The Carnival Masks of Jacmel, Haiti, Are a Papier-Maché Fever Dream – •

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] As a part of a particular collection for 2022, Atlas Obscura is doing “a deep visible dive into fascinating Carnival traditions world wide.” Matthew Taub presents Carnival within the coastal Haitian city of Jacmel. For full array of spectacular images of Jacmel carnival masks, go to Atlas Obscura.

Carnival within the coastal Haitian city of Jacmel is a showcase for Haiti’s artists and a visit by means of the trying glass for animal lovers. The city’s festivities are famend for the papier-maché masks that don’t a lot depict animals as conjure visions of them. The pictures are beautiful: from the tart crimson and yellow of the jaguar to the looking eyes of the alligator, the artists of Jacmel provide Carnival-goers an expertise extra vivid than most films. (The repertoire extends to cowl many different creatures as properly, together with celebrities and politicians.)

In fact, there’s extra to Carnival in Jacmel than world-class papier-maché, although that might certainly suffice. That is the prelude to Mardi Gras, in any case. (The multicolored homes that line Jacmel’s streets are famous for having influenced the look of New Orleans, too.) As such, the streets are full of dancing, music, meals, and copious drink—from rum to well-known native espresso, as Jacmel was traditionally a hub within the espresso commerce.

Certainly, this comparatively small, deeply scenic seaside city is house to a wealthy historic legacy. Toussaint Louverture, a frontrunner of the Haitian Revolution, gained management of Jacmel in 1800. Later, the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda first raised the flag of the Republic of Venezuela, liberated from Spanish rule, within the Bay of Jacmel. Because the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti—Jacmel alone sustained a whole lot of deaths and 1000’s of accidents—renewed effort has gone into drawing vacationers to the Carnival of Jacmel, which UNESCO acknowledged in 2014 as a Artistic Metropolis of Crafts and Folks Arts.

Indigo Arts Gallery shared some papier-maché masks from Jacmel of their assortment with Atlas Obscura.

For full array of Carnival masks, see

[Shown above: “Carnaval 86” “Djab” Mask, unknown artist, 1986. ANTHONY H. FISHER/INDIGO ARTS GALLERY.]


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