RED was chosen to represent the nation’s capital, Grand Turk. The color is taken from the red/pink fruit found on the national plant, the Turks Head Cactus. They were once found in abundance on Grand Turk before they were removed to accommodate the salt ponds.
WHITE was chosen to represent Salt Cay. The color came from salt. The salt industry was largely responsible for populating the islands of Salt Cay, Grand Turk and South Caicos.
ORANGE was chosen to represent South and East Caicos. The color comes from the Spiny Lobster and fish and reflects the fishing industry in the “Big South.”
TAN was chosen to represent Middle Caicos. The color is taken from the raw material (thatch) that once covered the roofs of the houses. It is also used to make straw hats, baskets and brooms. Middle Caicos is known for the superior quality of native craftwork.
GREEN was chosen to represent North Caicos and Parrot Cay. The color is taken from the fruit trees and other types of trees that flourish in the most fertile of all the islands. North Caicos is also home of Wade’s Green Plantation, the most successful of Caicos Islands cotton plantations.
TURQUOISE was chosen to represent the islands of Providenciales, Pine Cay and West Caicos. The color is taken from the beautiful turquoise waters that surround these islands on which our famous Caicos fishing sloops sail. These turquoise waters also contribute to our newest industry, tourism.
PINK was chosen to represent the beautiful conch shell, flamingoes and the numerous uninhabited cays that make up our chain of islands.
YELLOW represents God’s glory as the sun shining down on all our beautiful islands and cays. The sun also contributes to our newest industry, tourism.
Photo courtesy of Joanna Ostapkowicz. The Duho is one of the rarest artifacts in the museum’s collections. It was used a ceremonial seat for the cacique or chief of the Lucayans, the first inhabitants of these islands.
The Grand Turk Lighthouse was erected in 1852 and was originally designed to burn whale oil and had an Argand reflector lamp. In 1943 the lighthouse was converted to a Fresnel Lens one of these lenses is now on display at the Museum.
The Molasses reef wreck, an early Spanish Caravel was equipped with three types of breech-loading swivel guns, one type is shown above. The swivel guns are thought to be anti-personnel weapons placed wherever convenient along the ship’s rail.
The museum has diverse collection of early postcards of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Most post cards depict scenes on Grand Turk, the capital and from the salt industry.
“The National Museum is a TCI national treasure, which has grown from a quiet private initiative into a national resource and repository. It has gradually accumulated objects and papers of inestimable value to the collective sense of belonging in these Islands.
It now serves as a living expression of a collective memory; and without a collective memory there can be no sense of collective identity. The National Museum should be dear to the hearts of all those who live on these Islands.
I am struck deeply by the valuable holdings; not just of wonderful artefacts, but also of the tremendously evocative paper holdings, the records of births and deaths, the evidence of continuities in the Islands' population – who they were and who they are now. Visiting the museum, one gets a real sense of how life in these Islands were lived.
The TCI lives in all its cultural and historical richness through the National Museum. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that it remains such an important part of TCI’s heritage and I encourage all readers to visit and support it.”
Dr. John Freeman H.E.
Governor of the Turks & Caicos Islands
"As a proud Turks and Caicos Islander and a holder of a degree in history, I have always taken a very keen interest in history generally and then in the history, heritage and culture of these wonderful Turks & Caicos Islands.
From my humble beginnings growing up in the fishing capital, South Caicos, and the real capital, Grand Turk, to becoming the first female Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands, history has played a big part in my life.
The Turks & Caicos National Museum is a veritable goldmine of information on the history of these islands; spanning over a thousand years, from the Pre-Columbian Indians, to the space age and everything else in between.
I welcome you to the TCN Museum website, and should you be fortunate enough to visit Grand Turk, I encourage you to visit this marvelous national repository, and immerse yourself in the surprisingly deep and rich history of these beautiful by nature Turks & Caicos Islands".
Hon Sharlene Cartwright Robinson
Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands
"My interest in history and research goes back to my years as a student at the then Grand Turk Secondary School, where my teacher and later mentor, the late Helena Jones Robinson instilled a curiosity in me to appreciate context. At that time, not fully appreciating the impact that curiosity would have on me, I sought only to please my teacher.
Pursuing tertiary education at various institutions, in various countries and at various levels, my initial foundation of inquiry was further stimulated. Libraries and museums would form a very important part of my education, specifically during my studies in Jamaica, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Returning home after my studies abroad, my first visit to the Museum so captivated me that I began to tell all persons, visitors and islanders alike, that a visit to the museum was a MUST! The quaintness, yet thorough organization and presentation of artifacts of various kinds avowed me.
I found tremendous joy in taking my TCI Studies students to the Museum, standing back and listening to their expressions of excitement and curiosity as the curators and assistants would walk them through the various displays and presentations.
The Jamaican expression “likkle but tallawah” (small but strong) aptly fits our Museum. The significance of this institution to our history and culture cannot be over stressed.
Welcome to The Museum. A combination of history, culture and enchantment awaits you."
Dr. Hubert A. Fulford
President of Turks and Caicos Islands Community College