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By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Like a majority of Caribbean art forms, Jamaican art takes many forms: realism, surrealism, Afro-Caribbean cubism, abstract, modernism, and academic and installation art. Wood sculpture is an essentially strong tradition in Jamaica, springing from African tribal culture and tempered by the European-influenced symbolic wood sculpture of the late Edna Manley, the matriarch of Jamaican art. Ceramics is also a popular art form in Jamaica and is also considered a fine art in Jamaica, with several world-class ceramists mounting regular gallery exhibitions.
Many locals use craft markets across the island as a way to display and sell their arts and crafts, primarily to tourists. Here are some of the top craft markets in Jamaica.
One of the largest local markets, the Kingston Craft Market is situated close to the Waterfront in the capital city, Kingston. On-site, there are more than 100 stores. The brand-name Jamaican crafts, collectables, apparel, paintings, and sculptures sold at Kingston Craft Market are well-known. Its traders, renowned for being pleasant, kind, and extremely welcoming, are among the main selling points. As a result, it has the motto "hospitality is key". Its shops are exquisitely staged, and its vendors are Team Jamaica, tourism, and customer service-educated individuals. Here, you can get Jamaican-made wooden and straw trinkets, T-shirts, caps, puppets, and paintings that all feature various facets of Jamaican culture.
Island Village is a brand-new, adaptable shopping complex in Ocho Rios that gives customers a variety of shopping opportunities. On the grounds of the town, there are several craft shops and kiosks, as well as goods with Bob Marley or Rastafarian themes, mementoes, and straw or wooden home furnishings. Along with the infamous Margaritaville restaurant and bar, Devon House I-Scream, and the contentious Bob Marley statue created by Jamaican artist Christopher Gonzáles, Island Village is home to these attractions.
The largest market in town is the Craft Park in Ocho Rios, which features over 100 merchants and crafters selling a wide variety of things, including food, Blue Mountain coffee, straw hats and bags, and much more. As one of the most visited tourist destinations in Jamaica, Ocho Rios, be aware that the park may become crowded when cruise ships arrive at a nearby port.
The Pineapple Craft Market, which is smaller but just as well-liked, is situated in the Ocho Rios Craft Park. It provides a huge selection of locally produced crafts. The wooden sculptures and coffee bean necklaces are the goods that tourists buy the most.
The Port Antonio Craft Market is located in Portland's picturesque eastern parish of the city. Along with the assortment of arts and crafts available at the market, Jamaican rum, Ian Sangster's Original Rum Cream, and Rumona liqueur—the only rum-based liqueur in the world—are also well-liked buys. Spices, jams, and pepper jellies manufactured in the area are further regional delicacies.
There is a large variety of handcrafted goods and Jamaican trinkets available at the Harbour Street Craft Market in Montego Bay. Three blocks are dedicated to the market, with vendors erecting their tents and stalls next to the road. Typical items for sale in this area include woven hats, towels, and clothes in Rasta colours, as well as paintings and wood carvings.
One of Jamaica's more recent marketplaces, the Old Fort Craft Market, debuted in 2009. With a range of handicrafts and homemade goods, the market offers guests a safe and hassle-free setting and makes for an enjoyable shopping experience in Montego Bay. In this location, you can also witness jewellery makers make your purchases for you in person or order a special piece.
Visit the Negril Craft Market on the western side of Jamaica for a distinctive shopping experience. The market is renowned as Negril's premier source for Bob Marley's artwork, music, apparel, and merchandise. Towels, precious-stone jewellery, wood carvings, and Jamaican T-shirts and shorts are among the many products for sale.
One of Jamaica's first marketplaces, Rutland Point Craft Market in Negril started more than 30 years ago. Shoppers can still enjoy a wide range of options, including crafts, paintings, t-shirts, and swimwear while benefiting from the tradition of pleasant service and great prices. Many of Negril's resorts, including Hedonism II, RIU, Couples, and the Royalton, are conveniently close to the market.
So the next time you visit, especially if you are looking for trinkets, souvenirs or unique pieces to take home, stop at our local craft markets and give our vendors your support.
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