Grand Cemetery of Port-au-Prince – Christian and Vodou celebrations of life and death

Grand Cimetière de Port-au-Prince sheltered the living fleeing the earthquake and now returns to sheltering the passed from the sun blazing over Port-au-Prince.

Known for its elaborate tombs and Vodou Fete Gede (Day of the Dead) Celebration November 1 and 2, it is an eerie place. See Cyrille Montulet’s slideshow on Vimeo:

Velvet Rocket visited in 2010, reporting the cemetery still occupied by the living (warning: some photos on Velvet Rocket’s post may be disturbing). Today the cemetery is mostly cleaned up and the only residents seems to be a few goats and chickens. The young security guard gave me a quick tour (another warning, if you visit, some tombs are in disrepair and it is to be expected to see skeletal remains such as on the Velvet Rocket post).

Most fascinating is the mix of Christianity and Vodou, reflective of the syncretic Haitian culture.

I strolled down here from Champs de Mars and never felt unsafe. It was a brilliant Sunday morning and the neighborhood residents were in their Sunday finest, heading to and from church.

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A major thoroughfare

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Eclectic design

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Resident goat

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Earthquake memorial

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Vodou mural

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Vodou shrine

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