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Macandal wasn't muslim


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Author : Rodney Salnave
Function : Dougan (Scribe)
Date : July 15, 2018
(Updated : Sept. 16, 2019)



On Friday, January 20, 1758, at Cap Français (current Cap Haitien), was burned at the stake, François Macandal, the Prophet poisoner. A marooned (or runaway) captive (slave) for 18 years, and aided by a network of poisoner accomplices, Macandal worked towards the fall of the slave colony of Saint Domingue (Haiti).
 
"Macandale (the named), leader of revolted blacks, condemnation act by the Cap-Français supreme Council in Saint-Domingue, 1758." (Transl.) (1) 
Aiming to sabotage colonial productivity, in 3 years spent (from 1755 to 1758), Macandal and his accomplices delivered death by poisoning to an estimated 6000 black and white victims. (2) The vast majority of the targeted victims were Black captives, since by their manpower they insured (in spite of themselves) the prosperity and the maintenance of the system of domination. And for that same reason, countless production animals were poisoned. Macandal was captured and condemned as a Seducer, Profaner and Poisoner.

Source : France "Macandale, chef des noirs révoltés, arrêt de condamnation par le Conseil supérieur du Cap-Français à Saint-Domingue, 1758."  FR ANOM COL E 295

Renowned possessor of the great traditional supernatural powers named "Ouanga" (Wanga), (3) Macandal had promised that he would turn into a mosquito, as soon as the authorities would apprehend him. (4) And at the moment of his execution, he broke the chains that bound him to the post and jumped out of the fire. And the captives (slaves) of Le Cap and surrounding areas, who had been brought to witness the execution, shouted "Makandal sove", that is to say Macandal escaped.

(Macandal leaping out of the stake, on Le Cap's public square)
Source : Wilson Anacréon. "L'esclave rebelle aux pouvoirs magiques". Afrique en création/Aldo Vacchina, Paris. In : Laënnec Hurbon. Les Mystères du vaudou. Paris, 1993. p.40. (Retouched)

But the soldiers recaptured Macandal and placed him back into the blaze until death occurred. And the captives (slaves) who had been evacuated were brought back to observe Macandal's death and remains. They pretended to believe in Macandal's death, but remained convinced, years later, that their hero, the incombustible wizard, had escaped death. (5) And 33 years past François Macandal's execution, the system of domination was disturbed in quite another way : Bois Caiman and the 1791 general uprising. Then, on January 1, 1804, Haiti's declaration of independence validated François Macandal's prophecy. Moreover, historian Phillipe R. Girard suggests as proof of Macandal's mystical influence the fact that the French expeditionary army was strongly affected, in summer 1802, by yellow fever that is transmitted by mosquito bites ; considering that Macandal had promised, if captured, to turn into a mosquito. (6)

1- Macandal and the islamic revision

The tale of a black sorcerer and poisoner magically turning into an animal immediately refers to traditional "African" magic/religious corpus. Examples of such type of thinking abound in the "African" continent as much as in the Black Americas. However, ignoring the obvious, the islamic revisionists have long sought to appropriate a figure as prominent as Macandal. For more than two centuries, they have ostensibly claimed that Macandal was of muslim faith, relying largely on rumors, fabrications, speculations, exaggerations, that are often quite crude. What are the causes?
Eurocentrism is at the heart of this islamic revision. For, it was and remains difficult for the Eurocentric mind to accept the idea that a black captive (slave) can by his own doing rise above his constraints ; and, can harm the slavery system that is ideologically based on European racial, religious, scientific and moral superiority. How can the Eurocentric mind logically accept that Macandal, an individual considered inferior in all respects, can foil the vigilance of whites for years? Especially since he poisons them, as well as their living "goods", by maintaining his comrades in his deadly ways. In order to recognize Macandal's talent while maintaining intact the subordinate perception of all Blacks, the Eurocentric mind : 
  1. chooses to raise Macandal above the black mass from which he originates. Thus, Macandal is described as "non-ordinary" in relation to his kind ; they made him son of an "African" King (as they later did to Toussaint Louverture) ; they exaggerated his physical "Herculean" strength (as it was later said about Boukman and even about Cécile Fatiman);
  2. then chooses to credit Macandal's rise to the influence of another race (Arabic and Muslim education).
In other words, the ultimate and unacknowledged goal of the revisionist (white, black or others) is to reinforce Eurocentrism by denying agency to the black man, meaning the ability to change his destiny out of his own will. Thus by rewriting the facts, the Eurocentrist (of all colors) maintains the illusion of white superiority, and reduces the embarrassment of a black victory.  
The islamic (and eurocentric) revision on Macandal follows this partial chronology :
  • 1740-1758 : Marronage and poisoning activities by Macandal.
  • 1755-1758 : Intensive poisoning wave by Macandal and his accomplices.
  • 1758 : Macandal's arrest and execution.
  • 1787 : An anonymous tale published in Le Mercure de France announces that Macandal was muslim, that he could read and write Arabic and came from Mount Atlas (in the Maghreb). (7)
  • 1788 : English translation of that anonymous tale. The translator uses the word "Guinea" as a synonym for "Africa". (8)
  • 1791 : Bois Caïman ceremony and the general uprising.
  • 1804 : Independence of Haiti.
  • 1813 : The English translation of 1788 got translated back into French. (9) And on this occasion the word "Guinea" meaning "Africa" becomes indirectly associated with Macandal, in the French text.
  • 1847 : Thomas Madiou repeated assertions from the 1787 anonymous article that claimed  Macandal was muslim, educated and spoke Arabic. (10)
  • 1864 : Melvil-Bloncourt declares that Macandal was a muslim and served in the court of Urba (Okba). (11)
  • 1937 : J.C. Dorsainvil portrays Macandal as an Arabic-speaking muslim. (12)
  • 1938 : Dantès Bellegarde was the first to announce that Macandal came from Guinea. He repeated that Macandal was a chief's son who was captured and raised in islamic Northern "Africa". (13)
  • 1949 : Alejo Carpentier was the first to declare that Macandal was a Mandingo (but traditionalist), in a Spanish novel. (14)
  • 1961 : Aimé Césaire was the first to claim, without proving it, that Macandal was a Mahdi, that is to say, a prophesied muslim reformist. (15)
  • 1967 : Gerson Alexis was the first to state that Macandal was both muslim and Mandingo. (16)
  • 1974 : Jean-Marie Drot was the first to say that Macandal was a marabout. (17)
  • 1998 : Sylviane Diouf was the first that introduced the Black Macandal as a Sharif, that is to say, a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. (18)
However, unlike other revisionist islamic theses, the one concerning Macandal holds a small part of truth (or at least a semblance of truth) that we will willingly unveil ; since our goal is to paint a true portrait of Macandal.

