Fabulous Flags

Chantal Regnault
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Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared in November 2010.

The glittering tradition of Haiti’s voudou flags consists of intricate beading that illustrates Haiti's vibrant spiritual tradition, voudou, with its vivid, syncretic combination of Roman Catholic saints, West African deities, and uniquely Haitian figures. Beading and vodou go hand- in-hand.

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Quiet Observation

Courtesy of Magali Berthon
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Following my trip to Cambodia, I could not resist to take a detour through Vietnam, specifically in the northern part of the country. In the midst of Têt, the Vietnamese New Year, I discovered some remarkable and rare textile traditions.

The Ethnography Museum of Hanoi presents in the best way all the costumes and crafts of the 54 ethnic groups living in the country from North to South. One can spend hours at the museum to learn about the funeral rites or wedding ceremonies, and everything that constitutes the distinctive ethnographic signs of these ethnic groups.

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Art from the Periphery

All photos courtesy of the Baksı Museum
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Turkey is a country blessed with an abundance of art and handcrafted heritage, endowed by its geographic location as a melting pot of culture, ancient and modern. All too often Istanbul, the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal regions get all the attention. The focus in these most populated areas tends to art as trend with a global outlook or traditional crafts as fodder for touristic commerce. With 81 provinces, one like Bayburt along the historic Silk Road can get easily overlooked in the middle of the Anatolian plain, north east of the capital Ankara and near the Black Sea.

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Of Pots and Panoramas

David Land for HAND/EYE
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Like many Capetonian artists, Helen’s proximity to magnificent landscapes and boundless ocean vistas has an immense influence on her work. Helen interprets the spontaneously shifting patterns, rhythms and textures of nature into a vast vocabulary of surface treatments combined to gorgeous effect in her work. The colors and textures of each piece form an abstract landscape brought to life with the shadow and light of three dimensional form.

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Tiny Stitches

Courtesy of Cooperative Artisanal Assabirate de Filles Handicape
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In April 2013 I attended a small artisan expo based out of Marrakesh, Morocco, which showcased over 60 producers throughout the country. I was surrounded by tradition and met some of the masters of these crafts, including the founders of the Cooperative Artisanal Assabirate de Filles Handicape (Patient Women). The group's intricate work caught my eye; the fine embroidery was captivating, as tiny stitches embellished their collection of cotton and table linens, caftans, pillows, sheets, and bags. 
 

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