This symbol, which is a blend of indigenous Taino imagery from the Dominican Republic and Ancient Etruscan references from Rome, is a symbol I developed to represent my work and identity. It features Atabey, the Taino goddess of fertility and the earth, the Taino symbol of the sun and Etruscan concentric circles, olive leaves, and the colors on the Italian flag and the Dominican flag.
Based off of a sketchbook doodle and rendered digitally.
Raffia fibers, wood carving
Performance held in Washington Square Park, NYC
"A Celebration" is exactly what the title suggests. This project was inspired by the Senufo Face Mask of the Ivory Coast, a mask used by male elders to worship the female ancestors of the tribe. The garment is made of raffia fibers, a material used extensively in West African masks and costumes, it is the mane on the Senufo face mask. The necklace is a woodcarving resembling the wooden face itself.
The performance, held in Washington Square Park on a cool spring day, was a way to bring the outfit into it's target environment. In the performance, I dance to Celia Cruz's song "Quimbara." Afro-latin music is heavily influenced by the rhythms of the spiritual drumming rituals in African tribes. Even though the location may change, the project was meant to connect the Afro-Latin dance and celebratory culture to the tradition of spiritual dance and ancestor worship of West African cultures. Thus, this project becomes a celebration of the unbreakable bond between African tradition and my Latinx identity through the garment and the dance.