The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Haitian painter Hector Hyppolite (1894-1948) was inspired by the spiritual.
Like his grandfather and father, he practiced as a houngan
(vodou priest). Vodou, Haiti's principal religion,
was brought to the island by African slaves and syncretized with Roman Catholicism.
This belief system is a vital part of Haitian culture and reverberates in
For most of his 54 years, Hyppolite lived a quiet and unassuming life
in his native St Marc on the western coast of the island (JAMA cover, October
2, 2002). Although he worked as a shoemaker's apprentice and cut sugarcane
in Cuba, he was often destitute. However, his true passion was painting and
he painted with whatever was at hand: brushes made of chicken feathers, his
fingers, and furniture enamel. With these simple materials, he decorated signs,
doors, and furniture with lush flowers and tropical birds.
Walker JM. Flowers on Table. JAMA. 2003;289(8):951. doi:10.1001/jama.289.8.951