Description of Figure/Doll

Handcrafted doll from the culture of the British Virgin Islands. Her torso is stuffed fabric, and her extremities are made with wire that is covered with masking tape. She is wearing a green shawl with the letters “B .V. I.” hand sewn with yarn. Her dress and head scarf are made with matching print fabric. Her face is embroidered with thread to make the eyes and mouth. Her hair is black yarn. She is wearing hoop earrings made of wire.

British Virgin Islands

Location: Caribbean island

Capital: Road Town

Main language: English

Currency: US dollar

Figure/Doll

Construction: cloth, wire, and yarn

Height in Centimeters: 28

Height in Inches: 11

Harvesting Salt in BVI: Salt Island in the Caribbean

Reading Level: 5.70

My name is Edgar and I am 12 years of age. My dad, mom, and I had just arrived on Tortola, which is part of the British Virgin Islands (also called BVI). The BVI are made up of 60 islands, of which only 16 have people on them. The largest of these islands are Tortola, Virgin Gordo, and Anagada.

My dad told us that we would be sailing to Salt Island to see how they used to harvest salt from the ocean. He explained that now most of our table salt comes from salt mines. Many years ago, salt was “harvested” from sea water, which has lots of salt in it. 

As we headed towards Salt Island, our guide told us that only one married couple (Nelson and Lorna) live on Salt Island. When we docked, Nelson approached us and with a warm friendly smile and a question: “Did you come to see the salt?” Before we could reply, he told us that his grandfather had lived here and collected salt from the salt lakes. At that time, 100 people lived on Salt Island and worked with the salt ponds.

Nelson told us that the salt was harvested during the dry season, usually is early spring. This was the time of the year when the water evaporates in the island’s two shallow ponds. When the water is gone, only the salt is left. The salt forms a very hard crust on the bottom and edges of the ponds. Nelson and Lorna take the salt crusts to a salt house where it is dried. Then they put it into bags.

As the sun began to set on the Caribbean beach, it was time for us to leave. I knew that every time I used the salt shaker, I would remember Nelson, Lorna, and Salt Island. 


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