The traditional Haitian flag is made of sequined cloth with images of the Haitian Iwa, or spirits. Vodou ceremonies typically open with parades of richly decorated banners, whose glittering sequins entice the spirits to enter the temple and possess devotees. This drapeau, flag, or banner, is brightly sequined to represent Erzulie Dantor, the Vodou spirit of motherhood, or particularly single motherhood. The Vodou spirit is most commonly represented by the image of Black Madonna or Santa Barbara Africana. God or spirit iconography derives from depictions of Catholic saints. Erzulie Dantor is the symbol for the Petro nation, a family of loa (spirits) in Haitian Vodou religion. Among their deities, Erzulie Dantor is recognized as the Patroness of Lesbians, protecting orientation- and gender-variant people, as well as having non-hetero-normal identity. Here, the image of the deity is meticulously constructed by the hand sewing of individual sequins, in various sizes and colors, to form a celebratory and vibrant portrait. Tiny beads embellish line-work. A small smiling child (a girl called Anais) is in her arms, two stars appear in the background and the pair are framed by a repeating rhombus pattern. Her colors are navy blue and blood red, which she wears on her robe with a golden border. The flag takes on a slightly irregular form as it is completely hand made. It measures 28 1/2 x 22 inches. The tradition of creating flags or banners flourished under the colonial occupation of Africa, where it allowed for the articulation of empowered identities using a mixture of African and European symbols. Flags like this one are made of shiny silk fabrics to complement the brilliant mosaic of sequins and beads. A full-size banner typically contains 18,000 to 20,000 sequins and may take months to complete. Although this is a very old ritualistic art tradition, in the 1970s there was a Hatian Renaissance and banners such as this one came to the attention of art collectors, making this piece highly sought after. This banner has the name of the deity along the bottom and is signed with the name of the artist along the left hand side. The backing is a soft yellow silk- like fabric, hand stitched and perfectly finished. This flag is a remarkable and truly unique work of art.
UNFRAMED: HEIGHT: 28½ in | WIDTH: 22 in
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