Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Dambalah flag

Catalog Number: A001


Yves Telemak


78.7 x 78.7


31 x 31


Transatlantic Family of Religion: Vodun
Country of Origin: Haiti
Ethnographic Origin: Haitian
Usage: Ritual (used)
Detailed Description of Significance:

The actual icons/images on this flag describe the lwa (spirit) Dambalah, both his life and attributes. The oval at the top of the scene represents an egg, which is Dambalah’s favorite food. Beneath the egg there is a heart. This heart symbolizes the love between the two snakes on the flag. The two snakes represent Dambalah and his wife Ayida Wedo; Dambalah is represented by the snake on the left. Behind Dambalah and his Ayida Wedo there are two croziers, or shepherd’s staff, the likes of which Roman Catholic officials carry as a sign of pastoral authority.  Roman Catholic lithographs of St. Patrick depict him using a crozier to drive out the snakes from Ireland.  Among Haitian worshippers of the Iwa, Vodou gods.  This same sign came to represent the snake divinity Danballah.  The semi-circle of colors beneath the snakes and croziers  represents the rainbow, which is one of Dambalah’s symbols.