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Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM), Pasaquan

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About the Artist/Site

Martin, the son of poor white sharecroppers, created an elaborate new religion and world called Pasaquan in western Georgia’s pine country. At 14 he ran away from his abusive father, landing in New York City where he survived as a street hustler, dope dealer, and fortune-teller. During an illness in the 1930s a voice from the “spirit world” told him he was going to become a “Pasaquoyan” named Saint EOM (the E is silent, pronounced like the eastern chant OM). He later defined this term as a fusion of Spanish and “Oriental” words that illustrated a merging of past and future. He became Pasaquoyan’s sole priest and practitioner.

 

St. EOM permanently returned to Georgia in 1957, moving into the family home and four acres he inherited. He continued telling fortunes, and began to ornament his home and grounds. Despite no real construction experience, he had learned basic skills growing up on the farm. He built and then embellished fences, temples, pagodas, shrines, walls, and walkways with brightly-painted oversized cement-sculpted totem faces, whirling mandalas, giant undulating snakes, and variously styled nude figures, influenced by his concepts of the temple complexes of pre-Columbian Mexico and the fabled lost continents of Mu and Atlantis. The imagery, also vaguely reminiscent of Pacific Islander sculpture and aboriginal painting, was stylistically adapted to the flashy designs and gaudy colors of a carnival sideshow.

 

Martin’s extensive ceremonial wardrobe included flamboyant multi-colored robes and capes, turbans, feathered headdresses, and elaborate homemade jewelry. He never trimmed his hair or beard, binding them up on top of his head into braids starched with rice paste and decorated with jewels. At over six feet tall, his performances of “ritual” dances in full regalia were singularly impressive.

 

Depressed, aging, and ill by the mid-1980s, St. EOM shot himself in 1986. “I built this place to have somethin’ to identify with,” he said,” `cause ther’s nothin’ I see in this society that I identify with or desire to emulate. Here I can be in my own world…. I wanna prove to society that even though I’ve been ostracized all my life, I have good qualities and good potential. I built this place just to prove that I could do it.” In 2008 Pasaquan was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is maintained by the nonprofit Pasaquan Preservation Society.

 

~Jo Farb Hernández 



SPACES Archive Holdings

1 folder: clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, and the following periodicals:

Fred C. Fussell. “Clouds over Pasaquan,” SPACES Newsletter 9 (Winter/Spring 1989): 1-2.

Joiner, Dorothy. “Pasaquan,” Raw Vision 19 (Summer 1997): 28-35.

Mason, Randy, Mike Murphy and Don Mayberger. Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations. Kansas City: Kansas City Star Books, 2002.

Patterson, Tom. St. EOM in the Land of Pasaquan. Winston-Salem, NC: The Jargon Society, 1987.



Related Documents

Letter to SPACES/Cynthia Pansing from Rick Fisher, Southern Arts Ederation, 7/6/1988

Note to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Martha Connell, Connell Gallery, 12/1991

Oversized postcard for St EOM reception

Note to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Doug Loggins, Eyeball Productions

Pamphlet for The Pasaquoyan film

Condition Report for St. EOM’s Pasaquan Compound, 1988

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Mark Kingsley, 12/18/1988

Letter from Fred C. Fussell, Pasaquan Society, 12/20/1989

Flyer for publication of “St. EOM in the Land of Pasaquan”, 10/31/1987

Note to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Martha Connell, Connell Gallery

Business card for Martha Stamm Connell, Connell Gallery

Business card for Pat Connell, Connell Gallery

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Pat Connell, Connell Gallery, 8/15/1991

Letter to benefactor of Pasaquan from Pat and Martha Connell, Connell gallery, 8/9/1991

List of Host Committee for St. EOM’s “Vision of Pasaquan”

Media news release for Visions of Pasaquan

Letter to Fred Fussell, Columbus Museum from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 3/18/1991

Letter to “friend” from Fred C. Fussell, Pasaquan Preservation Committee, 11/1989

Day of clean-up organization scheduled at Pasaquan, 11/25/1989

Directions to Pasaquan with hand drawn map

Postcard for exhibition for St EOM

Letter to Seymour Rosen/SPACES from Fred Fussell, Columbus Museum, 9/26/1989

Letter to Fred Fussell, Columbus Museum from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 1/24/1989

Mailer for Pasaquan Independence Day Celebration, 7/4/1991

Invitation to Visions of Pasaquan exhibition

1988 exhibition details for Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA

Postcard for a restoration/preservation benefit for Pasaquan

Letter to Tom Patterson from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 3/23/1983

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Jonathan Williams, Jargon Society, Inc, 4/21/1984

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Jonathan Williams, Jargon Society, Inc, 3/20/1983

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Tom Patterson, 3/17/1983

Letter to SPACES/Seymour Rosen from Tom Patterson, 3/8/1982

Letter to Jonathan Williams from SPACES/Seymour Rosen, 3/29/1983

SPACES museum exhibition data sheet, 4/21/1988

Press Release for Just Plain Folk?

Press Release for “At the Edge,” “St EOM in the Land of Pasaquan,” and Recent Works by Wiliam S. Burroughs”

Press Release for William S. Burroughs and Jesse Bersten Reading

Email to outsiderart@yahoogroups.com from SPACES/Jo Farb Hernandez, 9/15/2008

Email to thread between outsiderart@yahoogroups.com and mysteries@aol.com, 9/16/2008

Email to outsiderart@yahoogroups.com from mysteries@aol.com, 9/15/2008

Email to outsiderart@yahoogroups.com from Farris Wahbeh, 9/15/2008

Email to outsiderart@yahoogroups.com from mysteries@aol.com, 9/15/2008

Email thread between outsiderart@yahoogroups.com, Fred C. Fussell, and Lisa Stone & Don Howlett, 9/15/2008

Email to outsiderart@yahoogroups.com from Tina Cox, 9/18/2008

Email to outsiderart@yahoogroups.com from Fred C. Fussell, 10/11/2008

St. EOM’s Pasaquan - an update on progress from the Kohler Foundation, Feb. 2016





 

 

 

 

 

 

Map and site information

238 County Road 78
Buena Vista, Georgia, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 32.346287 / -84.581438

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