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Life Arts    H3'ed 4/11/11

Haitian Winter, Part Seven: Arts and Artifacts of the Resurrected Iron Market

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The restored Iron Market, not quite completed when I took these photos, but definitely open for business. (all photos by Mac McKinney)


I left you all off in Part Six last time at the famous Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after we climbed all the way to the roof top and back down, promising to return to take you on a little tour of the actual merchant vendors' halls, so today we are going to wander through the North hall, where Haitian art and artifacts are on display. Here we go:

The North wing of hall of the Iron Market:

stepping inside the spacious North hall, where a few workers are gabbing in the corner. It is after merchants hours now, so it is just them and me, security and Andre:

Inside you find row after row of vendors' stalls:

And inside the stalls, items like these:

These are primarily Haitian artists and artisans on the North side, so we are truly entering the world of Haitian culture now, which includes the Vodou religion with its strange (to us) images, divinities, Và vàs and other symbolism.

Indeed, you will see much Nature, spirituality and graphic symbolism in Haitian art:

Moving around some, we are now looking out into the courtyard through the iron bars around the perimeter of the hall:

This stall is actually selling wares associated with Vodou ritual, the Christian saints and Black Madonna-type figure in the background being homage to the fact that African Vodou and Christianity merged during the years of slavery under French Colonialism because the only way African slaves could worship their spirits and gods was to disguise them as Catholic saints:

Saint George is slaying the dragon in the background:

Black Madonna:


You see paintings and murals of Obama a lot in Haiti. Too bad he doesn't come meet with and hear his admirer's problems and grievances.

Juxtaposing Jesus and Vodou imagery, not as dissimilar as you think:

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
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