The mountain cabbage broom that is mentioned in a poem by Laurelle “Ya-ya” Richards brings back childhood memories from some St. Martiners.
As a little girl we used it to sweep the yard. It worked wonders. My grand mother would always walk around to ‘inspect’, because it had to be ‘clean like a whistle’.
Irma C Gumbs:
Growing up, we would go to the forthhill, which was right next to our home, to get the branches. They would be then tied together in bundles to make the brooms. Every morning before school and also on Saturdays, part of our chores was to use those brooms to sweep our yard, which was quite big. Everyone had their section to sweep, leaving the yard looking spick and span. Those brooms did a great job.
Indi Nandoo did not grow up in St. Martin, but still uses a coconut broom, which is in the same style as a mountain cabbage broom since both are made from palms. “I can’t live without my coconut broom! Made from the spine of coconut branches. It’s the only thing for me.” She shared a photo of it:
Mountain Cabbage broom in a painting of a Caribbean home scene by Gregory: