Rake n Scrape Sculpture Honours Bahamian Music on the Frederick Street steps in Nassau, The Bahamas

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Image # RF1-0585

Photographer: Jeremy Lavender Photography – Nassau, The Bahamas

An 11 ft. metal sculpture standing guard on the Frederick Street steps, Tyrone Ferguson’s “Rake n Scrape” pays homage, not just to the native music it is named for, but for how the music is made.

The sculpture tells its story in three parts. Coated in the colors of the Bahamian flag, “Rake n Scrape”is the yellow, arced blade of a saw braced against an aquamarine rod atop a solid black base.

At once it is the ingenuity of a people and the endurance of an age-old practice for Ferguson, who traces his art form back to the metal workers of ancient Africa.

The ingenuity of the upbeat, island-style quadrille known as rake n scrape comes in the use of tools to make music, he said.

“Rake n Scrape for me really is like child’s play,” said Ferguson, who created the sculpture for the “Love My Bahamas” art campaign, an initiative of the Downtown Nassau Partnership and Coca Cola that placed commissioned art works by local and international artists in the downtown area.

The Frederick Street Steps (locally called St. Andrew’s, Hill Crest or Blackbeard’s Steps) provide access to East Hill Street. The steps were carved out of stone in 1793, along with the street. Legend has it that, because of the panoramic view of the Harbor from East Hill Street, Blackbeard, the notorious Pirate, used these steps to go onto East Hill Street to see when the ships were coming in, so that he and his comrades could plunder them.

A Remembrance Day Ceremony in honor of the fallen war heroes was once held on these steps, as the original Cenotaph was built here before it was reconstructed in the Garden of Remembrance.

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