Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A day in the life: The wonders of the iron market

Strolling around Port-au-Prince, probably the most significant landmark is the Iron Market. It largely collapsed during the earthquake two years ago, but was quickly rebuilt by an international financier. I think it's beautiful and distinctive. Supposedly the minarets were intended for Cairo 100 years ago. But that deal fell through after the major iron work had already been completed. So when Haiti offered to buy the structure, it was shipped to the former French colony:There's car parking underneath this arch with large buildings on each side of the parking lot.

Here's a view near to the parking lot:Here's a couple of somewhat upsetting pix of the dinner plate:Some of the various herbs and spices being offered:There were a slew of wood carvings, such as this goat:And then there was the voodoo corner. Notice the black plastic bag covering something:I find the use of baby dolls in voodoo art to be a bit creepy:Here's what was hidden under the black plastic bag:If you're wondering where one "finds" a human skull, I understand that grave-robbing is relatively normal in Haiti. Bones are used in all sorts of voodoo rituals. I always try to be open-minded about other cultures. But I'm no fan of grave-robbing. There's a reason why a family buries someone. And it's not to have their skeletons exhumed for use in religious ceremonies.

And notice the design behind the skull and kreepy kid. It's a rendition of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. I feel it helps to explain how some Haitians attempt to reconcile their multi-god voodoo practices with their Sunday attendance at their local Catholic parish:As for all the colorful powders, I'm not sure of their use. But they were in the voodoo corner. And I know that voodoo uses colored powders. So I'm guessing it's voodoo-related in some way:

Tim White

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