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Jean-Baptiste Jean-Joseph

About the Artist

Jean-Baptiste Jean Joseph in his atelier. Croix des Bouquets, Haiti, 2014. (Photograph © Anthony Hart Fisher 2014)
At work in the atelier of Jean-Baptiste Jean Joseph, in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti, 2014. (Photograph © Anthony Hart Fisher 2014)
Region:
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This spirit controls thunder and lightning. It walks with water, with fire, with all the elements. Whenever there is a hurricane, a rain storm and you do not hear thunder, then you know that there is something wrong. You are not at peace. You don’t really know what to expect. But whenever there is a hurricane and you hear thunder, you know you need not worry. Similarly, if it is raining hard, pouring, and you hear thunder, you know it is going to be over soon. There is no danger. But if it is raining hard, and you don’t hear thunder, and you don’t hear the rooster, then you can be sure you are going to suffer. But if you hear thunder, you can kneel down and thank God for helping. The hurricane doesn’t come from above, but from It is controlled by the earthly spirits that communicate the heavenly spirits. Agawou Tonèr is the spirit of thunder, the spirit of the flood. It walks with Danmbala. When Danmbala speaks, it is Agawou that answers Danmbala. They walk together, They work together. They sign the same contracts. Agawou Tonèr holds the sword with his left hand. He uses it to attract thunder and lightning. He also represents the lightning rod. The thunder, the lightning flows down through the sword in his left hand, passes through his body and goes to the ground through the sword that is his right hand.  (source:  Haitian Art Society website)

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Atelier of Jean-Baptiste Jean Joseph (not signed) (Croix des Bouquets, Haiti)
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This flag is extremely densely beaded and sequinned (and thus extremely heavy), in the manner of the artists Constant and Simeon. It is published in Spirits in Sequins: Vodou Flags of Haiti,(2007) by Nancy Josephson, p. 37.
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