mardi 20 janvier 2015

Guinea / Haiti: François Makandal, the Guinean Mandingo inspirer of the Haitian Revolution.

 
Haitian Separatists who  declared the "First Black Republic of the Continent" in 1789 were inspired by him, and the peasant guerrillas that will stand the North American occupation of the island in 1915. Today, when a popular revolt broke out in slums and coffee plantations, one can hear some voices singing: "Here the one-handed walk among his people, here walk Mandingo, who remained in this world ... Here Makandal walk..."

In 1779, a slave ship docked on the Cape Haiti, north of the island.

        
Loaded from Guinea, a slave ship has on board two hundred slaves, only arriving in Cape Haiti forty survivors among the slaves. The others died during the Atlantic crossing and their bodies were thrown to the sharks. Among the survivors is François Makandal, a young black Mandingo and sculptural body with a deep voice, strings do not seem to hurt. At the auction, the French, Le Normant Mézy, owner of sugarcane plantations in Limbe buys him.

A mighty and mystical man.

        
Makandal cutting sugar cane like no one else, but he loses an arm in the mill and began tending livestock. He would then fled after arousing the jealousy of his master seducing young black slave Zumie, whose White was also smitten; his rival would have found an excuse to mistreat him. He begins to feel useless. Nostalgia for his land and his people came over, and the pain occupies his thoughts. However, he does not let win, confides black gods and find a reason to live in the observation of nature. He thus has many plants, different from his homeland, but also instructive that. These are rare plants, which nobody else has paid attention before. He discovered a fungus that makes you sick and can kill ... and he gives the room the dog of his boss and owner. And while he looks at the collapse, Makandal has in mind the suffering of his people ...
        
One day he disappears from the property: he is not found in the courtyard of the cows or in the kitchen, and even less in large barrack or sleep slaves. There is nowhere. He becomes elusive for eight years. He became a charismatic leader and unites bands runaway slaves. He creates a network of secret organizations in plantations. Against them, he leads several nocturnal activities of slaves, by the light of torches and kill their owners.

We must find the Mandingo, dead or alive!

        
"Makandal is a Mandingo and each Mandingo is a rebel. He is now brown negro and the one that will meet the need to inform me," cries the French to his slaves.
        
Comes the rainy season the rivers and streams increase in volume and overflow their banks, but Makandal shows no signs of life. The rainy season passes and rivers back to their beds ... One day Tinoel, a slave who believed that his friend had died receives a message: "I sent for you because our time has come, the time of the Negroes. We have no weapons, but we have the wisdom of the Warrior Run, and intelligence of the great Oxosse. "
        
Within weeks, the poisonous fungus invades the stables and pastures. Cows, cattle, horses and sheep fall by the hundreds, covering the area of the smell of carrion. The plague is soon to enter the house of the white man. Makandal proclaims the "extermination campaign" for the creation of "an empire of free Blacks."
        
Soldiers and supervisors set off in the hunt ... they search every corner, but did not find him. Yet the eyes of his brothers see him everywhere: "He wears the costume of animals, -they say- he appropriates the course of rivers, speaks with the voice of the wind, knows every tree, every cave ...".

Makandal becomes a living legend!

        
His epic lasts four years during which he turned into lizard, cobra, bird or other creature. Four years that he comes out of hiding to attend the rites during which the African gods are worshiped. Arrive December, time of Negroes festivities in Haiti. After the sacred drum rises the silhouette of Makandal. No one greets him, but his affectionate gaze meets that of each of those present and hot water bowls pass from hand to hand until those visitor assoiffé.Toute ambient joy fact forget all this world than whites are still there, and that treason is possible ...

Betrayed by one of his own, he was captured.

        
And twenty soldiers prevail before the astonished gaze of his brothers. The sad song of the drum sounds from the Artibonite River to the Turtle Island. In the central square, everything is ready: the authorities are comfortably installed in the church, and the slaves are near the bonfire, forced by their teachers to see the "fire of the example".
          Accused of "seduction, desecration and poisoning" by the French colonial authority, he was sentenced to death by a judgment on  January 20, 1758 and delivered the same day to the stake.

"Makandal remained among us in the kingdom of this world."

        
Makandal speaks with Oxosse and Run: "Good grief of my people, I ask you to let me stay in this world, to continue the fight for my people."
        
The flames begin to rise to his feet; Makandal screams, his ties undone and his body is stretched in the air, so over the multitude observer. As he struggles in the fire, the post which he is attached transfers and Mackandal jumps out of the pyre. Slaves exclaim: "Macandal saved! ". A jailer rushed to kill a sword, but he is prevented. Makandal is then linked on a board and placed back into the flames, this time the burn. Then he disappears. Blacks priests are getting the message: "Makandal remained among us in the kingdom of this world."
         Separatists who claim the "First Black Republic of the continent" in 1789 were inspired by him, and the peasant guerrillas that will stand the North American occupation of the island in 1915. Today, when a popular revolt broke out in slums and coffee plantations, one can hear some voices singing "Here the one-handed walk with his people here walk Mandingo, who remained in this world ... Here Makandal walk..."
        
Running François Makandal above thirty-three years the Haitian Revolution of 1791, the first successful revolt of Black slaves, a prelude to the establishment on January 1, 1804 of Haiti (former Saint-Domingue) as the first free black republic in the world.
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-Kintto Lucas, Rebeliones Indígenas y Negras en América Latina, Ediciones Abya Yala, 1992.

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