Wea di un orea

This chamber pot has one handle to distinguish it from cooking pots. Not without reason! In the 1950s most houses in Curaçao didn’t have a toilet. The Martina family from Fleur de Marie was no exception. “My parents would place a chamber pot underneath every bed at night. If someone needed to urinate, they would go in the pot. In the morning my parents would take out the pot and empty it in a large tin in the outdoor privy. Also we would pour urine on our plants against white mold and even use it on other family members as a surprisingly effective cure for ear pain.”

The inhouse chamber pots were not suited for defecation; this took place right away in the outdoor privy.

Every day a human waste professional went door to door and asked families if they needed help. In the middle of the night she would then come back to the houses of families that said yes, quietly take the tin, place it on her head, walk to the shore and throw its contents in the sea. At dawn the tin would be back in its place, clean as ever. Most waste professionals charged two guilders per tin.

“Every day a human waste professional went door to door.”