Gabriel Bien-AimeHaiti b. 1951
Untitled (Woman with Vine and Birds) 90.0035
The contrast between what is bound and what is loose is a frequent theme of Haitian art. Healing, in vodou, focuses upon untying what has been tied and on opening up what has been blocked. The perverted form of vodou, sorcery, is even more involved with knots and chains-sorcerers tie the spirits they use in their destructive magic and also tie persons who are victims of their magic. This woman is tied and bound in several ways. Her hair is braided (a knot tied in the hair keeps the vodou spirits from possessing a person) and her neck and waist are chained. The vine she clasps even appears to entangle her. The birds at her feet with their mouths full of prey mirror her posture.
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