ODIGBA! The Death of A Mentor

“SAIC alum Rowynn Dumont was Houlberg’s assistant for over six years. She first learned of the instructor while flipping through the course listings, excited to find offerings like Haitian Voodoo and Witchcraft. “When she would walk into a room, it was like a forgotten entity was walking in, like something you hear about in storybooks. It was like meeting someone who was the last of [her kind].” Under Houlberg’s influence, Dumont was the first at the school to pursue a BFA in Studies of Taboo Religions & Sexuality in Art. Soon after Dumont met Houlberg, the roof collapsed in the professor’s studio. Much of her vast collection of Haitian and African Artifacts was damaged or destroyed. Hoping to gain Houlberg as a mentor, Dumont offered to clean the space and catalog the objects. The project, like Romero’s, is not yet complete; of 10,000 image slides being made for the Smithsonian 7,000 have been completed. Pieces from Houlberg’s collection made up a significant portion of the exhibit “In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st-Century Haitian Art” at Los Angeles’ Fowler Museum last year. Dumont recalled when Houlberg travelled to Haiti and was delayed reentering the country for almost two months. “I finally got word from her that she got stuck in Haiti because she was bringing back a human head that was still decomposing,” laughed Dumont. “I’m assuming it was from one of the temples. Whether she ever got that head through customs, I am not sure.” Houlberg, a rumored witch, exuded a powerful mysticism among the people of Haiti; in the Southern plantation house where the pair stayed, Dumont says they spent two to three hours daily visiting with the lines of people who came to see Houlberg.” Goodbye my friend… To read the whole article in fnewsmagazine by Nicole Rhoden please click below http://fnewsmagazine.com/2013/09/odigba/2/ Photographs by Sir Reighlan Douglas Pennal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.
%d bloggers like this: