Why do people visit Haiti?
The Haitian Arts consist of many traditions inherited from their African roots since colonial time. They take many forms; from story telling, painting, sculpture, dance, play performance, Poetry, and music. Why do people visit Haiti? Some will argue it’s because of the beautiful beaches and the warm climate; However, I strongly believe it is combination of very unique arts and culture.
Almost in all regions in Haiti we find great artists, arts in the island seem to be a way of life. After more than 300 years in slavery, those islanders finally free, no doubt had a lot to express themselves about. Through a painting the artist François Malépart de Beaucourt shows the natural beauty of a Haitian woman.
The Haitian arts most often bring back the time of slavery. Plantation stories that were told by grand parents and passed down from one generation to another. In many theaters we often watched plays of battles of the Haitian independence from the French.
Some artists write poetry and musics; while others sing and dance folklore. The country has known more artists than any other in the Caribbean. Haitian arts can be found in every tourist market or boutique in the Caribbean. You’ll find our arts in the tourist market of Jamaica, Bahamas, and Dominican Republic. However; you should come and visit Haiti, and meet your artists in person. Come visit us and listen to stories that may rejuvenate your spirits.
The Haitian arts, such as masks, paintings, and sculptures; are often bought in Haiti from the streets; then the name of the original artists would be altered so the arts could be sold in big galleries all over the world for a much higher price.
Shortly after the year 1492, Christopher Columbus and his friends literally eradicated every indigenous tribe inhabited the island. the Spaniards started bringing African slaves on the Island. Those African slaves although taken from different tribes, they had something in common; their religion, commonly known as Voodoo. It is a sacred belief in a God not to different from the Christian God. The Voodoo to some Haitians is simply part of the culture, but to others it is a sacred religion. Many Haitian traditions could be interpreted through the Voodoo dances and festivals.
As a religion, the voodoo practitioners or followers make use of many saints from the catholic church and refer to them as Lwa, a term signified spirits, to serve them as bridges between human and God.
A Voodoo ceremony often include the sacrifices of animals. Many tourists like to assist the voodoo ceremonies, sometimes they are even allowed to take photos or participate in services. Typically in a Voodoo ceremony we always find different images ,drawings called Vèvè, offerings, and lots of food.
Every year Voodoo practitioners celebrate the day of the death, Halloween. Many Haitians would go to cemeteries to visit their dead, either friends or parents. The family members would take food, water, and flowers to the grave sites. They would pray on the graves, laugh, and cry of their good or bad memories.
Voodoo Medicine and Mystery
Haiti is a small island inhabited by over 10,000,000 souls. Over 2/3 of the population live in the outskirts of the cities; which makes it close to impossible to have an effective modern healthcare system in the country.
Started with the coming of the African slaves in the island, Haitians had been blessed with some unbelievable knowledge in natural medicine. That is one of the greatest aspect of the Haitian Voodoo, they are medicine men and women armed with many healing secrets of nature.
Back in the late 1700s, when a slave ran off a plantation and escaped the unbearable treatment of his/her master. The slave had many skills which help him/her survive in the woods. The maroons(escaped slave) knew which tree leaves, fruits, roots, and nuts can be used for healing or killing. They were masters of the wilderness, and that knowledge was passed down through generations. This bush medicine has saved many lives in the mountains of Haiti where there is little to no modern healthcare system in place. Those medicine women, called Femmes sage for wise women, many have never set foot in a traditional classroom, can not read or write; but had been assisting in the delivery of babies for over 300 years.
Haiti is not the only country to practice Voodoo; however Haiti has been regarded as the heart of black magic. The great spirits seem to enjoy it in that island. It is a mystery to the modern world; what many tourists claimed to have experienced in the Haitian Voodoo and the culture. Many have claimed the experience has lifted their mood and spirit, and has brought them closer to nature and the spiritual powers.
My intentions here is not to tell you all that is to know about the arts and the culture of Haiti, but to invite you to experience it yourself and draw your own conclusion. I hope that I answered the question: Why do people visit Haiti?
Come visit Haiti and meet its great people, history and hospitality. After your great vacation don’t forget to come back here and leave us your comments and reviews.