Rastaman Wash Day

Rastaman Wash Day, is a portrayal of an activity which is common in Jamaica – the washing of dirty clothes carried out in the manner seen in the drawing. Despite the advent of the washing machine, it is still not uncommon for one to see Jamaican people, in city or country regions attending to their laundry like this. Of Course a proper wash load would be attended with wash pans and scrub brushes and a bench on which to sit. But in some instances, where it is a quick wash of a few garments, the mackerel bucket turned wash pan will suffice for both the washing and rinsing of clothes. 
 
Another common element in this activity is the ‘stand pipe’ or what some Jamaican people call, the ‘ceston’ (cistern), which is identified as a pipe set outside of the house, usually in the backyard, with a makeshift or well-built receptacle for holding and draining water. But, there’s no surprise if you see this pipe in the front yard, being put to use for many things that require the use of water, including laundry. It must be noted that the terminology, ‘ceston’/ ‘cistern’ is coming from way back in the days when cisterns were a common usage before water supply became more technical and easy to access. If you ask around, you may find some older Jamaicans who would still refer to the stand pipe with its concrete basin, as a cistern. My mother would always send me to the ‘ceston’ to wash this, or to wash that. It’s only when I became an adult that I realized that it is an old terminology with remnant use and meaning,  a bit different from the original. But that tends to happen when generations pass as things and information get handed down.
Rastaman painting drawing
Rastaman Wash Day by Eston Henry

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Oshayne Gordon
6 years ago

Very interesting article!!!!!!