Granny Old House

Piece titled: Granny Old House Size: 100 x 100 cm Medium: Acrylic on canvas Artist: Tricia Trotman-Maraj The Chattel House is common throughout the Caribbean even though many have been replaced by more modern concrete dwellings. It dates back to the days of slavery and was considered posh dwelling houses for ex-slaves who had previously occupied barracks or thatched houses for most of their lives. To us this was was simply, granny old house in the country. We loved spending our school vacations there despite the lack of electricity and indoor plumbing. It was an adventure waking up to the cock's crow every morning and the sound of older cousins, whose permanent dwelling this was, sweeping

Curry Crab and Dumpling Anyone?

Piece titled: Man Crab Size: 120 x 100 cm Artist: Trotman-Maraj Medium: Acrylic and textured medium on canvas This blue crab is a delicacy on my island. They taste good in callalloo ( a type of green leafy green soup with coconut milk and plenty ochro) and even better curried and served on top of piping hot coconut dumplings - a treat on the white sandy beach of Store Bay, Tobago. I heard that they even cook it in breadfruit oil down in Grenada. Despite the succulent and tasty bits of meat you can suck out of their slender legs catching these crabs can be quite tricky, and even dangerous as they like to live in the mangrove swamps or other muddy areas near the sea. If you aren't a skilled cr

Playing in Pink Poui Petals

Piece: 'Pothound in the Poui' Size: 150 x 100 cm Medium: Acrylic and textured medium on canvas Artist: Tricia Trotman-Maraj This piece was inspired by the glorious Poui Tree which blooms during the dry season months in the West Indies. They come in various beautiful colours including lilac, yellow, red, orange and the marvellous pink depicted in the painting. As you drive along the main highway in Trinidad during these months you would notice bursts of colour dotting the northern range. Its delicate petals litter the ground and is indeed a site to behold. There is something magical about laying on a bed of Poui Petals as the wind rustles the branches creating pink snow! Hey, don't knock my i

Roasted Breadfruit and My Birthmark

Piece Titled: 'Roasting Breadfruit' Artist: Tricia Trotman Maraj Size: 120cm x 100 cm Material: Acrylic on Canvas It's finished! After many busy weeks and a trip to Nigeria, the land of some of my ancestors, "Roasting Breadfruit" is finally completed. Breadfruit was the food of slaves brought to the Caribbean from the Western coast of Africa. This is what we Trini's call 'heavy food'. It fills you up quickly and provides lots of energy which is what was needed in order to work from sun up to sun down on colonial plantations in the Caribbean. The fireside is what slaves used to cook this vegetable and today the tradition carries on in many Caribbean islands. My mother said when she wa

Shark on the Reef!

Piece titled: Buccoo Reef Cries Size: 92 x 61 cm Artist: Tricia Trotman-Maraj Medium: Acrylic on canvas. Many years ago when I was eight my family and I visited Store Bay, Tobago for the first time. Whilst there I saw people boarding these glass bottom boats and asked my mother why they were doing that. She explained that they were going out to the coral reef. I had asked to get on but we couldn't afford the ride. Years later I returned to that beach, this time as a teacher accompanied by a full troop of equally excited Geography students. We boarded the boat and in about twenty minutes reached the spot where we were allowed to get off and snorkel for a bit. The sky and water merged into

The Story Behind the 'Mataborro'

Piece titled: Mataborro ( Man Killer) Size: 61 x 92 cm Artist: Tricia Trotman-Maraj Medium: Acrylic on canvas The red fig (banana) or Mataborro as it is called in Trinidad & Tobago is a sweet fig (you call them bananas). However, it has a very bad reputation with the men who operate bush-rum distilleries deep in the forest and far from law enforcement. The story goes that many hav e literally dropped dead after consuming babash ( bush rum) with these figs in the blistering tropical sun. Something about this combination kills and as a result of this banana is called Mataborro or man killer. Presently if you want to find this tree you would have to go into the deep countryside or tropical rain

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