The Wattle and Red Earth (WARE) Collective will be hosting ‘Heritage Brukins’, a community-based event on October 15, at Malvern Chase, the site of their proposed Living Museum in St Elizabeth.
WARE collective is a non-profit, charitable Jamaica-based organisation promoting the preservation and education of traditional arts and sustainable building methods throughout St Elizabeth and surrounding parishes while offering economic opportunities for development in local communities.
The day is planned to be a fun, hands-on experience with participants being able to help construct a Lime Kiln, using stones and other materials from the earth, and observe and learn other traditional skills.
The day will feature (all included in the cost of admission):
- Maroon Ceremonial Drummers from Accompong,
- Internationally acclaimed saxophonist Stephen Wise (a local star),
- Storytelling and poetry with community elders,
- The building and burning of a traditional lime kiln,
- Demonstrations of Spanish Wall construction,
- Thatch and basket weaving with local artisans,
- Delicious outdoor ‘Grun’ Food’ country-style cooking
- Prizes and giveaways
The event, which is fully supported by the community, is expected to draw community residents and volunteers from across Jamaica and will serve as a beautiful way to introduce Jamaicans to a vanishing aspect of our culture of resilience during the time when the country recognises and celebrates its heroes. The project is also anticipated to bring attention back to the art of Spanish walling.
Constructed with the distinctive red earth of St Elizabeth, the parish’s traditional earth and limestone structures symbolise rich tangible and intangible legacies of our culture. However, only around forty of these century-old buildings remain, and require community mobilisation and investment for their preservation.
The weekend is an essential start to the WARE Collective goal of creating a Living Museum. A Living Museum, a unique concept for Jamaica, seeks to literally bring to life the history and culture of a region, and in this instance, focus on traditional crafts, and ways of building.
The project for St Elizabeth gained international acclaim when the team was awarded first place in the International Ilucidare Challenge in April 2022.
In a sit-down interview with founding board member and renowned sustainable architect, Ann Hodges stated that the concept behind the project is to “create an avenue which will help to better understand and appreciate Jamaica’s history. In fact, we have already had a great response from persons living in St Elizabeth and they fully support the project.”
Hodges further explained that we can also appreciate Spanish Walling as a sustainable construction method.
“Using materials from the land, rather than imported steel and cement which requires a lot of energy to produce in the long run, and we could find modern ways to use these construction methods and materials to reduce our carbon footprint,” she added.