Pulling out the carpets for a festive, religious occasion
Sawdust carpets are layers of colored sawdust or other materials laid on the ground mostly for religious activities. It is traditionally used for processions in Benque Viejo where many will participate this Friday to witness the creation of the sawdust tapestries. The tradition has been brought to the verandah of the Divine Mercy Church in Belize City where the sawdust carpets have been placed at the entrance of the chapel. From rosary to a cross made from beans and seeds; the artwork will capture the attention of the congregation and anyone who visits the church to experience the Passion of Christ between now and Sunday. Volunteer, Anita Zetina spoke of the significance of the displays.
Anita Zetina, Volunteer
“Well basically they are of religious significance. If you look at them, you will see the Eucharist; you will also see Jesus carrying his cross, the rosary representing our blessed mother. So it is basically representing the passion of Christ.”
“It’s a really creative method of art that you are doing here. Tell us about what it really entails.”
“It’s basically made of saw dust and colored—they have several colors—and so the designs are made with the different colors, but all is made of saw dust. But if you look at the cross that is on the left hand side of the building, it is also made with different types of seeds. It has beans corn rice and so just depicting different types of designs with the saw dust and along with the seeds. I believe the tradition came from Guatemala because in Guatemala that is how it is done for the procession on Good Friday. And it was the initiative of a lady in Benque to bring it to Benque. So it’s been going on for a number of years. If you go to Benque tomorrow for the procession in the evening; all of this is prepared for people to walk on it at the end of the day. But it is beautiful; it is representative of our catholic tradition and religion.”