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Jamaican Artists

The beautiful parish of Portland teems with talented Jamaican artists. One of our favorites can be found at the entrance to Reach Falls and his name is Renny. He very cleverly fashions toy blow games from bamboo, wire and Styrofoam. The trick is to blow a hook on a Styrofoam ball up to a wire hoop and then to blow the needle like end back into the bamboo. It is quite tricky and Renny makes it look easy. He also sells small carvings, jewelry, Roots Tonic and is never without his broad smile.

Watch YouTube video Renny Shows his Blow Toy

The picturesque walk down from Reach Falls is one of our favorite activities and there is no fee. On the walk you will pass Brother Lion and he may treat you to a song and a drink of jelly water. Bredda Lion runs Reach Falls RiverCamp where you can stay.

You will also pass several interesting carving stalls. Towards the top is the stall of Jah Priest's family. Jah Priest was a spiritual, quiet, very intelligent man. He gave talks and promoted the spiritual aspect of Rastafarianism.

Portland has numerous artist stalls lining the roads and beaches throughout the area. From Rock Bottoms large carving center deep in the market of Port Antonio selling all kinds and sizes of beautiful and dramatic carvings.

Jamaican carver working on piece on a table. Jamaican carver painting a piece.
Rockbottom carving in Port Antonio

to I Cliff wandering Winnefred Beach and offering personally carved Calabash the opportunities are endless.

Three carved bamboo cups.
Bamboo Cups

Rasta looking down as he carves Six calabash bowls with carving on them
I-Cliff working at Winnefred Beach

Perhaps the Jamaican would put it “The more you go, the more you stop, the more you see, the more you learn.”

 

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Rasta Renny assembling bamboo toy.
Renny making a toy, Reach Falls

 

Shirtless Rasta holding bottle of roots tonic
Bredda Lion sings

 

canoe in progress, being carved out of a large log
Bredda Lion's hand carved canoe

Jamaican in tie dye working on wooden bowl on a stand.
Astin Vaz, Jah Priest's Son

Many carvings of rasta heads, fish, suns displayed on wooden wall.
Jah Priest's Family Shop on the walk from Reach Falls

Jah Priest, Rastamon with long yellow beard and a broad smile.
Jah Priest has trod on to the ancestors

Walking stick with rasta head on top, hair made from roots of the branch.
Walking stick

Four foot by 6 foot by 1 foot cart made of wire on wheels with a roof, carving hang on the wire sides and baskets are on the roof.
Carving display cart

Man and woman traveler examines statue of bird while carver looks on in front of a small Jamaican shop.
Carving buying on the way to Reach Falls

 

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