Bois Caïman (Haitian Creole: Bwa Kayiman) is the site of the Vodou ceremony during which the first major slave insurrection of the Haitian Revolution was planned. On the night of August 14, 1791, representative slaves from nearby plantations gathered to participate in a secret ceremony conducted in the woods by nearby Le Cap in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. Presided over by Dutty Boukman, a prominent slave leader and Vodou priest, the ceremony served as both a religious ritual and strategic meeting as conspirators met and planned a revolt against the ruling white planters of the colony's wealthy Northern Plain.
The following prayer said by Dutty Boukman has been attributed to that night, translated as: “Good Lord who hath made the sun that shines upon us, that riseth from the sea, who maketh the storm to roar; and governeth the thunders, The Lord is hidden in the heavens, and there He watcheth over us. The Lord seeth what the whites have done. Their god commandeth crimes, ours giveth blessings upon us. The Good Lord hath ordained vengeance. He will give strength to our arms and courage to our hearts. He shall sustain us. Cast down the image of the god of the whites, because he maketh the tears to flow from our eyes. Hearken unto Liberty that speaketh now in all your hearts.” (Heinl)
In the following days, the whole Northern Plain was in flames, as the revolutionaries conducted acts of violence towards those who had formerly enslaved them. Clouded in mystery, many accounts of the catalytic ceremony and its particular details have varied since it was first documented in Antoine Dalmas's "History of the Saint-Domingue Revolution" in 1814. The ceremony is considered the official beginning of the Haitian Revolution.
This excerpt from the official "History of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution" serves as a general summary of the ceremonial events that occurred:
A man named Boukman, another houngan, organized on August 24, 1791, a meeting with the slaves in the mountains of the North. This meeting took the form of a Voodoo ceremony in the Bois Caïman in the northern mountains of the island. It was raining and the sky was raging with clouds; the slaves then started confessing their resentment of their condition. A woman started dancing languorously in the crowd, taken by the spirits of the loas. With a knife in her hand, she cut the throat of a pig and distributed the blood to all the participants of the meeting who swore to kill all the whites on the island.
Despite purported facts and embellishments that have dramatized the ceremony over the centuries, the most reoccurring anecdote is the sacrifice of a black Creole Pig to Ezili Dantor by the mambo Cécile Fatiman and the conspiratorial pact formed through its blood. First documented by Dalmas, the following excerpt provides the first details of the sacrifice:
A black pig, surrounded by the slaves believe to have magical powers, each carrying the most bizarre offering, was offered as a sacrifice to the all-powerful spirit...The religious community in which the nègres slit its throat, the greed with which they have believed to have marked themselves on the forehead with its blood, the importance that they attached to owning some of its bristles which they believed would make them invincible. The book:History of the Saint-Domingue Revolution, 1814 by Antoine Dalmas gives some conflicting account of the ceremony.
The black Creole Pig, although indigenous to the island, being domesticated centuries earlier by the Tainos, was a sacrifice to and a symbol of Ezili Dantor, the mother of Haiti who resembles the scarred Dahomey Amazons or Mino, meaning "Our Mothers" in the Fon language. It was a mixing of the traditions of the army of the Dahomey, which was the ethnicity of many of the slaves in Saint Domingue with the Taino, who had fled to the high mountains of Haiti (Haiti meaning high mountains in Taino) in order to escape the Spanish colonial genocide.
This ceremonial event has been considered by many conservative Christian sources as the Haitian "pact with the devil" that ignited the revolution. They were influenced by "spiritual warfare" theology and concerned that the Aristide government had made efforts to incorporate the Vodou sector more fully into the political process. These Evangelicals developed a counter-narrative to the official national story. In this narrative, the ancestral spirits at the Vodou cemetery were re-cast as demons. In their view, the engagement with demons amounted to a pact that put Haiti under the rule of Satan. While some Haitian Evangelicals subscribe to this idea, most Haitian nationalists vehemently oppose it. This belief was referenced by Christian media personality Pat Robertson in his controversial comments during the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Robertson declared the Haitian people "have been cursed by one thing after the other" since the 18th century after swearing "a pact to the devil". Robertson's comments were denounced.
