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The Culture of the Turks and Caicos Islands

Local artists in the Turks & Caicos Islands thrive on the beautiful land and seascapes as themes for their paintings, sketches and drawings. The colorful characters of the natives also offer lots of subjects for the creative artist.

Oil and watercolors are the two most widely used techniques of the local artist. With the colorful influence and broad styles of our neighbors, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, a new style of Turks & Caicos art is emerging to further define the scenes, themes and subject matter for young and upcoming artists as they capture the culture on canvas.

Phillip Outten, June Taylor and Ianthe George are three prominent local artists whose works standout and find their way on to the walls of many homes and businesses on the Islands and abroad. The Bamboo Gallery on Providenciales, offers a wide range of local and Caribbean pieces for sale and both Phillip Outten and Jean Taylor own and run their own art galleries and welcome one and all to visit and view their works.

The art of basket weaving, plaiting palm leaves for straw hats, net making, binding mosquito brushes, and weaving fanner dishes and bowls is very much alive in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The majority of these craftsmen and women are found in the three settlements on Middle Caicos. Conch Bar, Bambarra and Lorimers.

Farming and fishing was the way of life for the people in the Caicos Islands and the need for these items necessitated this type of work. Nets were needed for catching fish and turtles. Baskets and bags were required to collect and transport the catch and the crops. Hats were used to provide shade during the long hours in the hot sun. Fanner dishes were ideal to separate the chafe from the corn when making grits. Mosquito brushes were useful in keeping the bugs away in the fields. Broom and brushes made from silver palmtop leaves were used to keep the house and yard clean.