Houngan Silva Joseph Dies at 81

Written by J. Labrom

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:50

Silva Joseph, a vodou flag maker, died this morning of health complications. Defend Haiti learned that the 81 year old had suffered from health problems which attributed to his passing.

The correspondence received:

Silva, a well known houngan from Bel Air, died this morning. His son Jean Wisler rang me to tell me the sad news.

Silva was well known, amongst other things, for his beautiful vodou flags. His son Jn Wisler is carrying on this tradition.

Silva had suffered a stroke a couple of years ago and was paralysed down one side, and was in very poor health. About two weeks ago, when I was at his house with a visitor, buying some flags, his son told me that his father had gone into hospital that morning.

Photos and Flags: {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924w.jpg" title="Silva Joseph photographed by Phyllis Galembo"}Houngan Silva{/japopup}, {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924v.jpg" title="Agouet-A-Royo"}Banner 1{/japopup}, {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924u.jpg" title="Bossu"}Banner 2{/japopup}, {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924t.jpg" title="Dambala"}Banner 3{/japopup}, {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924s.jpg" title="Grand Bois"}Banner 4{/japopup}, {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924r.jpg" title="Grand Bois"}Banner 5{/japopup}, {japopup type="iframe" content="images/stories/924q.jpg" title="Zagozi"}Banner 6{/japopup}

Silva Joseph was born in Leogane, Haiti in 1930. He was initiated into vodou in 1955, and became a houngan in 1970. He created his first vodou flag in 1972. He operates a peristil or temple and studio in the BelAir neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He works in the tradition of BelAir's famous flag artists, such as Tibout, Joseph Fortine and Luc Daniel Cedor.

Silva Joseph's work is published in Sequin Artists of Haiti (Girouard, 1994) and Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou (Cosentino, 1995).

Source: {japopup type="iframe" content="http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_haiti_s.joseph.html"}Indigo Arts{/japopup}, Sequin Artists of Haiti (Girouard, 1994), Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou (Cosentino, 1995)