Haitian Vodou Flag (Heart and Snakes)
Medium:Silk and Sequins
Note: Mounted on a Board
Sequin flag on a light blue silky material border. Imagery in the sequins is of two snakes with a blue, red, pink and purple heart. Background is yellow with a black border.
In 2018, GVSU Geology Professor Peter Wampler and Honors College Assistant Professor Ellen Adams led a study abroad program to Haiti. The program was designed to allow students to experience Haitian culture and gain an understanding of daily life in rural Haiti through service learning. The group began to call themselves “Wandering Seeds,” a name that also became the title of an exhibition with the GVSU Art Gallery. Highlighting artwork purchased from Haitian artists on their trip, the exhibition also included personal stories and photographs from their journey.
This Haitian flag was purchased at Port-au-Prince’s famed Marche de Fer, or Iron Market. Flags are considered among the most sacred and expensive ritual objects and their presence is essential in Vodou rites. Each flag is dedicated to a specific Iwa, or Vodou spirit, and incorporates the colors and symbols of that spirit. This flag represents damballa, a serpent who is often viewed as the primordial creator who created the cosmos by using his 7,000 coils to form the stars and the planets in space, and the hills and valleys on earth.