2- Macandal and the false history

The portrait of Macandal that we will showcase in this paper will be mainly based on archived documents such as :
  •  The January 20, 1758 condemnation act against Macandal ;
  •  Writings and letters from Saint Domingue colonists who were Macandal's contemporaries ;
  •  Colonial acts against poisoners ; 
  • The interrogation of Macandal's poisoning accomplices ; 
  • And especially the memoir of Judge Sébastien Jacques Courtin who questioned and condemned Macandal.
As prosecutor at the Supreme Council of Le Cap in 1756, Judge Sébastien Jacques Courtin made a thorough investigation to discover the source of the wave of poisoning that had sabotaged the colony's prosperity for years. In 1779, his widow, Anne-Marguerite Barbaroux Courtin, testified to his hard work in this way. (19) And according to her, Courtin's investigation into the poisonings was so demanding that it affected his health to the point of eventually causing his death. (20) Considering the batch of firsthand information contained in the Courtin text, one would expect historians dealing with Macandal to use it. But surprisingly very few do so and superficially, only to quote bits. Therefore the bulk of their writings on Macandal (and his accomplices whose marronnage was inflated) rest vastly on unfounded information. And Haitian history suffers from their lack of rigor. For example, classical Haitian historians propose :
  • That Macandal came from Guinea. (False) 
  • That he was a Mandingo. (False) 
  • That he could read. (False) 
  • That he spoke and wrote Arabic. (False) 
  • That he was a muslim. (False) 
  • That he was raised in an illustrious "African" family. (Unproven) 
  • That he was sold in Saint Domingue at the age of 12. (False)
  • That he resided at the Lenormand de Mézy plantation of Limbé. (False) 
  • That he was one-handed, having had an arm stuck in a sugar mill. (False)
  • That he suffered an imputation and became a livestock herder. (False)
  • That he seduced women here and there. (Unproven and unlikely)
  • That he had 2 accomplices named Teysello and Mayombé. (False) 
Thus, given the abundance of these (non-islamic) falsehoods circulating about Macandal, we will dispel them throughout this article. We will start with 2 of the most relevant ones.

2.1- Macandal did not live on the Lenormand de Mézy plantation in Limbé

As early as 1766, Mr. Fremon, District Trustee of Limbé, Commissioner and member of L'Assemblée du Conseil Supérieur du Cap (l'Assemblée du Conseil Supérieur du Cap Assembly of the Superior Council of Le Cap), (21) testified that Macandal resided in Limbé
"It will be possible to say : but how can one grant that the soil of Limbé is proper to the cultivation of sugar, and that the Inhabitants work there according to the quality of their soil and the indications of nature? (...) The objection will not subsist long, when we remember the immense losses that the Inhabitants suffered through poison, no one is ignorant of the ravages caused by these accursed poisoners known as Macandal, their leader, who is a slave of the [Limbé] District, had chosen it for the theater of its crimes, and so there were few Habitations where this scourge was not felt more or less." (Transl.) (22)
In 1797, 39 years after Macandal's execution, appeared the text of Moreau de St. Méry who made it known that Macandal belonged to the Lenormand de Mézy estate in Limbé (Northern Saint Domingue/Haiti) :
"It was to the estate of Mr. le Normand de Mézy, in Limbé, that belonged the Negro Macandal, born in Africa." (Transl.) (23)
Born in Martinique in 1750, the writer Moreau de St. Méry was only 7 years old during Macandal's execution, of which he was not a witness. It was not until 1776 that he moved to Saint Domingue, 18 years after the events. However, the letter from a Cap Français settler dated June 24, 1758, that is to say, just 5 months after Macandal's execution, said that Macandal lived instead in the Le Tellier estate in Limbé :
"NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
We were given two letters. One comes from Cap Français, St. Domingue Island, and the other from the person to whom this letter was addressed. As this person knows very well by himself the current state of this Island.
(...)
In the month of January, in the district of Limbé, which is five leagues from here, was arrested François Macandal, a Negro, a slave of Mr. le Tellier, a resident of this Colony, who had been marooned (fugitive) for eighteen years. During the day he retired to the mountains, and at night he came to the neighboring houses, where he had correspondences with the Negroes. They composed different poisons together, which they sold to their comrades. He was tried. He was condemned to make an honorable alley before the main door of this Church, and to be burned alive. (...) The number of those he has killed during the eighteen years of his marronage is innumerable. Finally he was executed on the twenty of January, at five o'clock in the afternoon." (Transl.) (24)
But, despite the knowledge of this correspondence which has been published multiple times, many historians continue to write that Macandal resided at the Lenormand de Mézy plantation. Haitian history, by their attitude, is doomed to remain stuck in unfounded clichés, in contrast to other histories that evolve at the pace of the most recent and most relevant discoveries.

2.2- Macandal wasn't one-armed

Without proof, historians (past and present) agree that Macandal became one-armed, when he had an arm stuck in a sugar mill. This is totally false, since the condemnation act of January 20, 1758 stipulating that Macandal must hold a two-pound torch with both hands (plural), shows that Macandal was not one-armed, as claimed :


 (...)
"January 20, 1758, judgment condemning the Negro Macandale to the stake.
Macandale extracts from the records of Le Cap Superior Council.

(...)
In compensation for that he [Macandal] would be condemned to make amends, naked in his shirt, holding in his hands a torch of burning wax, weighting two pounds, in front of the main door of the parish church of that City, where he would be brought by the Executioner..." (Transl.) (25)
Judge Courtin, like the citizens of Le Cap, had a demonstration of the physical strength of Macandal who, at the stake, struggled to the point of detaching himself from the pole. So, if Macandal was really one-armed, the very meticulous Judge Courtin, (26) who met and described him physically, would have mentioned it. But Judge Courtin never indicated that Macandal was one-armed :
"He [Macandal] had a sharp, confident and terrible look for Negroes, a quick, determined, superior gesture, such as the Negroes did not have, and although he was rather thin, he was very agile and of an uncommon physical strength. He became dangerous by the composition of his poisons." (Transl.) (27)
Similarly, the Le Cap June 24, 1758 letter mentioned Macandal's hands :
"He was tied up, with iron chains, to a post that was planted in the middle of the pyre. As soon as he felt the fire, he made frightful howls ; but he made such prodigious efforts and superior to a man's strength, that the collar and the chain were detached from the post ; so that he escaped from the fire, his body partially burned. The Maréchaussée  [colonial guards] and the inhabitants had the prudence to immediately disperse the Negroes who surrounded the square. All the unhappy people, in retreating, shouted aloud that François Macandal was a sorcerer and incombustible ; that he was right to tell them that no one was able to arrest him, and that as soon as one put his hand on him, he would transform into a Mosquito. The executioner himself could not believe what he saw. But he threw himself upon the criminal ; bound his feet and hands, and they threw him back into the inferno." (Transl.) (28)
However, the Haitian State, devoid of valuable historians, fully accepted the historical falseness to the point of depicting a one-armed Macandal on its currency : 
(Macandal falsely depicted as one-armed on a Haitian coin)
Source : http://www.coinfactswiki.com/wiki/Haiti_1967-IC_20_gourdes

But do they really know the origin of Macandal's depiction as one-armed? The historian colonist Moreau de St. Méry was one of those who published the January 20, 1758, sentence :


