Myrlande Constant is acknowledged as the matriarch of a generation of contemporary Haitian Vodou flag makers. She began her creative journey more than twenty years ago after leaving her job in a wedding gown factory in Port-au-Prince. It was here and from her mother, who also worked in the factory, that the artist learned and perfected the painstaking beading skills that have helped her to revitalize the flag tradition in her home country. Traditionally a male art, Constant was one of the first women to make Vodou flags and is credited with innovating the use of solid round and cylindrical beads in addition to flat sequins. She also works on an unprecedented scale, creating sweeping religious, mystical, and political narratives that come to life as the materials pick up the surrounding light. Vodou flags are used in religious ceremonies to mediate between the worlds of man and spirit. In her act of flag making, Constant has also navigated dualities of world views: male and female, traditional and innovative, material and spiritual. In this piece, Constant calls on the living and the ancestors, saints named and unnamed, and those who are present and those who are not, so all are included in this homage to the Vodou ceremony.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Voudou Banner: MILOCAN TOUS LES SAINTS TOUS LES MORTS," exhibition label for Ooh, Shiny!. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2012.