August 27, 2012

Traditional Haitian Dance and drumming is a living cultural art form deeply connected to spirituallity of the “Lwa” or deities of the Haitian Vodou religion, wich connects the Haitian people to their spiritual and cultural heritage. It is a living cultural art form passed down through family lineage of African and Indigenous ancestry. Vodou ceremonies and storytelling moments are where this traditional form is kept alive through ritual music, dance and song. The connection between the singers, storytellers, drummers and dancers helps to create the spiritual symbolism of the dance. The songs in call-and-response style contain magical words that inspire the lwa to come and bless us. It is very important to share this tradition with and pass it on to the next generation especially when they are overseas in order to keep this tradition alive and for the younger ones to know their identity. I am very grateful to ACTA to had given me the opportunity to be one of the 2012 apprentice and be able to do a deeper study of he important songs and storytelling from “Lagonave”, Haiti with my master artist Florencia Pierre. We feel that with “Westernization” our religion and culture is under attack and I am only blessed and “Lucky” to come from a strong lineage of culture bearers. I feel I am ready to take on the responsability as my grandmother and mother did of becoming a custodian of my people’s culture and on a direct way pass it on to My son Hassen Ortega.