4. Heinl, Robert Debs, and Nancy Gordon Heinl. Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492-1971. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
The Indigenous Army (French: Armée Indigène), also known as the Army of Saint-Domingue (French: Armée de Saint-Domingue), was the group of gens de couleur, free blacks; affranchi , mullatos; and basal slaves that fought in the Haitian Revolution . They were not officially called the Armée Indigène until January 1803, under the leadership of Dessalines . Led by famous leaders such as Vincent Ogé, Toussaint Louverture, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the Armée Indigène would consolidate their power and fight using guerilla tactics to make the Haitian Revolution the first successful revolution of its kind.August 14
August 14 is the 226th day of the year (227th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 139 days remaining until the end of the year.Black Power in the Caribbean
Black Power in the Caribbean refers to political and social movements in the Caribbean region from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s that focused on overturning the existing racist power structure. Guyanese academic Walter Rodney famously defined the movement as follows: “Black Power in the West Indies means three closely related things”:
the break with imperialism which is historically white racist
the assumption of power by the black masses in the islands
the cultural reconstruction of the society in the image of the blacksCap-Haïtien
Cap-Haïtien (Haitian Creole: Kap Ayisyen; English: Cape Haitian) often referred to as Le Cap or Au Cap, is a commune of about 190,000 people on the north coast of Haiti and capital of the department of Nord. Previously named, Cap‑Français (initially Cap-François) and Cap‑Henri, it was historically nicknamed the Paris of the Antilles, because of its wealth and sophistication, expressed through its beautiful architecture and artistic life. It was an important city during the colonial period, serving as the capital of the French Colony of Saint-Domingue from the city's formal foundation in 1711 until 1770 when the capital was moved to Port-au-Prince. After the Haitian Revolution, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Northern Haiti under King Henri Christophe until 1820.
Cap-Haïtien's long history of independent thought was formed in part by its relative distance from Port-au-Prince, the barrier of mountains between it and the southern part of the country, and a history of large African populations. These contributed to making it a legendary incubator of independent movements since slavery times. For instance, from February 5–29, 2004, the city was taken over by militants who opposed the rule of the Haïtian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They eventually created enough political pressure to force him out of office and the country.
Cap-Haïtien is near the historic Haitian town of Milot, which lies 12 miles (19 km) to the southwest along a gravel road. Milot was Haiti's first capital under the self-proclaimed King Henri Christophe, who ascended to power in 1807, three years after Haiti had gained independence from France. He renamed Cap‑Français as Cap‑Henri. Milot is the site of his Sans-Souci Palace, wrecked by the 1842 earthquake. The Citadelle Laferrière, a massive stone fortress bristling with cannons, atop a nearby mountain is 5 miles (8.0 km) away. On clear days, its silhouette is visible from Cap‑Haïtien.
The small Hugo Chavez International Airport (formerly Cap-Haïtien International Airport), located on the southeast edge of the city, is served by several small domestic airlines.
it has been patrolled by Chilean UN troops from the "O'Higgins Base" since the 2010 earthquake. The airport is currently being expanded. Several hundred UN personnel, including nearby units from Nepal and Uruguay, are assigned to the city as part of the ongoing United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).Cécile Fatiman
Cécile Fatiman (fl. 1791), was a Haitian vodou priestess, a mambo (Voodoo). She is famous for her participation in the vodou ceremony at Bois Caïman, which is considered to be one of the starting points of the Haitian Revolution.Dutty Boukman
Dutty Boukman (Also known as "Boukman Dutty") (died 7 November 1791) was an early leader of the Haitian Revolution, enslaved in Jamaica and later in Haiti. He is considered to have been both a leader of maroons and vodou hougan (priest).According to some contemporary accounts Boukman alongside Cécile Fatiman, a Vodou mambo, presided over the religious ceremony at Bois Caïman, in August 1791, that served as the catalyst to the 1791 slave revolt which is usually considered the beginning of the Haitian Revolution.
