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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Keesha Miller: Revealing the Woman Behind the Craft
By Tameka F Grant (The Bahamas Weekly intern)
Jun 21, 2013 - 5:51:32 AM

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Woman of strength, woman of courage, woman of determination, woman of the craft

Keesha Miller is a straw weaver and native of Long Island.  As a little girl, designing and making straw craft was something she grew up observing, because her grandmother, grand aunts, grandfather, mother, and cousins all did it. So at the age of eight Mrs. Miller got on board. Everything she learned about straw craft, she learned on her own and by observing others.

With humble beginnings she started by weaving the straw baskets and watched how her grandmother and others designed and crafted different items. With her eagerness to learn Mrs. Miller would sneak onto her mother's sewing machine and started cutting patterns for plaiting.

"It took awhile to achieve the perfect plait," she stated but was determined. Mrs. Miller started to make lunch bags and provided teacher's with their personal lunch kits with matching school bags.  

Her vision did not stop there, and she entered competitions and participated in exhibitions where she won for best designs. Wherever there was an opportunity to display her work, she was there.

Miller presently is a teacher at R.M. Bailey High School where she is head of the PE Department.  She likes to teach students who are interested in learning straw work. During her interview for TheBahamasWeekly.com she made mention of her students and her amazement of both gender's interested in learning the craft.

Today, Mrs Miller works at Miller's End on Minnie Street, and she is proud that she provides her craft work to
B'Jou CLassique Boutique.

When asked what type of advice would she give to young people thinking about entering the craft business she stated "I encourage young people to enter this business, as you get to promote your Bahamian culture. There   are a lot of benefits within this business. You get to experiment with different things, and just about anything can be incorporated from the culture we have."

Miller has been teaching her own daughter since nine year's of age and one day wants her business to expand with a lot of young people  being apart it, so eventually they can branching off and open their own businesses. "The more we promote our Bahamian culture the longer our culture lasts, and the more valuable it becomes," she said with pride.

"It pays to be honest and hard working. Do something that you love and share your gift ." 

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