Jewelry has been part of the Creole heritage since the 17th century and is a blend of African and European know-how and techniques.
They bear very symbolic names inspired by the history, the local fauna or flora: cinnamon apple, “negro tete”, twisted chain, big syrup necklace, convict chain, gold grain necklace, wasp nest brooch “, cabbage necklace, etc.
Even today, West Indian women love to wear their finest jewelry at family events, parties or simply in everyday life.
The headdress, accessory to the costume, reflected either the social situation or the circumstances of life. Jewelry, other essential accessories, was also a factor in identifying the social situation of the woman who wore it.
Formerly women’s outfits were:
“La Grand ‘Robe”, always made in a colored or shiny fabric, it was worn with a petticoat and a cape of the same shade.
“La Douillette”, an everyday dress, it consisted of a petticoat, a tight dress at the waist in flowery cotton, checkered or striped.
“La Titane”, clothing worn by courtesans of the time. Provocative, they did not hesitate to wear a lace shirt largely indented on the chest and revealing their shoulders.
“La Cotonnade”, in calendered madras, it could be in velvet or satin on feast days.
You can admire all the beauty of the Creole costumes during the performances of the Grand Ballet of Martinique.