Boukman was a key leader of the slave revolt in the Le Cap‑Français region in the north of the colony. He was killed by the French planters and colonial troops in 7 November 1791, just a few months after the beginning of the uprising. The French then publicly displayed Boukman's head in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated. The fact that French authorities had to do this illustrates the impact Boukman made on the views of Haitian people during this time.François Bourgeon
François Bourgeon (born July 5, 1945, Paris) is a French comics artist, author of several noted Franco-Belgian comics album series.Haitian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution (French: Révolution haïtienne [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ ajisjɛ̃n]) was a successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign nation of Haiti. It began on 22 August 1791, and ended in 1804 with the former colony's independence. It involved blacks, mulattoes, French, Spanish, and British participants—with the ex-slave Toussaint L'Ouverture emerging as Haiti's most charismatic hero. It was the only slave uprising that led to the founding of a state which was both free from slavery, and ruled by non-whites and former captives. It is now widely seen as a defining moment in the history of racism in the Atlantic World.
Its effects on the institution of slavery were felt throughout the Americas. The end of French rule and the abolition of slavery in the former colony was followed by a successful defense of the freedoms they won, and, with the collaboration of free persons of color, their independence from white Europeans. It represents the largest slave uprising since Spartacus's unsuccessful revolt against the Roman Republic nearly 1,900 years earlier. It challenged long-held European beliefs about alleged black inferiority and about enslaved persons' capacity to achieve and maintain their own freedom. The rebels' organizational capacity and tenacity under pressure inspired stories that shocked and frightened slave owners in the hemisphere.Haitian Vodou
Haitian Vodou (, French: [vodu], also written as Vaudou ; known commonly as Voodoo , sometimes as Vodun , Vodoun , Vodu , or Vaudoux ) is a syncretic religion practiced chiefly in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Practitioners are called "vodouists" (French: vodouisants [voduizɑ̃]) or "servants of the spirits" (Haitian Creole: sèvitè).Vodouists believe in a distant and unknowable Supreme Creator, Bondye (derived from the French term Bon Dieu, meaning "good God"). According to Vodouists, Bondye does not intercede in human affairs, and thus they direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondye, called loa. Every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside. To navigate daily life, vodouists cultivate personal relationships with the loa through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, and participation in elaborate ceremonies of music, dance, and spirit possession.Vodou originated in what is now Benin and developed in the French colonial empire in the 18th century among West African peoples who were enslaved, when African religious practice was actively suppressed, and enslaved Africans were forced to convert to Christianity. Religious practices of contemporary Vodou are descended from, and closely related to, West African Vodun as practiced by the Fon and Ewe. Vodou also incorporates elements and symbolism from other African peoples including the Yoruba and Kongo; as well as Taíno religious beliefs, Roman Catholicism, and European spirituality including mysticism and other influences.In Haiti, some Catholics combine aspects of Catholicism with aspects of Vodou, a practice forbidden by the Church and denounced as diabolical by Haitian Protestants.History of Haiti
The recorded written history of Haiti began on 5 December 1492 when the European navigator Christopher Columbus happened upon a large island in the region of the western Atlantic Ocean that later came to be known as the Caribbean. It was inhabited by the Taíno, and Arawakan people, who variously called their island Ayiti, Bohio, or Kiskeya (Quisqueya). Columbus promptly claimed the island for the Spanish Crown, naming it La Isla Española ("the Spanish Island"), later Latinized to Hispaniola. French influence began in 1625, and French control of what was called Saint-Domingue—modern-day Haiti—began in 1660. From 1697 on, the western part of the island was French and the eastern part was Spanish. Haiti became one of the wealthiest of France's colonies, producing vast quantities of sugar and coffee and depended on a brutal slave system for the necessary labor. Inspired by the message of the French Revolution, Haitian slaves rose up in revolt in 1791 and after decades of struggle the independent republic of Haiti was officially proclaimed in 1804.Pat Robertson
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson (born March 22, 1930) is an American media mogul, executive chairman, politician, televangelist and former Southern Baptist minister who advocates a conservative Christian ideology. He serves as chancellor and CEO of Regent University and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
On Robertson's own account, he was not a serious Christian until he underwent personal difficulty. He graduated near the top of his class at Yale Law School in 1955, but failed the New York bar exam. Failing the bar cost Robertson opportunities at post-graduate employment, and in the ensuing months of what he later described as disappointment, embarrassment, and unemployment, he converted to Christianity and began a career as a minister.
