Beginnings in Haiti
This is where the Larkin Lane story began. Lark traveled to Haiti every year with her mother, a folk-art dealer, and fell in love with the Haitian people. “They are in my heart! They have taught me to find beauty in the simplest of things. And even in the most dire of situations to have faith and to find beauty … or create it!”
Beaded artwork is an enduring tradition in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Vodun textiles were originally used as ceremonial artifacts, combining symbols of the Haitian religion alongside colonial French Catholicism.
“It’s an amazing tradition, conveying a rich heritage,” Lark explains. “We first framed them as artwork, then the artists started making small bags out of them.” Each meticulously hand-beaded piece reflects the personality of a particular spirit.
Haitians have an enduring spirit. “They live vibrant lives with such poise, they are so self possessed,” Lark remarks. After a devastating earthquake and a cholera outbreak, the artisans Lark works with kept producing, employing neighbors to help, even when they weren’t sure beloved family members had survived. “Many people in Haiti are just trying to survive and feed their children.”