Haitian Stories: Madame Nerva's Funeral
Madame Nerva was one of Haiti's most venerated 'mambos' or Vodou Priestesses. Celebrated throughout the Haitian disapora, she officiated at Vodou ceromonies as far afield as Washington DC and Europe. In France she visited the cell where Toussaint l'Ouverture was locked up in the aftermath of the Haitian revolution.
On the day of her funeral the streets of her native Jacmel stood still as the cortege made its way from the 'peristyle' to the cemetery.The following day I found a quiet moment to chat with Madame Nerva's daughter. I wanted to thank her for allowing me to be present at such an intimate moment of family grief. As she lovingly leafed through her collection of photographs of her mother's long and fruitful life, my own pictures of the funeral started to make more sense.