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Learning about Saba Lace & Spiced Rum

We visit Saba Lace at Kakano Shop and speak with Alma Peggy Barnes, a historian who keeps this tradition alive and knows a good rum when she sees it.

Saba Lace, also known as drawn thread work or “Spanish Work,” was introduced to the island of Saba in the 1870s by Venezuelan nuns. Mary Gertrude Hassell Johnson, sent by her parents to study at a convent in Caracas, Venezuela, learned this intricate needlecraft from the nuns during her time there.

Upon returning to Saba in 1884, when regular mail service first connected the island to the outside world, Miss Hassell introduced the craft to the community. The wives and daughters of Saba’s seafaring men transformed it into a thriving mail-order industry. Today, the tradition lives on through Saba’s renowned Lace Ladies. Offering a unique and historical memento of one’s time on the island, various styles of Saba

Lace is available for purchase online, along with books detailing the patterns and history of this cherished craft., with books written about the patterns and history of Saba Lace.

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