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Oct 08 2014

Nassau Straw Market (The Local)

 

Some of you may recall, a few weeks back when I posted my Series Roundups, I talked about wanting to revive my neglected The Local Series with a view to including some more non-beauty features. After all, though I take it for granted, my home is a beautiful place – why not talk about it more?

In that spirit, I’ve been taking in the local attractions (oh how I felt like a tourist with camera in hand), to share with you all. 🙂 Who know’s – it may be useful for those looking to visit The Bahamas as well.

 

Nassau Straw Market

Straw Market, Nassau, The Bahamas


 

 

Nassau Straw Market

 

Located on Bay Street in Downtown, Nassau – which is the capital island of The Bahamas – the Nassau Straw Market has become a cultural landmark. Of course, there are Straw Markets located throughout The Bahamas but it started here in Nassau. It is asserted that the straw industry was born sometime in the early 19th century. At the time, vendors, largely women, would bring their straw goods into the downtown area (Rawson Square) to sell to visitors. Over the next few decades this movement grew into a semi-permanent collection of make-shift stalls forming the de-facto Straw Market.

 

Nassau Straw Market 2

 

The Straw Market, however, has not been without controversy over the years for a variety of reasons. This came to a head when, sadly, as a result of an act of arson, the Nassau Straw Market burned down in 2001. After much reflection and debate, it was rebuilt a decade later and re-opened in December, 2012, taking the form of a permanent, renovated building.

 

Nassau Straw Market 6

 

Straw products are made from dried palm and sisal plant leaves. Craft persons use these leaves to create items such as baskets, bags and dolls. Due to the influence of popular culture, however, one will often find these wares decorated by famous animated characters. There are other things of the not-so cultural variety sold at the market as well, ranging from fashion jewelry to sunglasses and beach wear.

 

Nassau Straw Market 7

 

Nassau Straw Market 10

 

For those with more discerning tastes, wood work can be found at the market and much of it is quite impressive.

 

Nassau Straw Market 4

 

Nassau Straw Market 8

 

You can also find other little trinkets….

Nassau Straw Market 9
 
Nassau Straw Market 3

 

If you take a wander behind the Straw Market building (walking along the Prince George Wharf – where the Cruise Ships dock), you’ll find other local jewelry vendors and food stalls. At the dock itself is Festival Place where more crafts and artisans are located.

 

Nassau Straw Market - Jewelry 2
 
Nassau Straw Market - Jewelry

 

I suggest looking out for jewelry made from Conch Shells, the shell of a sea mollusk that is a popular dish in The Bahamas (cooked and raw).

 

Nassau Straw Market - Conch Shells

Conch Shells, Prince George Wharf


 

It’s funny, because as I was formulating this post, I Googled Nassau to see what I would find. In that search I came across good reviews and bad. It’s funny how you can get defensive about something when someone else says it, even though you sometimes say it yourself, lol. I admit that Nassau can feel like a tourist trap at times (depending on where you are), but honestly, so can many other places (and trust me, I’ve visited many places). And it is expensive – but I think sometimes people think of The Bahamas like they would some other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America where the economy and currency are weaker. If you visit here, expect to pay the kind of prices you would in a major city in the U.S. or Europe.

Anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed this little peak into the Nassau Straw Market. My next Local post will be about shopping in the downtown area – fragrances, jewelry, cosmetics etc.

 

 

Have you taken any trips lately? Of all the places you’ve ever visited, where has been your favourite? Ever visited The Bahamas?

 

 

 

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16 comments

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  1. kirstydowling88

    Ooo, I’d love to see some more Bahamas shaped posts! The market looks like a fun place to pick up a few souvenirs! xxx

    Kirsty – http://www.effortlesslyexcessive.com

    1. Kimmy

      Thanks, Kirsty – I have a few more coming. I think I’ll try to do them about once…maybe twice a month. This is meant to be a beauty AND lifestyle blog after all (though my primary focus is beauty). 🙂

  2. Gyudy (@Gyudy)

    This has been so amazing to read! So interesting!!! It’s great that you thought about a serie like this, as we often forget the beauty of the places we live in 🙂 xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

    1. Kimmy

      Thank you, Gyudy. Definitely, we take for granted what is around us. What sounds exotic to other people may be like just normal or uninteresting to the people that are actually living it. But I have to say this series has helped me to appreciate what I have a little bite more. 🙂 xx

  3. anoushkaloves

    It looks so beautiful! I really need to visit!

    Anoushka xx http://www.Anoushkaloves.com

  4. Priyanka

    Never thought that with straw so many products can be made. Awesome photos. Thank you for sharing them 🙂
    http://naturelbellefemme.blogspot.com

  5. jules

    You are lucky to live in such a beautiful place, I would love to see it some day. This is a good idea for a series, if we all did this we would learn so much about each others lives x

    1. Kimmy

      I totally agree – I love to learn about the places where people live and visit! 🙂

  6. Karen

    What an absolutely stunning place to live, I’d love to visit The Bahamas! 🙂

    http://www.stylesunrise.co.uk

    x

    1. Kimmy

      We’d love if you visited! 🙂

  7. Cmichellestyles

    The market looks so cool! The bahamas is on my radar!
    *Besos*
    http://www.cmichellestyles.com

    1. Kimmy

      Thanks! That makes me happy! 🙂

  8. elleseesyou

    makes me long fora trip back!

    1. Kimmy

      I’d be so happy if you came back for a visit! 🙂

  9. kpsays

    Been to your island several times! I remember when the straw market burned. I was last in Nassau with my hubs and niece in 2011. Ready to go again!!!

    1. Kimmy

      That’s so cool, Karen! I hope you guys had a nice time despite Nassau being kind of “touristy”. If you ever come back to this side of the world, I highly recommend checking out some of the family islands (out islands) – there lies the true beauty of the country.

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