Galerie Bonheur presents a collection of fine Haitian Voodoo flags. These unique textiles are meticulously made with sequins and beads by Haitian artists, following a long time tradition of beaded artwork in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Each of these original works of art is different and symbolic of the spirituality of the Haitian people. The flags or “banners” as they are also called, sparkle and shine when hung on a wall or made into a pillow. Truly colorful and singular artworks.
From “Masterpieces of Haitian Art: Seven Decades of Unique Visual Heritage” by Candice Russell. Schiffer Publications Ltd, 2013
Hand-sewn squares of cloth with sequins and beads express belief in a pantheon of spirits or Iwas guiding every aspect of life. Voodoo flags are ceremonial artifacts, but for people outside of Haiti they are more than ethnographic relics; they are contemporary art objects reflecting exceptional skill and mastery of design.
The Vodou religion synthesizes trial beliefs brought to the island from Africa by slaves and the rituals of Roman Catholicism taught by the French during their years of colonization. Voodoo ritual borrows from Catholic liturgy, incorporating, for example, the use of an altar covered with candles and surrounded by pictures of saints. The Vodou flag powerfully embodies the marriage of the two faiths.
Motifs portrayed on flags reflect the personality and likes of the particular spirit, the Iwa, identified by its own scared day, favorite tree, and special colors. Expedience and lack of materials may dictate the use of alternative fabrics and adornments in contradiction to the Iwa’s preference.
Read an article The Hypnotic (And Very Glittery) Beauty Of Haitian Vodou Flags by Priscilla Frank at Huffington Post