(...)
"Judgment by the Le Cap Council, concerning the Poisoner Macandal and his accomplices, and who orders the publication of the Edict of the month of July 1682, on Poisons.
Of January 20, 1758.
(...)
In compensation for that he [Macandal] would be condemned to make amends, naked in his shirt, holding in his hands a torch of burning wax, weighting two pounds, in front of the main door of the parish church of that City, where he would be brought by the Executioner of High Justice, having poster in front and behind, with the inscription : Seducer, Profaner, and Poisoner." (Transl.) (29)
Hence, one would expect that Moreau de St. Méry knew that Macandal had both hands. But ironically, this historian was the one that made up Macandal as one-armed. He wrote this about Macandal :
"It was to the estate of Mr. le Normand de Mézy, in Limbé, that belonged the Negro Macandal, born in Africa, his hand having been stuck in a mill, it had to be cut off, and he was made herder of livestock. He became a fugitive." (Transl.) (30)
Just a few paragraphs later, Moreau de St. Méry contradicted himself by twice mentioning that Macandal, during his arrest, had his hands tied and he untied them :


 (...) 
"We went to arrest him in a Negro hut, from where he was taken to a room on one of the ends of the main house. His hands were tied behind his back, and for want of iron we bound him with horse bindings.
(...)
The guards fell asleep. Macandal, perhaps helped by the two negroes, untied his hands, extinguished the candle, opened a window in the gable of the house, and threw himself into the savannah." (Transl.) (31)
The evidence is very revealing to the effect that Macandal had both his hands. Moreover, to believe that Macandal could have manufactured the "magic" packages with one hand, is a show of one's ignorance of these packages' finesse.

3- Macandal the Seducer

Prior to poisoning in its slave colonies, France already had, from July 1682, an article of law against so-called superstitious practices, supposedly brought by foreigners in France. These practices included magic, horoscopes, and also poisons. 76 years later, during the condemnation of Macandal on January 20, 1758, the Le Cap Council ordered the publication of this July 1682 Royal Edict :
"For the Punishment of different Crimes, and especially that of Poisoning (...) against those who call themselves Foretellers, Magicians and Enchanters. (...) (and) by a series of commitments, those who are the more abandoned to the conduct of these Seducers, would have been driven to such criminal extremity to add the evil and poison to the impieties and the sacrileges, to obtain the effect of the promises of the said Seducers, and for the accomplishment of their malicious predictions..." (Transl.) (32)
And even prior to July 1682, the metropolitan government has called the leaders of certain exoteric poisoner circles "Foretellers, Magicians, Enchanters, or Seducers."* In this context, when it was time to condemn Macandal, the profile of the latter perfectly corresponded to the prototype of the Magician, Profaner, Poisoner and Seducer decried by the law 76 years earlier.
a) The word seducer attached to Macandal misled many. Since 1787, thus 29 years after Macandal's execution, an anonymous article published in Le Mercure de France, spread islamic speculations on Macandal. And this novel-like story presented Macandal as a seducer and kidnapper of women who did not hesitate to poison those who had the audacity to refuse his advances. This anonymous revisionist author, as well as those who followed him, did not know that Macandal was working in tandem with his wife Brigitte :
"The negress Marianne who received poisons that Macandal sent him by Brigitte, his wife." (Transl.) (33)
And Brigitte, without flinching, bravely endured the same fate as her husband Macandal; namely death by fire on January 20, 1758 :
"We can see in the Registry of Le Cap Council, the criminal proceedings against Macanda, Pompée, Angélique, Brigite, Laurent, and others burned since." (Transl.) (34)
Brigitte, the Poisoner for Freedom, the great heroine, the wife of Macandal, became a Goddess, a Lwa/Jany in the traditional Haitian religion. She is revered as Grann Brijit (Grandmother Brigitte) or Manman Brijit (Mother Brigitte). She is part of the Gede Family of Lwa/Jany, the Gods or Lwa/Jany of Death.

(Vèvè of Manman Brijit)
Source : Milo Rigaud. Ve-Ve : Diagrammes Rituels du Voudou. New York, 1974. p.459.

We will analyze why Manman Brijit is part of the Gede rite, in our next article.
b) Macandal was indeed a Seducer : a Seducer of the black mass (captive and free) of Saint Domingue. This population feared him as much as they venerated him and believed in his invincibility. For example, Macandal's accomplices proudly named themselves his Valets, an irrefutable sign of their submission to him. And when they were imprisoned, they refused to believe the authorities who said they had captured Macandal also. They had to see it with their own eyes, before being burned, to believe it :
"He [Macandal] had taken such an empire over the Negroes that they did not believe it was possible to capture him. And when he was brought in, I said it to two accused, they did not believe it, and one of them told me that he would have to see it with his own eyes to believe it. And they were confronted with him, they were already condemned to the fire and waited only for the moment of their execution. Somehow, when they were brought before him, their surprise, their bursts of laughter, and their discourse, especially of Léveillé, who knew him better, made us the most singular scene, and convinced us to what extent they were subjugated" (Transl.) (35)
In addition to the false rumor about Macandal and women, the novelistic text of 1787 gave him 2 accomplices : Teysello and Mayombé. Surprisingly, the majority, if not the totality of researchers, neglecting that this 1787 text is only fiction, propose Congo filiation to the Teysello and Mayombé names. (36) Now, neither Teysello nor Mayombé appear in the register of Macandal's accomplices who were, it must be remembered, arrested, tortured and burned alive. It is therefore an affront to the sacrifices of the true Macandalists, to place fictitious characters in their ranks.

3.1- Macandal was not born in Mont Atlas, North "Africa"

The 1787 anonymous revisionist author was ignorant of Macandal's origin, but still claimed to know his rank in his home society :
"For about twenty-five years the island of Saint Domingue shuddered at the name of Makandal alone. Born in Africa, in one of those countries that are backed by Mount Atlas, he was probably of a quite illustrious rank in his homeland..." (Transl.) (37)
Mount Atlas is located in the Maghreb (Arab and Berber Northern "Africa"), between Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. So, it is difficult to see what land "backed by Mount Atlas" Macandal could well have come from, since he was deemed Black, and not Maghreb typed.


(Mont Atlas, in Northern "Africa" (Maghreb))
Source :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Mountains#/media/File:Atlas-Mountains-Labeled-2.jpg

In addition, the anonymous author has not offered any archival or testimonial references for this genealogical information released out of the blue. He claimed to know the age at which Macandal was brought to Saint Domingue, when he was unable to cite Limbé, Macandal's place of residence. Neither the anonymous author mentioned Le Tellier, the colonist to whom Macandal belonged :
"And though he was only twelve years old, when he was brought to America, he possessed great knowledge of his country's medicine, and the virtue of the magic tricks, so useful, and often so dangerous under the burning zone stretching between the tropics. Transported to Saint Domingue and sold to a Settler near Cap-Français, Makandal made himself very agreeable to his master by his zeal and great intelligence..." (Transl.) (38)
In his report, Judge Courtin acknowledged Macandal's overseas (and not Creole) origin, but did not specify where Macandal came from. He, however, emphasized Macandal's military rank, indicating that the rebel leader had reached adulthood in his home country. Which contradicts the anonymous islamic version :
"And it must be admitted that F. Macandal was not an ordinary Negro. He had been a captain in his country. He had a sharp, confident and terrible look for Negroes, a quick, determined, superior gesture, such as the Negroes did not have, and although he was rather thin, he was very agile and of an uncommon physical strength. He became dangerous by the composition of his poisons. That's probably what gave him enough prestige in ensuring an inviolable secret from those who addressed him." (Transl.) (39)
At a later date, we will specify Macandal's exact origin.

