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Haiti's Unshakeable Spirit

As the curator of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival program on Haiti in 2004, celebrating the nation's two hundred years of independence, I came to know Haiti not only as a nation of great cultural riches and indefatigable spirit, but also as a place continually beset by alarming contradictions and startling ironies. Traveling throughout the country, I could easily find powerful and imaginative expressions in architecture, crafts, language, music, painting, religion, and sculpture, in spite of the many challenges faced by the people.

Two months after the devastating earthquake of January 2010, I returned to Haiti as part of a Smithsonian ...

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