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Lenca Pottery is unique for many reasons and buying one or more pieces during your visit to Roatan would be a great way to keep alive this art form and support a worthy enterprise. Named for the Lenca Indians who were one of the first known Honduran peoples, Lenca pottery is still made today by the descendants of these same people.
The process of making this pottery is very interesting because the pottery is made from mud which is then processed after it is mixed with water and finally becomes a "fine-textured clay." After a series of steps, not unlike how all pottery is made, the next phases are where Lenca pottery begins to differ from the rest. Secret formulas to 'preserve' the colors, and burning of different types of leaves to achieve those colors are a part of the secret. The only tools used, other than the potter's own hands, are corn husks and twigs!!
The pottery is beautiful because of its unique & bold design and the striking brown & off-white, dark brown, red, and white colors. The pottery comes in many shapes and sizes and about 200 designs!! ( The pottery does remind me somewhat of the American southwest Indian tribes' pottery though.)
What to buy: Well, the pottery of course!
Updated Feb 4, 2008
Another craft worth shopping for at the "Yaba Ding Ding" store are the unique and colorful baskets woven by the women of a mountain village near the border of Nicaragua and Honduras. These baskets are said to be made of pine needles and of course each one is as unique ".
The shop also carries "Santa Barbara" baskets hand woven by the women of the village of "La Arada, Honduras." Knowing they have a good thing going, the women have formed a co-op , "Promocion Arada" to sell their baskets. In this way they help to bring income into their village. You have to applaud the entrepreneurship of these women.
I wish I could have brought some of their handwoven baskets home!
What to buy: Why baskets of course, but really, any craft that is handmade in Roatan itself or Honduras.
Updated Apr 29, 2007
The name of this shop is unique and kind of unforgettable. Yaba Ding Ding is a term unique to the Honduran islands. Some use the term, Yaba Ding Ding, to refer to any pre-Columbian artiifacts that are found around the island, but MAYBE more specifically it most usually refers to the handles, feet, or adornments of pre-Columbian vessels which have broken off.
Although we never got the chance, one of the places I really would have liked to look around and shop was "Yaba Ding Ding." This shop carried many types of different local crafts including several types of pottery, Honduran woodcarvings, baskets, tropical clothing, and some of the more typical souvenirs. They also have Garifuna Folk Art which is unique to Roatan.
The shop which is open every day Monday - Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00, is air-conditioned and has local music too. Major credit cards are accepted. The shop apparently is located within walking distance of the cruise ship dock at Dixon Cove.
What to buy: I would definitely be drawn to the local pottery and folk art, but those "yaba ding dings" might be quite interesting too. Oh, yes and I'd definitely have to feed my passion for collecting postcards!
Updated Apr 29, 2007
A short walk from the cruise ship terminal, on the left side of the road, we found the Shepherd's Lot Souvenir Plaza, operated by the local Methodist Mission. The is a large but rustic building sitting beside the Methodist Cemetery.
Inside the Shepherd's Lot are numerous individual stalls operated by various private vendors. A wide array of items are available including native crafts, clothing, food items and souvenirs of Honduras. The plaza also offers fax and telephone service.
We bought a few small souvenir items here, at a good price.
Updated Apr 16, 2007
Finding Yaba Ding is no easy task but when you do you will be rewarded with some of the best items of the island.
There is loads of island crafts and you can find some great bargans here, just not on cruise ship days.
Remember to barter for the good you wish to get and remember to have a smile on your face.
What to buy: There are some nice scarfs here and wrap arounds.
Written Nov 20, 2005
There are good places to shop all over the island with good deals to be has in Coxen Hole and in some of the smaller shops in West End.
West Bay shops and the ones at the resorts are a bit higher in price but they just about always carry a large selection of sizes and colors.
What to buy: You can find good deals on swim suits and local wood carvings.
What to pay: Remember that in West End the asking price is normally double of what you can get it for but remember that the folks selling the items have to make a living on what you spend.
Updated Apr 4, 2004
The La Iguana have more selections of local t-shirts in general. The regular prices at other booths are $10.00 per t-shirt.
Written Oct 2, 2011
Not sure how these items come here when there are no Mayan ruins here. These are probably to add to the nice gifts to bring home from your trip.
Written Oct 2, 2011
There is a store that only sells native art. There are woven hats, woven purses, woven shoulder bags, embroidered aprons, etc.
Written Oct 1, 2011
Along the waterfront pier there were some little shops set up to sell gods. They had lots of bits and peices of everything. We couldn't resist buying a hammock!!
Written Oct 22, 2006