A Mythical Latin American Portrait Gallery:
Rosario Marquardt
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Mackandal, mariposa, 1993 
Oil pastel on paper, 17" x "23" 
Collection of the artist 

Francois Mackandal (c. 1760) was an African slave, rebel leater, and the memory of the homeland in French Colonial Haiti.  He was believed to be able to transform himself into different animals.  Soon after losing an arm and running away, Mackandal will fight plantation owners with poison extracted from plants.  He was publically burned to death by colonial authorities exasperated by black celebration of Mackandal's change from man to bird and flight to freedom. Later, in a process of continuous metamorphosis, Mackandal would reappear in Haiti as a horse, iguana, fish, or butterfly...

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