Saturday, September 15, 2007

Voodoo Virgin

I came across this article and thought it was worthwhile noting. It talks about how a religious group in Ontario is protesting a documentary that features Argentinian artists who make powerful social statements through their art. One of the artists apparently has a rendering of the Virgin Mary as a Voodoo doll, which is one of the pieces causing an uproar. You can read the whole story here.

Indeed, religion and politics have always been a powerful influence in the creative processes of many artists. In the Voodoo Pantheon, there is an important group of female goddesses whose first name is Erzulie. Erzulie is three in aspect: she can be Erzulie Freda, a virgin goddess likened to the Virgin Mary; Erzulie Dantor, patron loa of lesbian women and protector of women and children who have been abused; or La Siren, a personification of the sea and goddess of motherhood. Erzulie Erzulie Dantor, is often depicted as the Black Madonna (pictured)or the Roman Catholic "Saint Barbara Africana". My rendering of Erzulie Dantor as a Voodoo doll displays the same scars on her cheek as the Black Madonna.

Erzulie’s personal story is a tragedy. She was a warrioress who fought with her people during the Haitian revolution. However, her own people cut out her tongue so that she would not tell their secrets should she be captured. Thus, she is mute and can only speak a stammering monosyllable, "ke-ke-ke-ke-ke!" This is the sound of her tongue clicking on the roof of her mouth. She is often pictured with her daughter Anais, who serves as her translator and interpreter.

Read more about Erzulie here.

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