3.2- Macandal did not serve in the court of Okba (Urba)

In 1864, thus 106 years after Macandal's death, another revisionist named Melvil-Bloncourt ventured on Macandal's islamic filiation. This author has clearly identified the Le Tellier plantation from which Macandal escaped. However, the revisionist author discredits himself when he islamized an 1809 text by Descourtilz,** which claimed that Macandal found his name "Makandal" in Urba's court. "Urba" being a deformation of Okba or Okba Ibn Nafi, a muslim warrior who conquered the Maghreb :
"Among those who had been sold in Le Cap around 1740, there was a Mahometan negro named Makandal (3) in the workshop of the planter Letellier, and to whom the baptism had been imposed under the name of François.
(3) This name came, probably, from Makanda, Guinean wizards who, at the court of Urba, formed a sort of college of magicians.In our colonies, the Negroes still designate under the name of Makanda, those of theirs who are posers, talkers, philosophers, as they say." (Transl.) (40)
Melvil-Bloncourt suffered from a lack of factual information. For starters, he claimed that Makandal was sold in Saint Domingue around 1740. When in reality, Makandal was already on the island long before 1740 which is when he finally escaped. Also, how could Macandal have had a connection with the court of Okba Ibn Nafi when that court existed in the 7th christian century, thus 11 centuries before the time of Macandal? :
"In 670 of the Christian Era, the caliph Moawia appointed Okba-ebn-Nafi to the government of the province of Africa. A large number of Berbers who had just embraced islamism joined Okba's army, who exterminated the Christians who remained there." (Transl.) (41)
Okba, who was assassinated in 683, is also the source of an islamic revision, in "Africa" as well. For, the islamized part of the Fulani ethnic group, using deformations of proper names and place names, falsely claims to descend from Okba. (42) Showing that, the islamic revision proceeds in the same fashion on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Melvil-Bloncourt, the revisionist author, carried on his speculation on the life of Macandal that he claims spoke Arabic :
"This negro, already remarkable for his titanic size, his Herculean strength, was still more so by his origin and intelligence. He was the son of a tribal chief, he had made war in his country ; — was vanquished, had been sold as a prisoner to slave traders who transported him to Saint Domingue. similar to many Africans imported into the West Indies, he had some knowledge, spoke Arabic..." (Transl.) (43)
To prove his statements, the author presented only circumstantial evidence drawn from Colonel Malenfant's contact in Martinique with a wheelbarrow carrier captive (slave) who kept his account in Arabic script ; and Malenfant's experiment with Tamerlan (whom we proved did not write in Arabic). Still without any evidence, this author Melvil-Bloncourt also indicated that Macandal and his associates aspired "to Allah's heaven" :
"And while the Night sat on the tropics, in his blue dress embroidered with stars, the Prophet spoke. Pulsating under the flame of his African eloquence, the slaves, "these heirs of the kingdom of heaven," burned to realize most quickly down here the happiness of the hereafter which was promised to them ; they ceased to believe that one must "sow in tears to reap in joy;" they aspired to no more than Allah's heaven, Which, according to Mohammed, is in the shadow of the swords." (Transl.) (44)
But what was the name of this heaven of Allah? The Arabs call it "Al-Naim", a name that is totally unknown to the Haitian lexicon. We have seen above the name "Ouanga" (Wanga) used to describe Macandal's magic. And that is a word originating from traditional Central "Africa", which we will analyze in detail in our next article. So, if Macandal was working towards "Allah's heaven", why is it that the Arabic word for "Heaven" (Al-Naim) isn't found in Haitian Creole, nor in colonial writings, while the word "Wanga" is continuously used throughout the history of Haiti?
Moreover, it is well documented, in our articles as well as in historical literature, that the Haitian revolutionaries wished, through death in combat, to return to Nan Ginen, that is to say to their "Heaven" that represents "Africa" of their origin called Guinea or Ginen, in Creole. And Ginen remains, still today, a sacred word in the traditional Haitian ritual. For more on Nan Ginen, see our article : Dessalines wasn't muslim.

