My Chichi: A Souvenir with a Soul
Updated: Sep 13
Last month, I visited Curacao, a beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea, and I fell in love with its culture, nature, and people. One of the most memorable things I brought back from my trip was a Chichi sculpture, a colorful and curvy figure that represents the strong and proud Caribbean woman.
Chichi means ‘big sister’ in Papiamentu, the local language of Curacao. Chichi is not only a word, but also a character that embodies the spirit, values, and heritage of the Caribbean people. She is the backbone of the family and the society, and she is always ready to help, support, and inspire others.
Each sculpture is handmade, and hand painted by local artists at Serena's Art Factory, a creative workshop that empowers women and promotes cultural diversity. Each sculpture is unique and has its own personality, style, and story. You can find Chichi sculptures in different sizes, colors, and poses, from small souvenirs to large statues.
I walked up and down the display bench at Serena's Art Factory until I found the sculpture that I felt was calling to me. I picked up a beautiful Chichi wearing a purple dress and started to walk to the register. But something made me stop next to a woman (one of the artists) and peer into the box of Chichi sculptures she was tagging for sale. I was immediately drawn to one of the sculptures in her box. She eagerly exchanged the one I had in my hand for the that was calling my name so loudly.
When you visit Serena's Art Factory, and highly suggest that you do, listen to your heart and let it guide you to the art that speaks to you! I feel more like the sculpture chose me than the other way around. My beautiful Chichi with her blue dress and white feathery palm trees will forever be a reminder of time spent with friends that day in Curacao.