Tens of thousands of Jamaicans make a living as artists selling to the tourist trade. Much of the art work is kitsch, paintings of and intuitive hardwood carvings of Bob Marley, glistening with oil and fishes and animals, often painted in rainbow hues and touched with pointillist dots for anywhere from US$5 to US$50.
There is plenty of first-rate art, too. Jamaican art is sought after by collectors worldwide. The best works are bought at galleries for resale at fixed prices. Kingston is the Mecca for excellent galleries to choose from.
Depending on what catches your eyes can spend $5.00 for a small trinket such as a necklace or small craft item to thousand of dollars. You should look far and wide before making a purchase. You should carefully examine wood carvings. Avoid green wood as the carving will split when the wood dries out. Minute holes betrays woodworm. Jamaica has something for everyone. Craft Markets are commonplace in Jamaica's resort areas Here vendor's occupy colourful stalls selling items made of indigenous materials like lignum vitae wood, jippi jappa straw, John Crow beads, goatskin, calico and bamboo.
While tourism brings desperately needed foreign income, it has many potentially negative side effects. How you behave here is critical. For example, visitors are often tempted to buy souvenirs made from endangered wildlife - such as swallowtail butterflies, stuffed baby crocodiles, and black coral jewellery - without realizing the divesting impact this has on local ecology. Drug use also raises certain moral dilemmas. Buying Ganja or cocaine not only is illegal but also helps foster drug trafficking and it concomitant handmaiden, crime.
Never pay the asking price. Haggle! It is expected; If you pay the first price quoted, you'll pay over the odds. Keep your cool and good humor as this will take you a far way in getting 20% off!
Straw hats and bags are traditionally popular. Stop at a roadside display of carvings and craft. Don't forget to bargain for your purchases. Visit an art gallery or browse amongst the paintings hanging on a beach front fence, colorful. Find inexpensive T-Shirts to embroidery and hand-painted dresses to choose from.