Bandabou(w) is where I’m located as a child born Curaçao Creative. Bandabou means the lower land or lower part of the island (although has the highest mountain Christoffel) in Antilles-Dutch Caribbean. As often mentioned, this part of the island is known for best cultivating and recreating. It pertains the best natural beaches, old antique style houses, historical land-houses from slave histories – peaceful valleys -creeks (rainwater dams), valleys and mountains picturing nuances color changes and wild blooming trees, cactus-sorts, and traditional bushes and healing plants.
Usually twice a year (in February and October after a rushing rain) the famous national tree Kibra Hacha blooms. That’s the dominant bright yellow color flowering awesomely on hill sleeps and covers awesome large parts over hills giving a bridegroom show and instills the nerves when admiring from afar. Also, the wild hibiscus-sort Cherries called ‘Shimaruku’ is a delight already to see the red tasty small fruits in bunches appear- first to flourish in heavy rains along the roads. It gives us an opportunity to stop the car and start plucking to take-in pure vitamin C. And it protects our bodily immune system. Also, in the ‘mondi’ wilderness and ‘kunuku’ plantation’ along alleys or goat roads, you’ll suddenly discover these trees tilted with deliciously sweet cherries. Another wonder comes from the seasonable Vanilla wild tree flowers to inhale its ravishing aroma along lanes in afternoons atmospheric ambiance uncovering its fantastic odor in the cool air until during evening when passes by or sitting on a veranda nearby.
Fancifully are the style houses with beautiful flowered- and fruits gardens, big charming veranda’s and diversity of birds chirping around in tranquil areas and Iguanas sunbathing on their roofs. Other sites are resting salt lakes covered with pink of flamingos — on large scale coming in from Orinoco River in Venezuela to nestle in our serene quiet areas where formerly salt was extracted.
Jan Kok area.
Most citizens from this lower land show their kind character and going about their own business. They have a pride and take care of their surrounding, Interesting is that in the old days Bandabou could see neighborhoods providing in their own needs like old-style farming skills and cattle holding. But also craftsmanship was a customary necessity and providing in tin-equipment, wood objects, thatched materials, clay sorts, and more. So everyone was very creative. Each neighborhood had one shoemaker, one sewer, one traditional healer or herbal medicines were always present to cure for chronicle illnesses and prenatal consulting was available. The importance was cattle-holding and planting because it had also a protective income highly and highly respected. Abundant reaping seasons were there in old days and at present time areas are recovering by ways of new methods and systems.
What Bandabou also used to have were famous story-tellers during ancient times and troubadours which turned central figures via their cultural drum and other traditional instruments like for instance the ‘benta’ a long stripe bamboo type. Famous compositions with songs of protest arose at same time. Proceed are the best mechanics, wood carvers, winemakers, boat builders, merchants and groceries (now from the Chines), politicians, herb healers and candy makers all in one breath. But return to the classical professions, we can still see some performing in progression.
Traditional bakers are still in existence to serve community. Some outside ovens are to make ‘pan sera’ and still in tact to deliver bread.
Some of the old-African customs are still maintained. Also the traditional language Papiamentu is to be highly recognized, which is considered to be in constant exploration, researched and approved by linguist experts . In maintain the past traditional oral tongue’, documentation and interchange with seminars along with other Caribbean Creole linguistic contacts are highly explored as well.
Majority of black population our islands take, are originated from slaves from West-Africa through Dutch colonization. Then soon you’ll discover mixed Mulatto through mingling with whites. Then constant migration traffic is there between islands. We speak of Jews origin (A’dam-Brazil-Israel), Portuguese(Brazil-Portugal), Windward Islands (Caribbean). Suriname, Venezuelan, Lebanese, India(n), then Dominican Republic-Colombian, Haitian, Jamaican, Chinese together with another second huge exploration of most Dutch. An expansion appears soon after with Americans, English, French, Africans until at moment we maintain a multi variety Culture which issue need carefully be observed.
From former Dutch Antilles of 6 islands -3 are incorporated into BES-provences under Dutch Reign since 2010, while remaining Aruba-St. Marten en Curaçao is in Autonomous state still in Corporate financial deals with the Dutch reign.
Willemstad Center is the Heritage UNESCO big Business Capital and Governing site with Dutch style Architectural color buildings which all remain Dutch Capital colonial style.
The Eastern part (Banda riba) has majority Dutch settling and man-made beaches plus offer boosting trade-businesses, real estate facilities and billboards all over place. This exciting though common modern looking area is different from the tranquility in Bandabou still this part a rising effect with resorts, apartments and luxurious weekend houses that need will to keep an eye on in lowland of Curacao. This to guarantee protective areas, landscapes, wild life and also our customs to be maintained. Touristic investing is emerging like rising mushrooms and taking lands need more leverage and urging control on landmarks. Questions already arise about the suddenly leased terrains, domination of real estate with interfering resort-facilities, easy land and beach owning. Hopefully authentic surrounding will maintain its mystical attraction. There must be larger space left where peace and tranquility remains on tiny island and unforgettable Bandabou. We remind our self, there is just one free high way to choose if things get too busy, since one main central road goes to all exotic areas.
This agglomerated growing population-side altogether tends interesting for welcoming new serving functions but ultimately living this Lower part island yearns deeply and traditionally for a maintain in its unique charm and tranquility.
Asyla ten Holt-All rights reserved.
Also: Funark Arts-Culture In-residence on http://www.funart88.wordpress.com/about/