The cruise ships have returned to St. Croix. They arrive in the morning and disgorge their living cargo for a few hours ashore. Priorities are rearranged. New businesses spring up in an attempt to pry a few dollars from wallets. The ships are welcomed as a needed lift for the island economy, even though some activities threaten to destroy the local culture and natural beauty that many come to see.
Before sundown, the living cargo streams back to the ship’s hold in time for the evening feast, and the leviathon slips quiety into the evening almost as if it were never here. Almost.
A local group called the Per Ankh Institute puts on cultural heritage drumming and dancing performances. This woman is one of the performers. Her regal posture and smile, and her instrument covered with hundreds of cowrie shells all spoke of pride in her heritage.
The occasion was the arrival of a cruise ship, and the image below shows some of the watchers. The tall woman in white with the camera is one of the Per Ankh troupe. The young girl sitting next to her is a local resident. The others are a few of the cruise ship passengers taking a short break in the shade of the palms to be entertained.
We no longer trust beauty as a serious means of investigation. But it can be ... In fact, beauty can be incendiary; it can be subversive; it can make us cringe.
-- David Maisel, Photographer
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." -- Anais Nin
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders of the universe, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.” -- Rachel Carson