Haitian Dance and Drum Retreat

Haitian dance and drumming

The Haitian Dance and Drum Retreat is an annual event that provides a forum for an intense study and exploration of Hatian culture through songs, dance, drums, and other media, in order to provide cultural continuity and develop the next generation of dancers and musicians.

In 2009, the Haitian Dance and Drum Retreat received a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support its 7th annual event, which featured the Veve Project, a unique installation series and performance involving seven master artists from Haiti who will create a Trase Veve, a drawing of the sacred symbols of the Lwas, or gods, of Vodou.  Under the direction of master drummer and Vodou priest, Frisner Augustin, this culturally informed view into the rich practice of Vodou was presented to the community at large.  Master artists also held workshops and discussion forums.  To view photographs of the retreat highlighting the Veve Project, visit SFMOMA website.


Mambo is possessed

Fresh fruits and vegetables adorn an altar at the 7th Annual Haitian Dance and Drum Retreat, which was sponsored in part by ACTA's Living Culture Grants Program.  Altars contain elements that please the Vodoun deities and the senses.   Specific colors are chosen for the altar, as well as particular foods and objects that correspond to the attributes of the gods, or lwa.   Photo: Kutay Kugay, 2009

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