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Farewell Emerante de Pradines!

Farewell Emerante de Pradines!

Singer, dancer, folklorist, choreographer, theatre actress and anthropologist, Émerante de Pradines Morse passed away on Thursday, January 4 at the Saint-Esprit Hospital, on Capois Street. The body of the lady who would have celebrated her 100th birthday on September 24 was cremated on Saturday, January 6,2018 after a ceremony in which only the relatives of the deceased took part.

By Daphney Valsaint Malandre
08 January 2018

Émerante de Pradines Morse is dead. The news spread following a post by Richard Morse on the Twitter account @ramhaiti on Saturday, January 6, at 9:29 p.m. “My mother Emerante de Pradines Morse has passed away RIP 1918-2018 #Haiti #USA,” it read. At that time, Émerante de Pradines, a key monument of Haitian song, had been dead for more than 24 hours and her body had been cremated that same Saturday.

Without wishing to dwell on his grandmother’s state of health, Richard William Morse, son of Richard Auguste Morse, blamed Mrs. Morse’s death on old age and fatigue. “She was very old. Her body was exhausted,” insists the young man, who adds that the nonagenarian had recovered from the illness that had shaken her last summer. Émerante de Pradines had been hospitalized at the Saint-Esprit hospital for a few days before finally passing away on January 6, 2018, before having celebrated her hundredth birthday.

According to William’s statements, the family preferred to keep the news private and devoted themselves to carrying out a quick funeral and then cremating the deceased’s remains, making sure to respect her last wishes. Will there still be a grand ceremony open to the public? “It’s within the realm of possibility. But we don’t have anything concrete yet,” said William Morse, who nevertheless acknowledges that his grandmother touched the lives of many and that it would be entirely justified for some people to want to pay their last respects to her. “Nou pral chache yon okazyon pou ba yo opòtinite sa a,” he said.

At the same time, on December 27, 2017, Richard Morse announced, still on the Twitter account of the RAM group, that, during the year 2018, they would celebrate the 100th anniversary of Émerante de Pradines. And according to her son, these plans for the celebration of the centenary of this great lady of Haitian culture still stand. “We’re going to make sure to include dance, song, art in general… all those things that were important to her,” he promised.

Born in Port-au-Prince on September 24, 1918, Émerante de Pradines was the daughter of Haitian singer-songwriter Auguste de Pradines, Ti-Candio, who sang “La Dessalinienne” for the first time. Émerante, who grew up in Martissant, in an artistic atmosphere, made her debut in poetry, before turning to singing, then theatre and dance. This icon, trained in Haiti, at the École Sainte-Rose de Lima (primary and secondary), at the École Normale Supérieure and abroad, at Columbia University, has marked more than one generation of Haitians, on the one hand through his art, but also and above all through his patriotism and his love of Haitian folklore. Indeed, at a time when Vodou was frowned upon and marginalized, she never stopped popularizing our traditional songs and rhythms and made sure to take them with her whenever she had to perform outside.

Mother of 3 children, Jean-Max Sam who died at the end of the 90s, Richard Auguste Morse, leader of the very popular musical group “root” RAM, and Marise Morse Mahos, photographer, the widow of historian Richard McGee Morse was also the aunt of former president Michel Joseph Martelly. Ticket salutes the departure of this great lady of Haitian song and offers its condolences to her family and to all those affected by this loss.

By Daphney Valsaint Malandre



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