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Haitian Vodou Flags

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Jackson, Mississppi 1998 Hard cover First edition. New. Book and boardsare unmarked and as new Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 72 p. Contains: Illustrations. Folk Art and ... Artists (Hardcover). Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Once little known outside of Haiti, Vodou flags (drapo Vodou), dazzling in color and imagery, have become popular commodities in the international art market. Works by such notable Haitian artists as Silva Joseph, Antoine Oleyant, and Yves Telemak now grace the walls of museums, art galleries, and private homes throughout the world. Shimmering with sequins and reflected light, they capture the attention of Vodou practitioners and art lovers alike.

This book about Vodou flags and flagmakers is a striking revelation of the gods (Iwa) that inhabit the Vodou spirit world. The sequined works pictured here combine and juxtapose African symbols with images from Europe and the Americas and form a rich mosaic of ritual art.

Inspired by myths, legends, and unique personal visions, the artists of Vodou flags interweave sacred, time-honored designs with contemporary images as they produce captivating works that are both ancient and modern. Their flags, incorporating ritual drawings, Masonic symbols, and pictures of mermaids and Catholic saints, offer viewers an encounter with the aesthetics, symbolism, and social implications of Vodou.

The spiritual realm reflected in the flags is not the dark, frightening place of black magic and superstition that is stereotyped in popular culture. Instead, drapo exemplify the beauty, elegance, and enduring embrace of gods and ancestors in their present manifestations. The flags are the artists' visual testimonials that the Iwa are present and active in the lives of Vodou practitioners.

Patrick Arthur Polk serves as the museum scientist and archivist for the UCLA Folk-lore and Mythology Program.

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Editorial Reviews

Fascinating color illustrations comprise almost half of this description of how ritual flags, the most celebrated genre of Vodou's sacred arts, clearly reflect the creative impulse of Vodou and the intense process of cultural synthesis from which the religion emerges. The text discusses Afro-Atlantic flag traditions as well as two of the contemporary flagmakers (Silva Joseph and Yves Telemak) who were invaluable to the author as he carried out his research in Haiti. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578060245
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Series: Folk Art and Artists Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 72
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 5
Afro-Atlantic Flag Traditions 7
The Sacred Universe of Haitian Vodou (The Lwa) 9
The Ritual Use of Drapo Vodou 15
The Main Elements, Types, and Styles of Vodou Flags 18
Constructing the Flag 24
Silva Joseph and Yves Telemak: Two Contemporary Flagmakers 26
Silva Joseph 26
Yves Telemak 31
Glossary 39
References 40
Color Plates 41
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