Haiti Art Cooperative
St. Jacques by George Valris (third from left standing in photo below)
Haiti Vodou Flag Artists 2009, Photo copyright by Michelle Karshan (taken in Haiti)
Haiti's Vodou Flags Represent the Spirits and Call Upon them for Help
The Haiti Art Cooperative is a network of non-profit projects with programs in Haiti serving Haiti's poor, including persons deported, streetchildren, orphans, students, persons in need of medical care and families.
Our projects all purchase art at fair trade prices from artists in Haiti that we have developed long term relationships with, and, we collaborate in the sale of art as a fundraising vehicle for our programs.
In turn, our steady purchase of art from artists in Haiti works to support those individual artists in their personal and artistic lives. And, we all take pleasure in sharing the beauty of Haiti's culture with others.
This is part of a larger collection. To inquire about purchasing Vodou flags, or exhibiting or taking on consignment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 212-613-6033.
Haitis Ceremonial Banners, or Vodou Flags, are tapestries of sequins and beads trimmed with a satin backing.
They are probably the most familiar of all Vodou objects and they are enchanting, combining the graphic clarity of African appliqué banners with the scintillating luxuriance of Christian liturgical vestments. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 1998
Varying in size, drapo are typically colorful and vibrant bead and sequin combinations sewn on cloth or a rice sack, with a satin backing and border.
The flags represent various spirits, or lwa, of Vodou, based on religious beliefs and practices slaves brought with them from West Africa. Each spirit embodies unique characteristics, and plays a different role. Vodou flags, exhibited in ceremonies, serve to call down particular spirits who help practitioners with their personal problems and aspirations.
Vodou spirits are represented by either the image of the spirit, or the corresponding symbol, or veve, that represents it. Because slaves were forbidden from practicing Vodou, they also adopted Catholic saints to represent the various spirits of love, water, twins, trees, crops, etc.
Haitian Vodou flags have been the center of numerous museum exhibits, including the Sacred Arts of Vodou which toured museums such as the Smithsonian Institute and the Museum of Natural History.
Our collection includes flags made by Lalanne, Maxon, and others whose works have been included at museums, galleries, and in key articles and books.
All the proceeds from the sale of these Vodou flags go to benefit the not-for-profit Li, Li, Li! Read program for children in Haiti's tent camps or to Alternative Chance reintegration/advocacy program for deportees in Haiti.
For info or to purchase, contact: email@example.com or 212-613-6033 We accept PayPal and major credit cards.
Click here to read about Li, Li, Li! Read program in Haiti
Click here to read about the Alternative Chance (Chans Altenativ) program in Haiti