The Divine Coloring Book, inspired by folklore and spirituality from Haiti, Brazil and Philippines. Hardcover and PDF versions available.
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The Divine is a multicultural 100-page hardcover coloring book for people of all ages (especially the child in all of us) inspired by folklore and spirituality from the Philippines (Diwatas), Haiti (Lwas of Vodou) and Brazil (Orixás of Candomble and deities of the Indigenous Brazilian Tupi Tribe). Thirteen divinities from each culture are represented, along with the folklore and symbolism associated with each of the divinities. Included throughout the book are inspirational quotes, mindfulness activities for children, and poetry featuring Eniafe Isis Adewale of All Her Words, Aimee Amparo, and Haitian songs by Daniel “Brav” Brevil. 40 full-page illustrations.
Artists: Andre Hora, Gabrielle Tesfaye, Fermina Caragay Armstrong, Salima Silagon Saway, Grace Bio, Rahana Dariah, Zachary “Bodinho” Present, Stephen Hamilton, Cece Carpio, Nikila Badua/MamaWisdom1, Wisthon Thime, Dee Jae Pa’este, Ubi Maya, Mitzi Ulloa, Rodney Sanon and Laylie Frazier.
Advisors, Mentors, Cultural Bearers and Collaborators for this project include: Alleluia Panis (KulArts), June Arellano (Parangal Dance Company), Salima Silagon Saway, Myrna Pulna, Marlon Martin (Indigenous Peoples Education (IPED) Center), Portsha Jefferson/Zetwal Ashade Bon Manbo (Rara Tou Limen), Daniel Brevil, Laure Fleurentin (FAL Danse), Jorge Alabe, Paco Gomes, Dandha DaHora, Djenane Saint-Juste (Afoutayi), Tania Santiago (Aguas Dance Company), Urubu Malandro (Capoeira Ijexa), Eniafe Isis Adewale (All Her Words).
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Some years ago, I taught a CreativFolkloric workshop at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco. I guided students in choreographing movements inspired by Yemanja (Brazil), La Sirènn (Haiti) and Magwayen (Visayas, Philippines)—all divine feminine spirits of the ocean. I thought it would help inspire them if they could color illustrations of those divine spirits, but I was unable to find any existing illustrations online. As a last resort, I set out to create some of my own coloring pages. And so was born the idea for The Divine coloring book—a personal creative journey of many months that has also been a very transformative and healing process for me. I hope you see a little bit of yourself through these stories, and that their symbolism resonates within you. I also hope that you will find these coloring pages not just educational, but also healing and therapeutic.
The Divine is a multicultural coloring book for people of all ages (especially the child in all of us) inspired by folklore and spirituality from the Philippines (Diwatas), Haiti (Lwas of Vodou) and Brazil (Orixás of Candomble and deities of the Indigenous Brazilian Tupi Tribe). Thirteen divinities from each culture are represented, along with the folklore and symbolism associated with each of the divinities. Included throughout the book are inspirational quotes, mindfulness activities for children, and poetry featuring Eniafe Isis of All Her Words, Aimee Amparo, and Haitian songs by Daniel “Brav” Brevil.
While many of us grew up with mythologies about Greek and Roman gods, as well as stories like Cinderella, Little Mermaid and Robin Hood, few of us have been exposed to the stories included in The Divine—stories that have been passed down from generation to generation through traditional dance, music, and oral storytelling. The Divine draws a connection between the cultures and beliefs of these diasporas, in hopes of giving them the attention they deserve. From the Americas to Africa to the islands, let’s continue to carry and pass down the wisdom that lies in these stories.
This book is something meant to grow with and meet the reader where they are. Read and color for yourself, or do it with a little one. Mindfulness activities are meant for children and adults to do together. The poetry, quotes and songs are meant for older youth and adults. And the folklore/symbolism is meant for older youth and grown-ups to read with little ones.
What I’ve written here only touches the surface of these spiritualities and lore. There are many interpretations and beliefs. There are other ways of sacred practice, application and folkloric storytelling that vary from place to place, temple to temple, tribe to tribe and so forth. So please, don’t just take my word for it. Do your own research, talk to cultural practitioners themselves, ask questions, discover for yourself what moves your soul and don’t believe everything you read about these beliefs in mainstream media. I’ve been studying and practicing Haitian, Brazilian and Philippine folkloric dance for a little over a decade. I’ve traveled to Haiti and the Philippines to expand my spiritual and cultural growth, and deepen my connection to these cultures through spirituality, dance and music. These experiences have had a profound influence on my life; they’ve carried me through my struggles, taught me to root myself in joy, brought me healing, connected me to my ancestors, and brought me closer to the God within and the God without. My introduction to spirituality began with Christ, having been raised as a Pentecostal Christian. That’s why I’ve also included a bonus coloring page that’s of a Haitian, Brazilian and Filipino Christ, to represent a bridging of a dominant spirituality and these sacred spiritualities. Although each can be very different, I believe they’re also one-in-the-same. Now, I see the Divine in everything. Each day, I learn more and more. And for that, I am incredibly grateful. The Divine is my offering.
Every people, every culture has its own way of honoring the sacred and the spiritual. When we apply the wisdom of these stories to our everyday lives, we discover a deeper relationship to the world around us. Before our lives began, before we believed, the Divine has been both within us and outside of us.