In the less developed outer islands (or family islands), basketry is made from palm leaves, among other things. This material, commonly known as “straw”, is woven into hats and bags, which are popular tourist items. Another use is for “voodoo dolls”, although these dolls are a product of the American imagination and not based on historical fact.
A form of folk magic (Obeah) is practised by some Bahamians, mainly in the Family Islands (outer islands) of the Bahamas. The practice of Obeah is illegal in the Bahamas and is subject to criminal prosecution.
Junkanoo is a traditional Afro-British street parade with “rush”, music, dance and art that takes place every year on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in Nassau (and some other places). Junkanoo also celebrates other festivals and events such as Emancipation Day.
Regattas are important social events in many family settlements on the island. They usually involve one or more days of sailing on historic working ships and a feast ashore.
Many dishes are associated with Bahamian cuisine, which reflects Caribbean, African and European influences. Some places have festivals associated with the culture or traditional food of the region, such as the Pineapple Fest in Gregory Town, Eleuthera or the Crab Fest in Andros. Other important traditions are storytelling.
Bahamians have created a rich literature of poetry, short stories, plays and short novels. Common themes in these works are (1) awareness of change, (2) search for sophistication, (3) search for identity, (4) nostalgia for ancient customs, and (5) appreciation of beauty. Authors include Susan Wallace, Percival Miller, Robert Johnson, Raymond Brown, O.M. Smith, William Johnson, Eddie Minnis and Winston Saunders.
Bahamian culture is rich in beliefs, traditions, folklore and legends. Some of the most famous Bahamian folklore and legends are Lusca in the Bahamas Andros, Pretty Molly in the Bahamas Exuma, the Chickcharnies in the Bahamas Andro and the Lost City of Atlantis in the Bahamas Bimini.