ORIGIN OF THE BLACK MAROON CHARACTER (THE UNKNOWN FUGITIVE SLAVE, REBEL SLAVE)
Before Haiti’s independence in 1804, the country was known as the French colony of Saint-Domingue. A lot of enslaved men and women present on the plantations, escaped and took refuge high up in the mountains. They were called “maroon slaves”. These maroon slaves often united to attack the plantations in which the colonists kept their brothers and sisters in slavery.
These maroon slaves were the first to decide that they would rather die than continue living in chains. We don’t know the names of most of these men and women who have shed their blood in the name of liberty.
Haiti was founded by a righteous revolution in 1804, the first black republic, the first to force Emperor Napoleon to retreat, the first to break the chains of slavery, the only to aid Simon Bolivar in his struggle to liberate Latin America.
Nègre Marron or Nèg Mawon (Haitian Creole pronunciation), translated in English, it’s The Black Maroon, has become the nation’s iconic symbol of freedom and is viewed in the world as a symbol for the freedom of black people.
The descendants of the Black maroons are today based in Brazil, Guyana, Surinam (the Djukas, the Aucans, Kwinti, Matawi, Paramaccans and Saramaccans), Guyana (the Aluku or Bonis, the Saramakas), Cuba, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica, Reunion Island, Mauritius, Dominican Republic and Panama.
THE BLACK MAROON A.K.A NÈG MAWON – BRONZE STATUE IN THE CAPITAL OF PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
On this statue we can spot several symbols. The machete he holds in his right hand symbolizes the resistance and his will to fight. The broken chain still attached to his ankle, symbolizes the freedom he obtained through his courage.
However, the most important symbol is the conch in which he blows, to call for a rally. This conch represents unity because it is by uniting and fighting together, that our enslaved ancestors, managed to break free from these chains, so we could finally live as human beings.
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