Story behind "Lu'maYna"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Well...there is no inspiration behind "Lu'maYna". It's my most sold art piece, yet I can't say what drove me to draw this. I painted this Thanksgiving 2008, a day where I received some pretty bad news. I really didn't want to deal with the issue so I tuned into some Boukman Eksperyans (Haiti's prominent traditional band), grab my 18.5 x 24 inches sketchpad, pulled out some charcoal, oil pastel, and acrylics, sat on the floor for 2.5 hours painting. 

There was this little girl maybe 11 years old over my house for the holiday, and sat right next to me saying "Wow! I want to paint like you". I was in my mercurial state of mind so I didn't even acknowledge her and kept bopping to the drums.  Looking back, I regret I didn't tell her that what I do is merely out of my imagination, and that if she has any interest in art, to start exploring the textures of her own condensed sensations, and never let anyone tell her she can't make a living out of it. I'm happy to say though, that she was so moved by this piece that she asked her mother to buy her a sketchpad, paintbrushes, and paint for Christmas. So maybe it was meant for me to draw this piece to inspire a young girl whose purpose is to create her own reality/artistry. I don't know, but whenever I look at this piece, I think of her.  

The only story I can provide though, is the inspiration behind the title. At first I called it "Caribbean Goddess" because it showed that I'm a crazy Caribbean who plastered a butterfly in front of the woman's dress, hinting something sexual, a rebirth, or a metamorphosis, (these are interpretations from friends) and made it colorful and beautiful.  But I didn't like the title. I already didn't have an interesting background story and adding in a blah title like "Caribbean Goddess" didn't invoke any questions. So I called it my brush name "Lu'maYna".  

In old Haitian Creole, lumena means diva, and my favorite great aunt (R.I.P) was given this birth name. Everyone called her by her nickname, Manyi, and barely knew her real name. I don't know why, but Haitians refrain from calling a woman lumena, thus making this word scarce. So scarce that Haitian elders are shocked to hear this word come out of my mouth. I'm assuming that Lumena has some kind of negative connotation like La Celestina in Spanish, but whatever it is, I want to revive this word back into Kreyol's dictionary because it's Latin root means light, illuminate, and there's nothing negative with calling a woman light. 
I'm just saying...
Anyhoo, I changed the e and placed it with aY because I wanted the Y to represent yoni, a Sanskrit word meaning "source or origin of life", "sacred place", "sacred temple", the vulva...

Yes I'm a womanist

I used my great aunt's real name because she was my favorite person in the whole wide world. She was the most humble human being I've ever met, and she gave me hope as a kid. She was always there for me and taught me how to be humble and kind. She was my Mother Teresa, my Ghandi, cheesy but... my light when I needed it the most, and I will never forget her. Thus I call my brush name Lu'maYna in her remembrance and used this art piece as a representation of what my artwork consist of... 
the celebration of natural woman


2 comments:

Hell Notes for Beauty said...

You are a great artist. lumena literally means light. I guess it's related to lucifer maybe that is why most fear those types of names. Either way the piece is gorgeous.

T'arr.a said...

I actually changed the name to Coconette which is just a more subtle Kreyol definition of light and life...