Spanning over five decades, Robertson has a career as the founder of several major organizations and corporations as well as a university: The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the International Family Entertainment Inc. (ABC Family Channel), Regent University, the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), the Founders Inn and Conference Center, the Christian Coalition, an L-1011 Flying Hospital, Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation, and CBN Asia. He is a best-selling author and the host of The 700 Club, a Christian News and TV program broadcast live weekdays on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) via satellite from CBN studios, as well as on channels throughout the United States, and on CBN network affiliates worldwide.The son of U.S. Senator A. Willis Robertson, Robertson was a Southern Baptist and was active as an ordained minister with that denomination for many years, but holds to a charismatic theology not traditionally common among Southern Baptists. He unsuccessfully campaigned to become the Republican Party's nominee in the 1988 presidential election. As a result of his seeking political office, he no longer serves in an official role for any church. His personal influence and media and financial resources make him a recognized, influential, and controversial public voice for conservative Christianity in the United States.Pat Robertson controversies
Pat Robertson has made outspoken opinions with respect to religion, politics and several other subjects. Many of his statements have stirred controversy and several have been headline news in the United States, and elsewhere. Many of these comments have been made on his daily talk show, The 700 Club.Timeline of Haitian history
This is a timeline of Haitian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Haiti and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Haiti. See also the list of heads of state of Haïti.Toussaint Louverture
François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (French: [fʁɑ̃swa dɔminik tusɛ̃ luvɛʁtyʁ] 9 May 1743 – 7 April 1803), also known as Toussaint L'Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda, was the best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution. He was a leader of the growing resistance. His military and political acumen saved the gains of the first Black insurrection in November 1791. He first fought for the Spanish against the French; then for France against Spain and Great Britain; and finally, he fought in behalf of Saint-Domingue in the era of Napoleonic France. He helped transform the slave insurgency into a revolutionary movement. By 1800 Saint-Domingue, the most prosperous French slave colony of the time, had become the first free colonial society to have explicitly rejected race as the basis of social ranking.
Although Louverture did not sever ties with France in 1800, he created a de facto autonomous colony. The colony's constitution proclaimed him governor for life even against Napoleon Bonaparte's wishes. He died betrayed before the final and most violent stage of the armed conflict. However, his achievements set the grounds for the Black army's absolute victory and for Jean-Jacques Dessalines to declare the sovereign state of Haiti in January 1804. Louverture's prominent role in the Haitian success over colonialism and slavery had earned him the admiration of friends and detractors alike.Toussaint Louverture began his military career as a leader of the 1791 slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue; he was by then a free man and a Jacobin. Initially allied with the Spaniards of neighboring Santo Domingo (modern Dominican Republic), Louverture switched allegiance to the French when the new government abolished slavery. He gradually established control over the whole island and used political and military tactics to gain dominance over his rivals. Throughout his years in power, he worked to improve the economy and security of Saint-Domingue. Worried about the economy, which had stalled, he restored the plantation system using paid labour, negotiated trade treaties with the UK and the United States, and maintained a large and well-disciplined army.After defeating leaders among the free people of color, in 1801, he promulgated an autonomist constitution for the colony, which named him as Governor-General for Life. In 1802 he was forced to resign by forces sent by Napoleon Bonaparte to restore French authority in the former colony. He was deported to France, where he died in 1803. Suffering the loss of two-thirds of their forces from yellow fever, the French withdrew from Saint-Domingue that year. The Haitian Revolution continued under Louverture's lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared independence on 1 January 1804. That year he ordered the 1804 Haiti massacre, in which many white people and free people of color were murdered.