SIGHT: Ayiti Chérieby
Kouzen Azakamede, also known as Azaka, Zaka Mede, Zake, is the Haitian Vodoun loa/lwa of agriculture, farming, crops, harvest, healing, seeding, growing, and thoughtful cultivating of land. He is petitioned for good plentiful harvest, abundance in sharing a good harvest, productive farm work, healing of lands and people/communities through herbal and land honoring and necessary celebration of mother earth.
Haiti Darling is covered in portals of imagery reflecting a time of enslavement, subjugation, and trauma. She is also covered in the portal imagery reflecting ‘freedom’, possibility, honoring, ritual and sacredness and celebration in what is manifested— in cultivating the best seeds of our humanity. Our potential nature to be/become more than our traumatic experiences. She is a call to black beauty. One of the véves of Zaka is represented as both tear and a call to offering/honoring/remembering and practical ritual restitutions.
In Ayiti Chérie, a “free” Haitian black girl is the embodied archetype of the usually male loa/lwa. She is affectionately called, “Ayiti Chérie” (Haiti Darling) and wears the French colonial hat, an intentional symbol representing her and Haiti’s independence in 1804. It is both a sacred acknowledgment and subversive irony. The remixing and mash-up of colonial garb on her black body is a reminder to take and reclaim what has been used to inflict harm upon our person-hoods. It is also an invitation to remember/honor/celebrate/study the womxn and black feminist futuritious nature of Ayiti, her [ Queerness]!