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Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater

By Martha Jackson Jarvis

 
 
Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 2, 2019
1. Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Marker
Inscription.  Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater is a sculptural collection that explores the connections between Charleston's natural environment and its rich African-American history. The project consists of tabby (oyster-shell and concrete) houses and barrels covered with imagery relating to the African-American experience of the coastal landscape rendered in ceramic, glass, mosaic, and terracotta. The rain barrels suggest the necessity of collecting fresh water on islands surrounded by the brackish estuaries. They are embellished with glazed ceramic fish cast from species found in coastal waters, including red snapper, red hind, pompano, and flounder; some of these fish reappear on the houses, which are meant to evoke modest vernacular dwellings. The houses are encrusted with the shells of oysters, another local food; they also carry the mosaic image of the rice plant. People from West Africa were especially prized because of their familiarity with rice cultivation; their knowledge was ironically a cause of their enslavement. The houses also carry mosaic images of mosquitos, carriers of malaria that plagued Europeans and Africans alike, though the presence
The Marion and Wayland Capo, Jr. Garden<br>(<i>marker is mounted on fence • just right of image</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 2, 2019
2. The Marion and Wayland Capo, Jr. Garden
(marker is mounted on fence • just right of image)
"Bottle" trees visible in garden (behind the fence).
of the sickle-cell trait in some Africans made them resistant to the disease. The bottle trees offer additional protection. A common feature in vernacular gardens across the South, they are believed to trap or confuse evil spirits with their flashing reflections. Through this layering of cultural and natural references, Jackson Jarvis's work speaks to the enduring potency of the low country landscape and the many cultural traditions that have built and survived it.

If the gate on your right is open, please feel free to come in to take a closer look.
 
Location. 32° 47.129′ N, 79° 55.957′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is on George Street west of George Burges Lane, on the right when traveling west. Marker is mounted at eye-level on the wrought-iron fence in front of the Middleton-Pinckney House. The gardens and subject sculpture are located behind the marker, within the Marion and Wayland H. Capo, Jr. Garden, on the west side of the Middleton-Pinckney House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14 George Street, Charleston SC 29401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 14 George Street (a few steps from this marker); The Noyer-Wildhagen House (within shouting distance of this marker); Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works Project SC 1233 F
Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Sculpture collection image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 2, 2019
3. Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Sculpture collection
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washington Light Infantry 1907 (about 300 feet away); St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away); Dr. Joseph Johnson House   (about 600 feet away); Harleston Boags Funeral Home (about 600 feet away); Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charleston.
 
Also see . . .
1. Slavery on South Carolina Rice Plantations. Rice was not native to the Americas. Nor were the techniques used to grow rice. Both the knowledge and the seed were introduced to the New World by explorers and African slaves that were brought here. As rice grew more profitable the towns of Charleston and Georgetown in South Carolina grew into wealthy ports that imported slaves from West Africa and exported rice to European countries that paid a premium for the “Carolina Gold.” These ports were entrances for the West Africans coming into the colonies and slave trading firms flourished in these towns. (Submitted on June 20, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Human/Nature: Art and Landscape in Charleston and the Low Country. Martha Jackson-Jarvis’ “Rice,
Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Sculpture<br>(<i>symbolic vernacular house & mosquitos</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 2, 2019
4. Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Sculpture
(symbolic vernacular house & mosquitos)
Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater” incorporates African symbols and four "bottle trees" embellished with brilliant blue glass bottles. The space is filled with elaborately detailed and brightly colored glass and ceramic mosaic pieces. Two elongated house shapes, reflective of the shotgun-style houses found in the neighborhood, are encrusted with shells, terra-cotta fish, and mosaic images of rice plants and mosquitoes - animal and plant life indigenous and important to the history of Charleston. (Submitted on June 20, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansAgricultureArts, Letters, Music
 
Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Sculpture<br>(<i>symbolic vernacular houses with rice plants</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 2, 2019
5. Rice, Rattlesnakes, and Rainwater Sculpture
(symbolic vernacular houses with rice plants)
Middleton-Pinckney House<br>(<i>enter here then turn left to access garden & sculpture</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 2, 2019
6. Middleton-Pinckney House
(enter here then turn left to access garden & sculpture)
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 19, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 64 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 20, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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