Statues and Caribbean Folklife

I first met Louise Kimme in the 1970s when she was still splitting her time between her native Germany and her adopted Caribbean home, Tobago. Even then, she already carved life-size (and larger) figures out of locally harvested wood. She was inspired by Tobagonian folklore, the harvest festivals where people dressed as they might have during colonial times and danced the old-timey jigs. Louise had an eye for pulling a figure out of the wood that almost looked like a stereotype; but it wasn’t because you could recognize common postures, the way people held their head or thrust out their chest, or held their arm just so.
I forgot about Louise Kimme until I went back to Tobago a few years ago and was taken by her new house there. Did I say “house?” It actually resembled a palace and turned out to be a museum or art gallery on the inside. This is the street view of her house. Notice the Egyptian style statues on the roof in addition to the life-sized statues in front of the house:

Kimme's House in Tobago

Kimme’s House in Tobago

I really liked the statues of this couple dancing together:

Dancing couple

Dancing couple

Louise was away traveling but when I explained to the caretaker that I had known her so long ago and was disappointed to miss seeing her, he allowed me to come inside the courtyard and take pictures of more statues there:

Statues in courtyard

Statues in courtyard

The figure high up on the steps is yet another one of Louise’s sculptures. Her house, as you would expect from an artist like her, was one of a kind, with decorative woodwork and shutters:

Statue on steps

Statue on steps

Before I left Tobago, I discovered another one of Louise’s creation, a sweet young girl, located at the Kariwak Village hotel:

Statue at Kariwak

Statue at Kariwak

Louise Kimme passed away last year. She leaves behind a rich collection of unique artwork.

This post was created in response to Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Statues.

About Beauty Along the Road

My name is Annette. I am passionate about nature, health, simplicity, self-reliance, truth, and life-long learning. Originally from Germany, I now live in Virginia, USA. I am a therapist, health coach, writer, photographer, and organic gardener.
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18 Responses to Statues and Caribbean Folklife

  1. cindy knoke says:

    How full of life and joy!

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  2. Such beautiful statues, Annette. How fortunate you are to have been able to actually visit Louise’s house.🙂

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  3. mpejovic says:

    What a great selection of original statues you picked for this photo theme.

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  4. Wow! Her house looks like something out of a fantasy land. Did you ever get to see her before she passed away? How did you meet her originally? She was an amazing artist.

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  5. Wow, I love her folksy artwork, Annette. I’ve never been to Tobago. Was it wonderful?

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    • Tobago used to be a “paradise” island, 20 yrs ago. It is still interesting and beautiful ( a large unspoiled rainforest remains and is protected), some gorgeous beaches…but, it has become quite crowded at the Southern end with hotels and guesthouses, and too many cars for a small island. Also, the reef which I adored in the past is dying because the government didn’t have the foresight to enforce protective regulations. But if you didn’t know how it used to be, you’d still enjoy yourself.

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      • It’s really a shame when these places get over-touristed. I guess it’s hard to find places that are truly stuck in time. How was your Bali talk? I hope it went well. I was sorry I couldn’t have made it.

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  6. Delightful artwork! Thanks for sharing this.

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  7. Amy says:

    Beautiful artworks! Thank you so much for sharing.

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