Creole Crafts

Creole craftsmen are talented woodworkers, basket makers, and jewelry makers. Brought from West Africa and adapted to local conditions, the art of wood carving has been handed from father to son for generations using many of the beautiful and exotic woods of Belize. In the older days mahogany carving products were common household items such as washing bowls, kneading bowls, and pieces of furniture. Today the emphasis is on sculptures for tourists. Creole craftsmen make some of Belize’s finest furniture seen in many homes. The Creole home itself, built of wood and up on stilts, is unique in Central America. The construction of the dug-out canoe, or dorey (doary), is another skill once mastered by many Creole men. Traditionally baskets were made from a vine called the tie-tie. Jewelry makers have adapted their trade to natural materials at hand, such as coral, shells, and seeds.