voodoo art

at the hotel oloffson

port-au-prince, Haiti

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hotel oloffson is an old "gingerbread mansion" house set in a lush garden. it was the inspiration for "hotel trianon", the scene of graham greene's novel "The comedians". it is currently run by richard morse, a u.s.-born rock musician who came to haiti 15 years ago to study voodoo drum rhythms, married a local singer, and now has his own music group called  "ram" that plays at the hotel every thurday evening.

the hotel and the gardern are richly decorated with sculptures, carvings and other artifacts inspired by voodoo culture. here are some photos i took in feb. 2001.
port-au-prince city center, seen from the hotel balcony
the balcony. the carved image with a napoleon hat at the back is the historic figure of king christof.
another balcony, the same figure on the right
on a wall: two images of "veve" - graphic symbol representing a loa (voodoo god).
a side view of the hotel front
the main entrance. note the figure on the left.
a closer view. a composition of guede, a spirit-god of the dead (represented by the cross) and zaka, a peasant god. the two loas are said to go together ("marche ensemble").
erzulie freda, the softer image of the goddess. her character is love and melancholic seduction, her favorite colors rose and light blue.
bara (called exu in brazil), related to fecundity and 3-way crossroads. he connects our world with "the other reality" of the loas (thanks ivan for the info).
an adaptation of babylon from the new testament apocalypse, riding a seven-headed beast with a cup in hand.
dambala and his wife aida wedo, old and wise loas, represented here as two serpents. she is also the rainbow, mother of the universe.


some more port-au-prince pictures:

church paintimgs
decorated buses
street views



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