Marie Mireille Delisme
Based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, artist Marie Mireille Delisme specializes in drapo Vodou—decorative flags depicting religious imagery through sequin embroidery. Traditionally, drapo Vodou are used in religious ceremonies; worshippers wear them over their shoulders during a procession to symbolically join the loa, or Vodou spirits.<br><br>Delisme was born in Léogane, Haiti, in 1965. In her early twenties, she moved to Port-au-Prince and learned sewing and beading techniques while working in a wedding dress factory. Her artistic journey started with a dream in which she was visited by a spirit. When relating the dream to her father, an oungan (Vodou priest), he interpreted the message to come from the Vodou spirit of love, loa Erzulie. Erzulie, represented as a heart, is the same image Delisme saw in her vision. Her first flag featured a sequined heart symbol, fully inspired by her dream. <br><br>At the age of twenty-five, Delisme began her life as an independent artist. She continued to master sewing and beading by creating more drapos, finding inspiration from her own dreams and their Vodou interpretation. Delisme now has her own atelier in Port-au-Prince, where she employs more than ten other artisans.<br><br>Delisme participated in the 2004 and 2010 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, showcasing her flags in the Marketplace. Her drapos are permanently exhibited in Haiti at Galerie Monnin, Kay Artisans, and Galerie Men Nou.