Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater

Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater (HM2HZN)

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N 32° 47.129', W 79° 55.957'

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By Martha Jackson Jarvis

Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater is a sculptural collection that explores the connections between Charleston's natural environment and its rich African-American history. The project consists of tabby (oyster-shell and concrete) houses and barrels covered with imagery relating to the African-American experience of the coastal landscape rendered in ceramic, glass, mosaic, and terracotta. The rain barrels suggest the necessity of collecting fresh water on islands surrounded by the brackish estuaries. They are embellished with glazed ceramic fish cast from species found in coastal waters, including red snapper, red hind, pompano, and flounder; some of these fish reappear on the houses, which are meant to evoke modest vernacular dwellings. The houses are encrusted with the shells of oysters, another local food; they also carry the mosaic image of the rice plant. People from West Africa were especially prized because of their familiarity with rice cultivation; their knowledge was ironically a cause of their enslavement. The houses also carry mosaic images of mosquitos, carriers of malaria that plagued Europeans and Africans alike, though the presence of the sickle-cell trait in some Africans made them resistant to the disease. The bottle trees offer additional protection. A common feature in vernacular gardens across the South, they are believed

to trap or confuse evil spirits with their flashing reflections. Through this layering of cultural and natural references, Jackson Jarvis's work speaks to the enduring potency of the low country landscape and the many cultural traditions that have built and survived it.
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, June 20th, 2019 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 599953 N 3628010
Decimal Degrees32.78548333, -79.93261667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 47.129', W 79° 55.957'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 47' 7.7399999999999" N, 79° 55' 57.42" W
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Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
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