Anguilla’s salt-picking event called a success

 Anguilla’s salt-picking  event called a success

Heading out to the centre of the Salt Pond. Photos courtesy Clemvio Hodge.


Cakes of salt from the bottom of the pond.

ANGUILLA--Hundreds of the island’s young and not so young flocked to the Road Bay Salt Pond in Sandy Ground on Saturday, July 25, to actively participate in the picking of salt, the culminating event of the three-day Salt Festival. As daylight broke, participants arrived to register for the activities, received their entry wrist band and waited for their assigned guides before entering the pond.

Wearing appropriate clothing to include gloves and boots, and carrying buckets and baskets and an occasional tool to crack and loosen the salt, they followed their guides into the knee-high water to participate in Anguilla’s historic tradition of picking salt. While some stayed with the guides to learn of Anguilla’s salt harvesting and export history, many set off in smaller groups to uncover the best areas to find the largest areas of salt.

It quickly became apparent that there was more than enough salt for everyone. Scant rainfall and hot temperatures were the perfect combination for the pond’s floors to be caked with hard layers of salt. Sharp tools had to be used to crack the salt beds to allow eager fingers to reach under the salt layers to free the salt and pull it up.

With everyone sharing the best locations to harvest the salt, it didn’t take long for the buckets and baskets to fill up. With a new-found appreciation of the physical effort needed to pick salt, participants waded back to shore with their salt treasures, picked up their event-included breakfast and sat to exchange salt-gathering stories. It was a highly enjoyed cultural event.

The Daily Herald

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