“And into the Freedom Fighter’s flowing white last clothes the women hid Jamaica’s national decorative stitch into a seam laying hidden until revealed 70 years later to an old seamstress in a dream. Early that Sunday morning she woke in great excitement and, applied her needle to the bodice of a plain blue linen dress, and drew up the hardanga from oblivion, where it had languished for more than seventy years in the land of lost stitches.” Lorna Goodison
The Caribbean’s No.1 Eco-boutique hotel Mocking Bird Hill in Port Antonio, Jamaica, are delighted to bring one of Jamaica’s national craft treasures to the attention of those outside Jamaica, utilising the lady folk of the local Parish of St. Mary’s that make up the Jamaica Hardanga Trust to create a unique Honeymoon gift for the bride & groom.
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill wanted to offer a honeymoon gift package that would appeal to both the bride & groom, hence their unique design of a unisex, knee–length, kimono-style hardanga dressing gown that can be slipped on in the morning or slipped off in the evening whilst on honeymoon, and then back home to help remember and re-invoke that honeymoon feeling. These pre-ordered gowns are now being offered at US$120 for two to those on honeymoon at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, or enjoying another of their tailored eco-weddings, renewal of vows or romantic break packages also offered.
Hardanga is the delicate work of counting & drawing threads, which once decorated clothing and household items in Jamaica. It begins with a basic measurement of material marking where the needle will be used to pull the fabric and fingers will deftly work the design. The Jamaica Hardanga Trust was established in 1984 with the aim of bringing together rural women who practised the craft, to train others interested in learning; to date they have managed to provide training in this once-forgotten craft to eighteen women a year.
Although this rediscovered stitch currently does not offer a sole income, it does provide a supplementary income for local women and in turn improves the quality of life for them, and their families. Hardanga has become so internationally acclaimed that this year the world’s leading craft market, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, invited the Hardanga Trust to take part, and their designs were snapped up.
Shireen Aga, Co-Owner Hotel Mocking Bird Hill said:
“We feel that these exquisite handmade honeymoon gowns are great for remembering and rekindling honeymoon feelings when back home; as soon as you get up you put on your gown and you are automatically transported to the place & time you first wore it. It was so important to us that we should be able to promote a product that would appeal to both sexes; cushion covers maybe sweet but they are not something we felt would be the first choice of both the Bride & Groom. At Hotel Mocking Bird Hill we believe in holistic & sustainable tourism, and, by utilising the skills of our local community, ensure that everyone prospers from tourism in Jamaica.”
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill’s Heavenly Honeymoon Retreat starts at US$1,075 per person excluding Kimono Hardanga Gowns
Click here to read more on Hotel Mocking Bird Hill’s Complete Wedding & Renewal of Vows Packages