Details

Title

Baron Cimetiere, Protector of the Final Resting Place

Artist/Maker

Myrlande Constant (Haitian, born 1968)

Date

2000

Medium

Beads on fabric

Dimensions

24 × 31 1/2 inches

Credit

Gift of Julie and Marty Klaper

Accession #

2018.180

On View

Currently not on view

Haitian Vodou flags have their origins in the slave revolts that led to Haiti’s liberation from French rule in 1804, making it the first independent Black nation in the New World. Historically, they were used in hounfours, temples where vodou religion was practiced, but in the mid-twentieth century, tourists eager to buy these ornate, hand-sewn objects created a market for their production as nonceremonial art objects. Myrlande Constant is one of the first female flag makers to achieve success with this form. She innovated the use of flat and round beads, in place of the traditional sequins, to construct highly detailed tapestries—a technique she developed while working as a beader in a wedding dress factory in Port-au-Prince. This flag depicts Baron Cimetière, an Iwa, or spirit, who protects the dead.

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