Famous Vodou Figures ‘Bawon Samdi’ and Gran Brigit March Down The Halloween Parade.
Costumes of all genres filled the Sixth Avenue in Manhattan as participants dressed up as all sorts of people and things for the 38th annual Halloween parade. The Greenwich Village parade which combined creative costumes, vibrant music and an infectious energy had a Haitian flair this year.
This year the parade hosted Haitian Carnival artist and painter Didier Civil who has been working the entire month of October, creating two well- known Haiti voodoo figures ‘Bawon Samdi’, a voodoo doctor who can raise the dead; and his wife, ‘Gran Brigitte’, who protects gravestones and drinks hot peppers. They went down Sixth Avenue as 16-foot-tall papier-mache puppets among Haitian followers who danced to the drum and trumpet of Rara band Djarara.
Civil has gained notice in recent years both for his representation of his home city of Jacmel’s preeminence as a cultural hotspot in his recently earthquake-ravaged country as well as for his teaching and exhibition record, reaching from Montserrat College near Boston to shows in Geneva, Switzerland and other sites throughout Europe.
The parade featured also dead puppets and a festive funeral cortege drawn by galloping nightmares, an illuminated Ghost Train and a dozen brand-new dancing Calaveras skeletons designed by master puppeteers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles.