Indie-pendent Craftepreneurs of the Bahamas Straw Market

by Lorina of The Original Beadscarf

Who doesn’t love to visit local markets while traveling? Sure you have your usual souvenir suspects: shot glasses, t-shirts, caps, the list goes on. But my favorite is always the local craft, especially when the person who created the item is also the person selling it. The item just seems to have more meaning.

On a recent trip to the Bahamas, I visited the Straw Market. The largest of its kind in the world, the Straw Market houses some 200 vendors selling everything from those ubiquitous tourist t-shirts and counterfeit handbags to figurines and toys.

But just past that knockoff “status” bag, you will find the most prominent of all the items. They are the bags, hats, fans and baskets all made from colorful straw, and their purveyors working tirelessly on these items.

These are the indie-pendent craftepreneurs of the Straw Market. Tourism is the most viable industry of the Bahamas and these craftepreneurs are ready (and eager!) to provide a personalized straw item on-the-spot! For many of the vendors at the Straw Market, this is their primary means of income. You can find them stitching dried palm and sisal plants, which are sometimes dyed, to create beautiful and useful souvenirs every day of the week.

At this market, I also found someone who created toys from recycled soda cans.

A fun day out, the Straw Market in Nassau, The Bahamas is definitely worth the trip!

All text and images
©Lorina Pellach Ladrillono 2008