3.3- Macandal did not come from Guinea

Revisionist historians, in their writings, have long favored the idea that Macandal came from the country of Guinea, in Western "Africa". But where are the proofs of such an origin? No need to expect an investigation from them. So, let's see for ourselves what the archives say about it :
a) 1740-1758, during Macandal's time, no one suggested that he came from Guinea. Judge Courtin did not do so. Neither did the Saint Domingue colonists that were contemporaries of Macandal.
b) In 1787, the anonymous tale "Makandal, Histoire véritable" ("Makandal, Real History") presented Macandal as hailing from Mount Atlas in the Maghreb. So there was no mention of Guinea.
c) In 1788, the anonymous tale "Makandal, Histoire véritable" got translated into English under the title : "The Negro Makandal, an authentic History." And the translator maintained that Macandal came from one of the neighboring counties of Mount Atlas. (45) However, this translator found it appropriate to define, in a footnote, the word "fetish" (included in the original text). And it is there that he will use the word "Guinea" to signify the "African" continent where, according to him, "fetishes" are venerated :
"NOTE
Fetiche is a name given in Guinea to their divinities ; one of whom is supposed to preside over a whole province, and one over every family. This idol is a tree, the head of an ape, a bird, or any such thing as their fancy may suggest." (46)
So it would be in 1788, thus 30 years after Macandal's execution, that the word "Guinea", meaning the "African" continent in its entirety, will first be indirectly linked to Macandal, through the defining of "fetish".
d) In 1804 this English translation was republished, (47) with no change in the continental meaning of the word "Guinea".
e) In 1813, thus 55 years after Macandal's execution, and 9 after Haiti's independence, the English translation was translated back into French. (48) This will cause the word "Guinea" found in the footnote, to appear for the first time in French, in relation to Macandal.
f) In 1818, republishing of the 1813 version. (49)
g) In 1825, concerning wine tasting, a footnote vaguely ties Macandal to the word "Guinea" :
"I have seen in Saint Domingue some of the negroes of Guinea perform even more astonishing wonders. The famous Makandal, who had seduced so many blacks and poisoned so many whites, had publicly filled three vats with clear and limpid water. He deployed three white handkerchiefs, and dipped them in these three vats. (...) It was not possible to know by which mechanism the metamorphosis of this triple handkerchief took place. The Negroes of Guinea have many similar secrets, which are not all innocent." (Transl.) (50)
Once again, the word "Guinea" is used in the continental sense. It is synonymous with "Africa". It is identical to the Haitian meaning of Ginen or Nan Ginen which does not refer specifically to the country of Guinea, but to the whole continent of "Africa".
h) In 1835, the 1813 version that deals with the words "fetish" and "Guinea" came back. (51)
i) In 1864 Melvil-Bloncourt wrote that the Macandal name "came, probably, from Makanda, Guinean wizards who, at the court of Urba, formed a sort of college of magicians." (transl.) No mention to the country of Guinea was made.
j) In 1935, 177 years past Macandal's execution, the Haitian revisionist historian Dantès Bellegarde changed "Guinée" (Guinea) to "La Guinée" (The Guinea). He thus, for the first time, removed the broad and continental meaning of the word "Guinée" (in effect, in regard to Macandal, since 1788, to signify the "African" continent formerly called Guinea), in favor of the precise and national meaning of "La Guinée", referring to the country of Guinea :
Le nègre Mackandal appartenait à la florissante habitation Le-normand de Mézy, dans la Plaine du Nord. Il était fils de chef africain. Tout jeune, il avait été enlevé des côtes de la Guinée et conduit comme otage parmi les tribus du nord de l'Afrique qui pratiquaient l'islamisme. Il fut donc élevé dans la religion musulmane." (52)
Translation :
"The Negro Mackandal belonged to the flourishing Le-normand de Mézy estate in La Plaine du Nord. He was an African leader's son. When he was young, he was kidnapped from the coast of La Guinée [the country of Guinea] and taken hostage among the tribes of North Africa who practiced islamism. He was raised in the muslim religion."
This substitution was voluntary. Because, Dantès Bellegarde was skilled enough in French to know that in that language, "côtes de Guinée" (the "coasts of Guinea") is synonymous with "African coasts", while the expression "côtes de la Guinée" refers to the "coasts of the country named Guinea".
For example, Thomas Madiou differentiated
"côtes de Guinée" from "côtes de la Guinée". That Haitian historian wrote "côtes de Guinée" to describe the whole of "Africa" which provided slave labor :
"Les cultivateurs ne se recrutant plus que sur les côtes de Guinée, on s'habitua à ne voir dans l'esclavage que des noirs ou quelques mulâtres..." (53)
Translation :
"Cultivators being recruited only on "côtes de Guinée" the coast of Guinea, we've gotten used to see in slavery only blacks or some mulattoes..."
And Madiou wrote "côtes de la Guinée" (coasts of Guinea) in regard to the slave expedition of the Englishman John Hawkins in the 16th christian century, precisely on the coasts of Sierra Leone (the West "African" country bordering Guinea). And he also wrote "côtes de la Guinée" in reference to the coasts of the West "African" country called Guinea :
"Cependant en 1562, John Haukins vint mouiller, avec une flottille, sous pavillon Anglais, le long des côtes de la Guinée..." (54)
Translation :
"However in 1562, John Haukins came to anchor, with a flotilla, under the English flag, along "côtes de la Guinée" the coast of Guinea."
Thus, Thomas Madiou who himself carried a muslim view of Macandal, did not link Macandal to the country of Guinea, as did the unscrupulous Dantès Bellegarde through dishonest word manipulations.
k) In 1957 and 1958, 2 centuries after the execution of Macandal, Alfred Métraux formalized the Dantès Bellegarde word manipulation, by writing boldly, about Macandal :
"He was an African from Guinea." (Transl.) (55)
Since then, this false Guinean origin imposed on Macandal has not stopped spreading. We will see, in our next article, Macandal's country of origin and his precise ethnic group.

3.4- Macandal wasn't a Mandingo

In 1949, French-Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier was the first to introduce Macandal as a Mandingo. It would not have been a problem if Carpentier had not prefaced his novel as an authentic work of research :
"For it must be kept in mind that the story about to be read is based on extremely rigorous documentation. A documentation that not only respects the true history of the events, the names of charactersincluding secondary onesof places and even streets, but that it also conceals, beneath its apparent atemporality, a minute correspondence of dates and chronology." (56)
Unfortunately, references to Macandal being of Mandingo origin do not exist. Neither Macandal nor any of his accomplices were identified as Mandingos.
a) But where does Carpentier's statement come from? It comes from the fact that he was born in an old Spanish colony where the Mandingos have a very bad reputation. By ignorance, Alejo Carpentier viewed as universal, that which is mainly a Spanish reality :
"A one-armed slave [Macandal] was a trifling thing. Besides, it was common knowledge that every Mandingue was a potential fugitive. Mandingue was a synonym for intractable, rebellious, a devil. For that reason slaves from that kingdom brought a very poor price on the market. They all dreamed of taking to the hills." (57)
If the word "Mandinga" is still synonymous with rebel, "demon", "devil", or "maroon", in the former Spanish colonies ; and especially in those of South America, it was otherwise in the French colonies, including Saint Domingue. In Saint Domingue, Congos were the leading fugitives. As for Mandingos, they escaped very little and were classified among the ethnic groups that are docile, good working and appreciated, according to settler Gérard Aîné :
"The Negroes of the Gold Coast, Arada, Nago, Ibo, Tacoua, Aoussa and Mandingo deserve to be preferred to the Congo negroes for all sorts of reasons : the first ones naturally love work, are tidy in their household and very attached to their wives and children. They have a liking for property which gives them aversion to theft and marronage. They are of strong constitution and live long.
The Congos, on the other hand, are generally lazy, libertine, effeminate, have an extremely soft fiber, and for this reason are subject to an almost always fatal disease, the cachexia, which is here called a stomach ache. They are prone to theft and marronage...." (Transl.) (58)
Moreover, colonist Moreau de Saint Méry, although not finding them perfect, described the Mandingos as good to use in the islands :
"The Mandingo is a severe master, sometimes cruel, and he is rogue by habit, his main food is rice, but the Mandingo slave, by the very fact that he was violently bent to the yoke, is good to use on the islands, where his fate is improved, and he sometimes loses his penchant for larceny." (Transl.) (59)
Thus, the cultural bias of Alejo Carpentier forced him to view the poisoner and rebels Macandal as a Mandingo. Because, in his Spanish culture, the Mandingo captives (slaves) represented the pinnacle of disobedience. Ignoring the particular reality of the French colony of Saint Domingue, the Cuban author has transposed Spanish history on Macandal. But if Carpentier had carried out a thorough search on the Mandingos, he would have discovered that as early as 1716, the explorer André Brüe preferred as slaves the Mandingos whom he described as "docile and faithful" :
"It is certain that these Negroes [Mandingos] are the best African negroes for the work, robust, docile, faithful, they are not subject, like most of the negroes of Guinea, to despair of their condition up to wanting to get rid of it by death or by flight." (Transl.) (60)
Similarly, in 1795, Mungo-Park also found the Mandingos to be "mild and sociable" :
"The Mandingoes, generally speaking, are mild, sociable and obliging disposition." (61)
b) Unfortunately, Alejo Carpentier's erroneous statement spread over time. (62) Carpentier certainly introduced Macandal as a Mandingo, but as a traditionalist Mandingo ; and even as a Houngan, meaning a high traditionalist official. However, the islamic revisionists, taking advantage of Carpentier's text, quickly added an islamic dimension to the supposed Mandingo character called Macandal. Maintaining the Spanish perception, they present Macandal as a rebellious and fierce Mandingo muslim, which does not match Saint Domingue reality. The case of Assam, a lady poisoner from Limbé, in Macandal's time, shows on the contrary various origin of the poisoners, (63) but no Mandingo :
  • Assam, Poisoner (Fulani, traditionalist/syncretic catholic).
  • Pompée, free, Inciting to poison (Creole, syncretic catholic).
  • Jean of the Laplaine du Limbé residence, Poisoner (Origin unknown).
  • A free unnamed man (Diola, traditionalist).
  • Guardian of the Laplaine residence (Bambara, traditionalist).
  • Marie-Jeanne, emancipated, Saleswoman (Niamba, traditionalist).
  • Madeleine, Saleswoman (Nago, traditionalist).
  • Coffi of the Laplaine residence, Poisoner (Origin unknown).
So, this sample disproves the islamic revisionists. The Saint Domingue traditionalists were clearly the poisoners. Moreover, Mungo-Park, in Mandingo territory in December 1795, wrote :
"The pagan natives are by far the most numerous, and the government of the country is in their hands; for though the most respectable among the bushreens [islamized] are frequently consulted in affairs of importance, yet they are never permitted to take any share in the executive government, which rests solely in the hands of the mansa, or sovereign, and great officers of the state." (64)
Thus, 37 years after the execution of Macandal, the great majority of Mandingos were traditionalist and power-holders in West "Africa". And it was the same in Saint Domingue.

