Haitian Vodou Flag
Medium:Satin and Beads
Beaded flag on a dark blue fabric background. Beaded image is of a female mermaid holding something in her hand up towards her face.
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 la Siréne, a mermaid from Haitian Vodou. Some seek her for hidden knowledge, but many fear her for her powers to lure and kill those that disrespect her.