Haiti Art Cooperative

Haiti's Flag Artists
Haiti Vodou Flag Artists 2009
Photo copyright by Michelle Karshan (taken in Haiti)



Haiti’s Vodou Flags Represent the 
Spirits and Call Upon them for Help

The Haiti Art Cooperative is a network of non-profit projects with programs in Haiti serving Haiti’s poor, including persons deported, street children, orphans, students, persons in need of medical care, and families.

Our projects all purchase art at fair trade prices from artists in Haiti that we have developed long term relationships with, and, we collaborate in the sale of art as a fundraising vehicle for our programs.

In turn, our steady purchase of art from in Haiti works to support those individual artists in their personal and artistic lives. And, we all take pleasure in sharing the beauty of Haiti’s culture with others.

This is part of a larger collection. To inquire about purchasing Vodou flags or other Haitian art, please contact us at LiLiLiRead@gmail.com or Michelle.Karshan@gmail.com

Haiti’s Ceremonial Banners, or Vodou Flags, vary in size and are tapestries of sequins and beads sewn on material or a rice sack and trimmed with a satin backing and border.

“They are probably the most familiar of all Vodou objects and they are enchanting, combining the graphic clarity of African applique banners with the scintillating luxuriance of Christian liturgical vestments.” Holland Cotter, New York Times, 1998

The flags represent various spirits, or lwa, of Vodou, based on religious beliefs and practices slaves brought with them West Africa. Each spirit embodies unique characteristics, and plays a different role. Vodou flags, exhibited in ceremonies, serve to call down particular spirits who help practitioners with their personal problems and aspirations.

Vodou spirits are represented by either the image of the spirit, or the corresponding symbol, or veve, that represents it. Because slaves were forbidden from practicing Vodou, they also adopted Catholic saints to represent the various spirits of love, water, twins, trees, crops, etc.

Haitian Vodou flags have been the center of numerous museum exhibits, including the Sacred Arts of Vodou that toured museums such as the Smithsonian Institute and the Museum of Natural History. 

Our collection includes flags made by Lalanne, Maxon, and others whose works have been included at museums, galleries, and in key articles and books.


All the proceeds from the sale of these Vodou flags go to benefit the not-for-profit Li, Li, Li! Read program for children in Haiti’s tent camps or to Alternative Chance reintegration/advocacy program for deportees in Haiti. 

For info or to purchase, contact: LiLiLiRead@gmail.com or Michelle.Karshan@gmail.com or call 917-853-0433

Click her to read about Li, Li, Li! Read program in Haiti

Click her to read about Alternative Chance program in Haiti