3.4.1- The Mandingo heritage in Haiti 

The outbreak of the Haitian Revolution in 1791 has forced the sudden cancellation of captive (slave) imports in the colony of Saint Domingue (Haiti). And since then, "African" cultural input has stopped. As a result, the traditional Haitian memory became a sample of the reality of the "African" continent prior to its massive islamization that began in 1804.
Unlike the former Spanish and English colonies where the Mandingo figure is legendary and symbolic, in Haiti, it is far from the case. For Haitians, Mandingo represents only one among hundreds of ethnic groups that contributed to their heritage. That group is not the most valued nor the most despised. Neither is it the best known, nor the most obscure. Aside from the revisionist fuss of the past 50 years, the word "Mandeng" (Mandingo) refers to the traditionalist sphere in Haiti. Some  Haitians know the "Mandeng" (Mandingo) drum rite. And for laughter, they might ask a restless child, if he or she is "possessed" by a Lwa Mandeng (a Mandingo Deity)? This refers to the rough movements by traditionalists that are temporarily "inhabited" by Deities of Mandingo origin. Behavior that remains in the traditional ritual in the Sahel. (65) In other words, the Haitian conscience holds that the Mandingos in Saint Domingue were traditionalist. However, there were also islamized Mandingos in Saint Domingue. But not on the scale imagined by the revisionists. And nothing indicates that these islamized Mandingos had any particular influence. We will talk about it in a future article.
1) Kita and the Mali Empire : There is, in the Haitian ritual, the sacred Kita Nation, called Nanchon Kita. Some confusion hangs over the exact provenance of "Kita". Is it the sacred city of Kita located in the present-day country of Mali, or is it the grouping of various Nkita Deities (Lwa/Jany) of Congo origin? To ease matters, let's explore Kita, the mystical high place, a place that played a vital spiritual role in the ancient Mali Empire founded by Mandingo Emperor Soundiata Keita.

(Kita, in the Mali Empire)
Source : Youssouf Tata Cissé, Wâ Kamissoko. La grande geste du Mali : Des origines à la fondation de l'Empire. Paris, 2000, pp.419-420.

Long before islam's arrival, since time immemorial, the traditionalist Mandingos went on pilgrimages to Kita, their sacred place. Soundiata Keita, the Masa or Mandingo King, did the same around 1230 to sacralize his Empire's creation :
"To end and sanctify the Manden unification campaign, Sundiata went to Kita. (...) From time immemorial, priests, priest-kings, high dignitaries and warlords purified themselves for life and prayed for their country's prosperity and greatness at source Mòkòya dji, "Water of the personality", located in the mountain which dominates Kita." (Transl.) (66)
The revisionists constantly evoke the name of Kankan Moussa who made a gold-loaded trip to Mecca in 1324. They silenced the fact that the Empire of Mali was the creation of the traditionalist king Soundiata Kéïta, the great-uncle of Kankan Moussa.

(Sacred mountain in Kita Kourou, Mali)
Source : Jumelagevoorschotenkita ; URL : http://ml.geoview.info/kita_kourou,44599132p

In Kita, Emperor Soundiata Keita sacrificed many bulls and rams (67) to the ancestral Dialan or Divinities, including Faro, to whom all Mandingo Kings sacrificed. (68) The Haitian ritual still honors Faro and Pemba, these 2 Dialan, who came forth directly from the primordial Egg that Mangala (MaaNgala), the Creator-God of the Mandingos (and Bambara), created. (69)
2) King Gazou and the Gabou Empire : Haitians of Mandingo ancestry of the locality of Balan also pay homage to Wa Gazou (King Gazou), in their prayers. The word "Gazou" refers to the Mandingo Kingdom of Gabou that emerged from a conflict within the Mali Empire.

(Map of the Mandinka Kingdom of Gabou or Kaabou)
Source : BNF. Extrait de la "Carte du voyage de Mr Mage de St-Louis à Ségou. Sén" ; URL : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/KaabuMap.jpg

