Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel

Have you  missed our Fairy Tales in Different Cultures lately? Sorry. My life got so crazy I had trouble getting the posts done. However in honor of "visiting" Jamaica this month with Around the World in 12 Dishes, I thought I would jump to a Rapunzel story and share Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel by Patricia Storace. Since Jamaica is in the Caribbean, it seemed fitting. We have already looked at Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci last February. First a bit about the Caribbean. (A Side Note: I will not be featuring a fairy tale next week, but instead will feature some multicultural Christmas books to check out.)

CIA map of the Caribbean
Source: By U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Caribbean consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and surrounding coasts. The Caribbean islands are considered a subregion of  North America. The island countries in the Caribbean include Anguilla, Antigua-and-Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts-and-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent-and-the-Grenadines, Trinidad-and-Tobago, Turks-and-Caicos Islands, and United States Virgin Islands. (Source) There are thousands of islands in the Caribbean. The islands have a tropical climate.

St. Croix
Before European contact it was estimated that there was 750,000 inhabitants. Due to disease and social contact, the numbers declined. The population rose as slaves from Africa were brought in. The Caribbean is now a mix of mostly Spanish, French and Dutch-Caribbeans as well as the descendents from the slaves of Africa and Ireland. Since so many different countries are in the Caribbean the population is diverse.

Now onto our story!  This story is begins with a fisherman and his wife on an island in the Caribbean. The wife announces that she is pregnant. Then a few days later she begins craving sugar cane. The husband tries to bring her other sweet things since sugar cane is only available in the center of the island and not near the beach, but she insists on sugar cane. Finally he agrees to get her some. He walks a long way and stops for lunch and a nap in a forest. When he awakes he finds a path to a beautiful coral house with a large garden with every plant that grows on the island in it. He knocks on the door, but no one answers. He decides to take a few sugar cane. His wife is ecstatic to get it, but her cravings continue. He goes back and finds the house again and knocks again. No one answers so he takes a few more canes, but this time he is caught and the sugar cane grow around him like a jail. A masked woman comes and she is a famous sorceress named Madame Fate. She tells him that she will take sugar cane from him since he took sugar cane from her. She already knew the baby would be a girl and named Sugar Cane. She tells him she will come for the baby on her first birthday.

Caña de Azucar
Source: By Cmales (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], 
via Wikimedia Commons

The fisherman tried to hide his family on Sugar Cane's first birthday, but Madame Fate found them and took Sugar Cane. The parents searched for Madame Fate's house, but they never found it again. Madame Fate took Sugar Cane to the rocky coast and put her in a tower overlooking the sea. Sugar Cane was given a pet green monkey named Callaloo for company.Sugar Cane grew more beautiful every day. When Madame Fate came to visit she would Sugar Cane to let down her hair. Madame Fate educated Sugar Cane by bringing people back from the dead to teach her. An angel from the heavenly choir taught her to sing. As much as Sugar Cane appreciated her spirit teachers and her monkey, she longed for human company. At night she would stand at her window and sing.

One night a fisherman called "King" heard Sugar Cane singing. Now "King" got his name because he was the King of Song. When he heard Sugar Cane's voice singing words to a song he was making up in his head, he looked up and saw the girl. Just then Madame Fate came to visit. He saw her climb up Sugar Cane's hair. He stayed on his boat and watched Madame Fate leave. He went to investigate the tower and found there was no other way in besides the girl's hair. He chanted the song he heard Madame Fate sing to get the hair and climbed up. Sugar Cane was startled when she saw King. King was very polite and she was excited to meet someone new and someone so handsome. Sugar Cane and King began to play and sing music together. Soon the morning came and Sugar Cane told King he had to leave. He promised to come again. He kept coming and started to bring her jewels. Sugar Cane began to weave a ladder from her hair strands. She would work on it on the nights King did not visit her. She knew she wanted to leave the tower and marry King. 

Jamaica sunrise
Jamaican Sunrise Source: By Adam L. Clevenger (Own work)
[CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Madame Fate noticed Sugar Cane's joy and became suspicious. She started to make surprise visits to Sugar Cane. One night she brought Sugar Cane a dress and found one of the jewels from King. She became so angry hearing about King, Madame Fate cut Sugar Cane's hair and threw it out the window. Then Madame Fate locked Sugar Cane in her room. Sugar Cane rushed to get out her ladder and escape from Madame Fate and her fury. When she and Callaloo got the bottom she did not know where to go. She did not see King's boat. Callaloo had grabbed some of the jewels before leaving and he hoped these would save them. One of the things he grabbed was the coral necklace her mother had made her for her first birthday. It no longer fit her neck, but she put it on her wrist. Then they heard Madame Fate chant and the ocean opened like a tiger's mouth. Sure they were going to be pulled to the bottom of the sea, they tried to run, but the next thing they knew they were carried on a large wave to the capital city. Sugar Cane was lost and did not know where to go. She searched for King and King searched for her. Months later King found her. They were married shortly after. During their first dance, a woman in the crowd recognized the bracelet on Sugar Cane's wrist as the necklace she made for her lost daughter's first birthday. Sugar Cane was reunited with her parents and the dancing continued and continued. 

