Cécile Fatiman, Boukman Dutty & Bois Caiman

The old slave woman, intimate of the gods, buries her machete in the throat of a black wild boar. The earth of Haiti drinks the blood. Under the protection of the gods of war and of fire, two hundred blacks sing and dance the oath of freedom. In the prohibited voodoo ceremony aglow with lightning bolts, two hundred slaves decide to turn this land of punishment into a fatherland.

Eduardo Galeano, “1791: Bois Caiman: The Conspirators of Haiti,” Faces and Masks: Memory of Fire, Volume II, Cedric Belfage, Trans., 1987.

La vieja esclava, la íntima de los dioses, hunde el machete en la garanta de un jabalí negro. La tierra de Haití bebe la sangre. Al amparo de los dioses de la Guerra y del fuego, doscientos negros cantan y danzan el juramento de la libertad. En la prohibida ceremonia de vudú, luminosa de relámpagos, los doscientos esclavos deciden convertir en patria esta tierra de castigo.

Eduardo Galeano, “1791: Bois Caiman: Los conjurados de Haiti,” Memoria del fuego: Las caras y las mascaras, Volume 2 (1984)

Image: Castera Bazile (1923–1966), “Petwo Ceremony Commemorating Bwa Kayiman,” 1950. Oil on Masonite. (58.42 x 48.9 cm) Source: Milwaukee Art Museum.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted April 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Cécile Fatiman, Boukman Dutty & Bois Caiman, 1791: http://t.co/TZo9tMKv #haiti #archives

  2. Posted April 25, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Cécile Fatiman, Boukman Dutty & Bois Caiman, 1791: http://t.co/TZo9tMKv #haiti #archives #1791

  3. Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Cécile Fatiman, Boukman Dutty & Bois Caiman http://t.co/SRTglQ4D #Haiti #art

  4. Posted April 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    The Ceremony at Bois Caiman, 1791: http://t.co/TZo9tMKv #haiti #archives #1791

  5. Posted April 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Bois Caiman, 1791: http://t.co/TZo9tMKv #archives #haiti

5 Trackbacks

  • By Struggling to Remember Slavery | Robbie Shilliam on March 19, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Kramer auto Pingback[…] at Bois Caiman that inaugurated the revolution around the 23rd August 1791, can we also remember Cecile Fatiman, the priestess who warned all present of the sacredness of the blood oath of victory or death […]

  • Kramer auto Pingback[…] taken to Cap-Haïtien where Charles Belair was shot and Sanité decapitated.   Cécile Fatiman was a voudou high priestess, a mambo who was one of the presiding priests along with Dutty Boukman […]

  • By Haitian Revolution and 1807 Abolition Act on October 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Kramer auto Pingback[…] couple were taken to Cap-Haïtien where Charles Belair was shot and Sanité decapitated.   Cécile Fatiman was a voudou high priestess, a mambo who was one of the presiding priests along with Dutty Boukman […]

  • Kramer auto Pingback[…] the couple were taken to Cap-Haïtien where Charles Belair was shot and Sanité decapitated.   Cécile Fatiman was a voudou high priestess, a mambo who was one of the presiding priests along with Dutty Boukman […]

  • By Black Looks :2 » Grand Lakou Gonaïves on August 16, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Kramer auto Pingback[…] join the revolution.    The people of Lakou Badjo believe both Badjo and Azo Pady were present at Bwa Kayiman on the 14th August, 1791 and it was almost a year later when they crossed the mountains and […]

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