Also founded around 1230 by Tiramangan Traoré (The Wa Gazou or King "Gazou"), the Mandingo Kingdom of Gabou was traditionalist until its end in 1867 ; thus 63 years after Haiti's independence :
"Until its fall in 1867, animism remained Gabou's official religion; the Gabounke, like any good animist, believes in "spirits", in "genies", in "invisible forces" that govern the universe. These "genies" are called dialan, the name of a tree under which cults in Mandingo land was initially organized." (Transl.) (70)
And the foundation of this Kingdom was attributed to Tamba Dibi, the Serpent-God (Dialan Saa) who was venerated, as well as other Dialan, in sacred forests :
"The myth of the Dialan Saa, the sacred serpent, tells the marvelous origins of the Gabou kingdom. Every village had a sacred grove where rites were performed to the protective Dialan. It is this animism that earned Gabou persecution from the Fulani of Fouta Djallon, helped, it must be said, by the convert populations who resided on its territory." (Transl.) (71)
The King of Gabou, Tiramangan Traoré, deliberately neglected by islamist griots, represents the ideal model of traditionalist identity. He had a dispute with Soundiata Keita, judging him too accommodating to muslims. He then exited the Kingdom of Mali never to return, and founded Gabou. (72) The name of his kingdom derives from "An kaaboung folo", meaning "let's go on fighting", an expression with which he encouraged his soldiers who desired to return home after defeating the Bainuk King at Kikikor. (73) The Mandingo Kingdom of Gabou sustained itself through war making. But a war centered on the traditional values :
"This Gâbou royalty is defined above all by its inclination to war, hence its name "warrior aristocracy", and its animist religion. It should also be noted that its cardinal virtues are courage and ferocity (jarinteya), heroism (ŋamaya) and faith in animism (soninkeya)." (Transl.) (74)
So, contrary to what islamic griots put forward, safeguarding the traditional religion (called Soninkeya) inspired Tiramangan Traoré to found the Kingdom of Gabou. One of the proofs of this lies in the fact that only in Gabou has islamization touched the masses before the elites. Everywhere else in "Africa", the elite class had converted first, and the masses followed decades later. Thus, it is not surprising that the King of Gabou (Wa Gazou) continues to receive veneration in the traditional Haitian religion. For, Haitians already ran their own independent country for 63 years, when islamization caused the fall of Gabou around 1867.
3) Nantyou and the Gabou Empire : As for the warriors of Gabou, they formed the sacred institution called Nianthio, Niantcho or Ñannco. This name was granted to the Crown Prince, the nephews of the King of Gabou who, in rotation, administered 3 out of the Kingdom's 4 provinces. The Nianthios were intrepid warriors who refused servitude :
"The nianthio's raison d'être is bravery ; fearless warrior, he must at no time show signs of weakness. Nianthio is not afraid of death ; he is ready to die to defend Gabou, of which he is the guardian. He prefers death to slavery, so suicide is common practice among the nianthio ; he cannot bear dishonor or enslavement. It is believed that a supernatural force protects the nianthio, and that it is thanks to this force that he escapes danger." (Transl.) (75)
Nianthio members, men and women, living for war, were all traditionalists :
"The nianthio, "sons of genie", more than any other, were related to the cult of dialan ; sacred forest, pond, snake-God are in close relationship with the nianthio families of the concerned places." (Transl.) (76)
So, Mandingo wars were carried out with the help of traditional Divinities :
"The belief in dialan held the power of the nianthios (...) The dialan is a divinity that the Gabounké consults at every opportunity; (...) must we go to war against a village or against a people? To know, the Gabounké interrogates the dialan, who plays the role of oracle. (...) The people of Kankéléfa never went to war without consulting Tamba Dibi; this genie knew how to confuse the armies that marched on Kankéléfa." (Transl.) (77)
Moreover, in Gabou, any position of power was forbidden to muslims, including the Nianthio military corps. And if a member of Nianthio converted to islam, he was automatically excluded :
"The dialan of the nianthio were reputed to be the most powerful. The nianthio's raison d'être was Gabou's defense ; muslims were excluded from the armies, so those who embraced islam could no longer command an army. The practicing muslim conducts trades, the noble governs. The former loses his right and his quality when he embraces islam. The muslim is treated with contempt by the nianthio." (Transl.) (78)
In addition, women Nianthio's preponderance makes it impossible to confuse them with muslim women :
"As we already know, the popular belief was that the nianthio or sons of genies had qualities and powers that were not met in the common Gabounkés. And these qualities and powers were transmitted only by nianthio women. (...) The mystique of power in Gabou is based on the belief that nianthio is an exceptional being. Each woman nianthio had in her a portion of the supernatural power of Balaba or Tenemba.
(…)
In other words the nianthio women, who constituted the precious seed, were surveyed and their number known. Elders, griots and nianthios located them perfectly ; their were followed in their movements and were the object of a great veneration ; it must be emphasized especially that they enjoyed a great freedom, even a great sexual freedom.
The woman nianthio chose her partner freely ; she usually chose a prince ; marriage depended on her consent. She changed partners as soon as she got tired of living together. They were the object of an assiduous court on the part of the chiefs. It should also be noted that very often the common life was sanctioned by marriage, but the woman nianthio could break this link at any time. Being sisters of prince most of the time, thus mothers of future kings, they received many presents. The king paid more attention to his sister, whose children were his heirs, than to his own non-nianthio wives." (Transl.) (79)
Thus, since the slave trade was shut down in Saint Domingue (Haiti) in 1791, the entirety of Mandingo warriors imported to this island were traditionalists. As the result, Macandal cannot be declared a Mandingo and at the same time an islamic warrior, which is incompatible since he lived in the middle of the 18th christian century. But let's get back to the present, to observe the traditionalist Mandingo heritage in Haiti. It resides in Nianthio or Niantcho, the name of the Mandingo military corps, which continues to be venerated in the Haitian religion. The traditionalist Haitian thus venerates the warriors of his Mandingo Ancestors through Nantyou (Nantiou) or Nanchou, the Lwa/Jany of war.

(Vèvè of Nantyou, in the Haitian ritual)
Source : Milo Rigaud. Ve-Ve : Diagrammes Rituels du Voudou. New York, 1974. p.548.

Nanchou or Nantyou is also called Ogun Nanchou and is syncretized in Saint Jacques Le Majeur (Saint James Major), because of the latter's warrior icon. Of course, Nanchou or Nantyou is not the only warrior Lwa/Jany of Mandingo origin in Haiti. There are plenty, which includes Balenndjo, Kelenndjo, Kankannikan, Kanyikan, Balabala, etc. But anyway, this Mandingo spiritual inheritance was not that of Macandal.
4) Madanm tobodop and the Wassoulou Kingdom : Haitian folklore carries a drum rite which partition was preserved through a short song called Madanm tobodop. This drum rite is not the one officially identified as Mandeng (Mandingo). However, its analysis reveals it to be the N'Gri, the drum rite characteristic of the emblematic Mandingo music from Wassoulou region, which later became the late Kingdom of Wassoulou.

(Mandingo Kingdom of Wassoulou)
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassoulou_Empire#/media/File:Map_Wassoulou.jpg


This song, Madanm tobodop, is of such vulgarity, referring to women's private parts (without being misogynistic), that it cannot originate from muslim musicians. This leads us to conclude that the Madanm tobodop drum rite proves that the Mandingos from the Wassoulou region were traditionalists on their arrival in Saint Domingue (Haiti) ; which is long before the late formation of the Wassoulou Kingdom in 1878. For only the traditional ritual can produce, support and promote such an unbridled imagination.