One of the things I liked about reading this version is it does talk about some of the life in the Caribbean. The story describes the nets they sleep under and black cake. It definitely gives you a feel for life in the Caribbean.

Advent Week 3: Joy

Have you entered my current giveaway yet? Last day to enter is the 16th at midnight!

We are beginning the third week of Advent. The theme for this week is Joy. The joy Jesus brings the world. Now this week is special because it has the pink candle. Now last year I did a little research on Advent and Advent wreaths and discovered how the pink candle became pink. At one time Advent was a more solemn time similar to Lent. The Pope decided to lighten the mood on the third Sunday of Advent and passed out pink roses to his congregation. This became a tradition and eventually the candle was changed to pink to take on the rose tradition. (Source)

Our craft for the week of Joy is some clay ornaments. Since we had not made the Peace ornaments yet, we did those too. We also made some clay Hope ornaments (and Love) with the leftover clay. For Joy we used a star and used a "joy" rubber stamp. We used Sculpey polymer clay and had to bake them. I have my parents old toaster oven to bake polymer clay in since you should not use the same oven as you cook food in due to the fumes. 

For Peace we used our dove cookie cutter. Since we do not have a "peace" rubber stamp, we had to write it ourselves. We used one of the tools from Hazel's scratch paper. (We used this tool for the holes to hang the ornaments as well.)

I let Hazel write "Peace" herself.  Her spacing was off, but she did a good job. I guess my toaster oven burned the white clay a bit since they came out an orangy brown. I baked them on the correct temperature and for less time. Oh, well.

For Hope we used the star again. We also attempted to swirl the two colors together and was more successful than we had been for the Joy ones. We again had to write Hope ourselves and Hazel did her own. I am happy with how they came out. Now I need to add strings so we can hang them.

So now we get to light the third candle--the pink one. With each candle we remember the past themes. We have been leaving one of our ornaments by the candle to remind us.

I loving having them there! What are you doing to celebrate Advent?

For more on Advent check out:

Sharing Saturday 13-48

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Sharing Saturday last week. If you have not had a chance to check out the amazing ideas shared, you should! Thank you to everyone who shared and to everyone who visited others!! There was not a most clicked, so we will go straight to our features. Here are a few of my favorites (and I did try to pick some non-Christmas ones this week).

1) From Growing in God's Grace: Mystery of History Lessons 43-45 (Yes, they made an aqueduct!)

2) From Where Imagination Grows: Salt Dough & Melted Bead Tree Ornaments

3) From Imprints from Tricia: Button Christmas Ornaments

4) From Blissful Sewing: Felt Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

5) From My Nearest and Dearest: Scented Wreath Craft for Kids

6) From Danya Banya: DIY Educational Toy: Emo Dolls

7) From Crafting Connections: Abstracted Painted Scarf: Gift and Wear (with help decorating by kids)

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


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This week we shared our activities for the second week of Advent: Peace, an easy paperclip angel ornament and Christmas craft round-up of the past three years, an child-made photo display that we are giving the grandparents, a fun flamingo craft and review of flamingo party items from Oriental Trading.

Don't forget to enter our Giveaway of homemade magenta leather doll clothes and accessories & a gift certificate for Leather Hide Store!! Giveaway ends 12/16!


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Flamingo Friday: Getting Ready for a Flamingo Birthday Party with Oriental Trading

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

It is hard to believe it is almost Christmas. Once Christmas is over, we begin to really focus on Hazel's birthday. This year I am trying to have most of the work done before Christmas or at least the things I can do ahead of time. Oriental Trading was kind enough to send me some flamingo items to review, so here is my review as well as a preview of the party.

Easily Updated Photo Display for Grandparents

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?

So I was thinking of getting my parents and mother-in-law one of those frames that opens in the front so you can easily change the photo or artwork. Then I saw a pin for using a ribbon, miniature clothespins and a child's painting. I wish I could find the pin to share the source with you, but after almost an hour of searching, I'm giving up. (If it was yours, please let me know so I can link to it.) I had Hazel paint to canvases that I had already bought. Then I stapled some ribbon to them on the back.

Once the ribbon was hung, I just hung a photo well actually two (both her school pictures this year) on each one.

I buy the canvases when they go on sale at the craft stores. I picked up a package of miniature clothespins for around $3, so this is a pretty inexpensive, but personal gift and it gives them a way to easily adapt to whatever size photograph you give them each year, or to display more than one depending on the canvas size you use. What do you think?