Vodou Talismans

This project helps educate people of the history and positive aspects of our local spiritual tradition by teaching the making of a simple poppet and broom from corn husks and jute twine decorated with multi-colored Sharpies. The participants have a lot of latitude to express individual creativity and realize that we are all artists and the power of intention. I took this project to BRC as part of our Jackson Square CORE project in ’14, and it was very well received. I was bombarded with folks wanting to join in, so I asked everyone to share the technique and supplies amongst themselves. Quite quickly, I became nothing more than a facilitator cutting twine as the other participants guided newcomers in the process. It was so much more interactive than I ever imagined, as I was no longer demonstrating my own work, teacher style/student style, rather each learner became a mentor for someone else. The resulting poppets were astonishing in their variety and elaborateness, and the sense of community was palpable. I had people say they couldn’t make a doll cause they weren’t artists, then after encouragement from others these same people left with a smile and a handmade object, to keep, pass on or infuse with intention and leave at the Temple or throw it on the fire. My only regret is not being able to photograph the results, so I am hoping to have someone on hand with a camera, maybe Polaroid, to document the results.