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Spirits In Sequins [Hardcover]

Nancy Josephson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 44.60
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Book Description

Jan. 19 2007 Schiffer Books
Folk art traditions in Haiti today rise to the level of fine art in the beaded flags shown here. They demonstrate a joyful expression of living with the spirits, as the flagmakers express their individual artistic spark. Over 350 color photographs present hundreds of unique designs by dozens of contemporary artists. But this is not just a pretty book; it also explores the spiritual beliefs at the core of the designs and a folk lore expressed in this most unique format. A little history of Haiti and a little explanation of the Vodou religion helps to explain the people who create these flags. By relating personal stories, the author soon absorbs readers into the rich and devout culture that the flags represent. As the beautiful designs and exquisite craftsmanship flow across these pages, explanations are given to define the saints and relate the stories that are featured in the images. It is a powerful presentation. The glossary and recommended reading invite further study.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirits that Shines Jan. 29 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not an easy subject to cover. Writing about popular art is not an easy task overall, it’s hard to get information at first place and it’s hard to convince an editor to publish as well.

Spirits in Sequins is a book that will strike you page after page. The selection of the flags in this books is outstanding, they convey all the strength of the Haitian popular art, deeply rooted in its traditions and beliefs, it’s hard not to be touched by them. It’s hard not to be confronted with the fact that besides all the struggles that surround Haitian people they continue to produce art in its best. There’s a good selection of all the major artists, and even if the themes are recurrent you’ll see how each of the masters have a different interpretation of it.

The writer is so passionate about the subject that sometimes she gets a little bit confusing, but describing the beauty and the symbolism behind every one of the flags is a daunting work, that only makes you respect this book even more.

I strongly recommend this book for everybody interested in folk art, Latin America culture, Western African religions in America (Vodou, Santeria, Candomblé), sociology, etc. It also works pretty well as a coffee book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a Trip to Haiti Today Feb. 18 2008
By Tracy Leverton - Published on Amazon.com
You don't have to know anything about Haiti or Vodoo to love this book. From start to finish "Spirits in Sequins" is a sumptuous journey to an exotic land with hundreds of stops along the way to experience wonderful works of sequined folk art. The images are bold and beautiful: mermaids, skeletons, drummers, priests, naked women, tuxedoed men, Adam and Eve, and much, much more. The guide on this tour is the author, Nancy Josephson, who introduces us to the Haitian art and artists in a bright conversational tone. At the end of the journey, when you close the book, you feel like you really got to know Ms. Josephson and her artists. Go look at your passport: it might just have entry and exit stamps from your trip to Haiti with "Spirits in Sequins." Warning: I had the book on my coffee table, but I couldn't stop paging through it when I was trying to pay attention to the new episode of "24."
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book. July 2 2007
By Rajmoreno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have a very extensive collection on Haitian Art books including a nice collection of Haitian paintings. This book is by far by Nancy Josephson is one of the best written. Anyone interested in Vodou Flags will really be pleased.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Dec 28 2010
By Thomas A. Oehser - Published on Amazon.com
This book has more high quality color images of sequined Haitian Vodou flags, more information about the artists, and more depth about the Lwa, than I had hoped for. Highly recommended. Ayibobo!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book On Vodou Flags Nov. 13 2010
By Lynne Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
From the first flag I viewed in a Birmingham, MI gallery in 1974, I fell in love and was intrigued by what I saw. I have been searching for information ever since. This book answers all my questions! Who made the flags, why did they make the flags and what did they mean? Best of all, Nancy, an accomplished artist, is able to accurately describe and illustrate how they've been made over the years. The photographs are visually interesting, I enjoyed viewing the various banners from collectors.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirits in Sequins Vodou Flags of Haiti Sept. 27 2007
By Lydia F. Borin - Published on Amazon.com
The richly illustrated book will appeal to artists and craftspeople, anthropologists and admirers of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. A brief history of Haiti and an explanation of Vodou as a dynamic religion lead to an understanding of how the convergence of art, religion and financial need support the creation of Vodou flags. The pictured Vodou flags illustrate how the sequins and mirrors enhance the symbolism through which the culture comes together metaphorically. Images from Catholicism and African religions are incorporated, and the flags have become appreciated by those outside the religion purely for their artistic value. As a fiber artist and psychotherapist, I found the text and the beautifully detailed photos to be fascinating on several levels. Review by Diana Norris
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