October is always the month when Jamaicans turn their attention to their cultural heritage. National Heroes Day is Monday, October 17, 2022, at the end of Heritage Week, which begins on October 8 with an Interfaith Service at the University of the West Indies Chapel (I like this). President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, His Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, will be the nation’s special guest for Heritage Week.

But our national heritage is about more than National Heroes and special guests, important as they may be. It is also about the corners of our island where traditional practices survive (or try to) – not in the limelight so much, but all important. A year ago, the Wattle and Red Earth WARE Collective held a Virtual Art Auction. It was very well supported, raising US$15,000 towards the repurposing and reassembling of their very first Spanish Wall building – 120 years old. You can see what this looks like in this short video and if you would like to learn about the origins of the Collective, read much more here.

I just realised I used the word “limelight.” And there are plans to build a traditional lime kiln on October 15. The collective is inviting us all to travel to the high hills of St. Elizabeth, for the building and for some nice celebrations, including Maroon drumming from Accompong, storytelling…and of course, food.

This will be a unique experience, and an opportunity to see for yourself how the building technique of “wattle and red earth” is developed. Make it a day out!

The WARE Collective is a non-profit, charitable Jamaica-based organisation promoting the preservation and education of traditional arts and sustainable building methods throughout southern St. Elizabeth and Jamaica.

Quoting from the WARE website, which is filled with fascinating illustrations and photographs:

“Our built environment is central to sustaining our identity, our pride, and our economy.”

A “Spanish Wall” building in south St. Elizabeth. (Photo: WARE Collective)

One thought on “Wattle and Red Earth Collective kicks up its heels for National Heritage Week

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.