Jess Obert

Photographer and Filmmaker
      
The Marasa’s Dance Beneath Kalbas
Location: Port au Prince, Haiti
Nationality: American
Biography: I am a visual journalist and filmmaker based in Haiti. I worked at the The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, DC, and my work has been published in various publications including The New Humanitarian, The New York Times, AJPlus,... read on
Public Story
The Marasa’s Dance Beneath Kalbas
Copyright jess obert 2021
Updated 05/27/20
Location Haiti
On the outskirts of the town of Mirebalais in the Central Plateau, Haiti, I explore the deep integration and cultural importance of Vodou on the dynamics of a family.  

"Beneath the Kalbas tree a wooden staff to hang a lamp is planted firmly in the earth. It’s a significant tree. Grand, with big, round green gourd-like fruits hanging from its branches. It’s said to have the power to summon Spirit.

The Louis family lives outside of the small town of Mirebalais in the Central Plateau of Haiti. Across the river Fer a Cheval in Ledier. Sergo, 35, lives with his wife Guerline, 27, and their three children: Diego “Peterson,” 13, Sterline, 11, and Djoulie, 3. He had moved to Mirebalais years before from Cap-Haïtien, once the capital of Haiti, now a faded, colorful port city in the North. His sister had told him of a beautiful girl who lived on the outskirts of town. Guerline was just 14 when they met.

The father of Guerline, Jean-Bois Dubessier, is a farmer that owns a few rice fields, and the community Vodou priest. Twice a year the family gathers beneath the Kalbas tree to honor Simbi, the spirit that has always worked closely with Jean-Bois and the Dubessier family, serves Rasin Ginen, either protecting or bringing misfortune upon the family."


STORY LINK:
The Marasa's Dance Beneath Kalbas
Beneath the Kalbas tree a wooden staff to hang a lamp is planted firmly in the earth. It's a significant tree. Grand, with big, round green gourd-like fruits hanging from its branches. It’s said to have the power to summon Spirit


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