4- Macandal the Profaner

Macandal composed magic packages that bore his name. And in these magic packs, he and his accomplices inserted elements of Catholic worship such as blessed bread, holy water, blessed incense, crucifix, and so on. This syncretism earned Macandal the accusation of being a Profaner. And 2 months after Macandal's execution, le Conseil du Cap, (Le Cap's Town Council)  banned those sacrilegious packages :
"Arrêt de Réglement du Conseil du Cap, qui défend aux Nègres de garder des paquets appelés Macandals, ni de composer et vendre des drogues.
Du 11 Mars 1758.
Sur ce qui a été remontré au Conseil par le Procureur Général du Roi, que par les déclarations faites par plusieurs Accusés de pratiques prétendues magiques et d'empoisonnements, il résultait évidemment que les paquets ficelés, appelés Macandals, ne sauraient être composés, sans qu'il y ait profanation de choses saintes; que le sacrilège s'y trouvait joint très souvent, par le mélange des crucifix qui y sont employés; que l'usage de ces paquets entraînait nécessairement la profanation, puisque celui qui s'en sert mêle l'eau bénite et l'encens dans la mistion dont il enduit les paquets..." (80)
Translation :
"Regulation Act by Le Cap's Council, which forbids Negroes to keep packages called Macandals, nor to compose and sell drugs. 
On March 11, 1758.
On what has been shown to the Council by the King's Attorney General, that by the statements made by several Accused of allegedly magical practices and poisonings, it was evident that the bundled packages, called Macandals, cannot be composed, without any profanation of holy things; that sacrilege was very often joined to them, by the mixture of crucifixes employed in them; that the use of these packages necessarily entailed profanation, since their maker mixes holy water and incense in the mistion with which he coats packages..."
Several will find in the use of catholic worship objects, a sign of Macandal's belonging to the traditional religion, reputedly open to the integration of other religious elements. And despite the presence of catholic entities, they will not qualify Macandal's worship as being christian. Nor will they do so for the traditional Haitian worship that includes catholic prayers, saints, icons and calendar. Similarly, islamic revisionists know that islam considers "Shirk" the "association" of other practices to its worship. This consists of the most serious sin, the only one that Allah will not forgive in the hereafter, if the wrongdoer has not repented in his lifetime. But knowing this, the revisionists still claim that Macandal was a muslim.


4.1- Macandal wasn't a marabout

Disregarding the catholic syncretic elements integrated into Macandal's magic, the revisionist Diouf declared him an islamic marabout :
"Macandal was most likely a marabout, for French official documents describe him as being able to predict the future and as having revelations. He was also well known for his skills in amulet making—so much so that gris-gris were called macandals." (81)
a) At the linguistic level: it should be known that the word "marabout" is preserved in Haitian Creole. However, it carries no spiritual or magical connotation, as is the case in "Africa". The word "Marabou", in Creole, describes not a "sorcerer", but a type of half-breed :
"Marabou : n. Moun nwa ak cheve swa, ki sanble ak endou." (82)
Translation :
"Marabout : n. A black-skinned person with smooth hair, resembling a Hindu."
This is certainly a reference to the "non-African" (or Moorish) half-breeds that were dropped in the Saint Domingue colony. But as for the name of Macandal, it is said "Makanda", in Creole. And it is very pejorative :
"Makanda : Lougawou, malveyan." (83)
Translation :
"Makanda : Sorcerer, evil-doer."
That is an evocative contrast to the fact that Macandal was not a "marabout", since Haitians possess classical songs such as "Marabout de mon coeur", ("Marabout of my heart"), displaying their love of the mixed race women of the "Marabou" type ; whereas, on the other hand, the word "Makanda" is an insult already noted during colonial times :
"The memory of that being for which epithets are lacking still awakens such sinister ideas, that the negroes call poisons and poisoners Macandals, and that this name has become one of the most cruel insults they can address each other." (Transl.) (84)
So, the Saint Domingue captives (slaves) feared to be poisoned and/or bewitched by Macandals, a name that causes worries to this day. These captives (slaves) were therefore not poisoned by Marabouts, since this word is beloved in Haitian Creole.
b) At the magical level : generally speaking, the magic of islamic marabouts derives from the traditional religion. Therefore, it is not foreign to the one practiced by the Haitian traditionalists. However, these 2 magics differ significantly in 2 aspects. 1) islamic talismans are only protective, while the talismans of Macandal (and those of Haitian traditionalists) are both protective and offensive. 2) The "African" islamic marabouts base their magic not on "African" mysticism, but on khawatim, or muslim divination, a form that is not found in Haiti.

(Senegalese marabout beginning his protective magic))
Source : "Planet Fight : Senegal". Documentary. Director Aleksandar Dzerdz. URL : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nxBr-mxuFg ; Capture : 41:00

On koranic boards (unknown to Haiti), they draw tiles or lozenges on paper, then fill the boxes with extracts from the koran and other mystical symbols :

Source : Sulaymān ibn Aḥmad. Explication de l'œuvre d'al-Ghazali et de Nuh ibn al-Tahir al-Fulani. Tombouctou, 1800. p.21 ; URL : https://www.wdl.org/fr/item/467/view/1/21/


Source : https://manojdev1.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/protection-totale/

With these schematic writings, the islamic marabouts produce smoke that they infuse their customers with, and make hatumere, that is to say, "gris-gris" or talismans. These islamic talismans, in the form of pouches (mostly leather), are worn around the neck and contain extracts from the koran for protection and healing. Moreover, the strings that hold these islamic pouches are also considered  talismans or "gris-gris".

(Islamic talismans in the form of pouches containing passages from the koran)
Source : Couple touareg par un photographe d’Agadez, sd – 224 APOM/114 ; in : Fonds Suzanne & Edmond BERNUS 224 APOM/1-160

Colonial texts make no mention of such magical pouches by Macandal and his allies. Neither did they use the words "hatumere" nor "khawatim" to describe Macandal's magic packets. On the contrary, they called these packets "Macandals". And Makandal remains a Divinity (Lwa/Jany) and the name of a rite in the traditional religion. In the same way, the colonial texts named Macandal's magic "ouanga" (wanga), a name which retains the same meaning in Haiti :
"Wanga n. : sorcellerie, magie, malfaisance." (85)
Translation :
"Wanga n. : witchcraft, magic, maleficence."
In addition, Macandal's magic packets served as "garde-corps" (body-guards). And to this day, a significant amount of Lwa/Jany still serve as "body-guards" and for this are called "Gad" or "Lwa Gad". So, all the references to Macandal's magic remain in the Creole lexicon as in the traditional Haitian ritual. But no trace of the islamic words hatumere, khawatim, nor of the islamic pouches. Which proves that the magic of Macandal and his allies was not islamic. Moreover, Macandal's magic packets are still manufactured in the Haitian ritual. One proof lies in Judge Courtin's observation that Macandal inserted crucifixes into his packets. An act which Macandal acknowledged personally :
"The macandal was the first degree of ordeal. They got accustomed to desecrating blessed incense, holy water, and finally the crucifix. F. Macandal made a statement in his questioning to the Council which deserves attention. He wanted to justify his intention in the composition of these so-called garde-corps [body-guards], and said that when one wanted to put a crucifix in it, he would ask the one who wanted it, and inserted it in his magic packet. We have one this fashion where we see with horror a crucifix buried in the place and the links of this hateful composition and of which we see only the ends of the arms, the head of the Cross with the crossbar." (Transl.) (86)
Here is one type of these packages that persist in the Haitian tradition. It has no connection to the muslim pouches that are worn around the neck. These packages are called "Pakèt Kongo", meaning Congo Packets. And many of them still contain crucifixes, several centuries after Macandal's execution :
(Macandal's (Congo) packet, surmounted by a crucifix)
Source : Alfred Métraux. Le Vaudou haïtien. Paris, 1958. p.275.

The testimony of Geneviève, a client of Macandal, teaches us more about the crucifix insertion ; and also the fact that she, who walked around with a catholic rosary, was not muslim ; no more than Macandal who used her crucifix in his magic :
"He wanted to justify his intention in the composition of these so-called garde-corps [body-guards]. (...) (This macandal was Geneviève from Port-Margot. In her interrogation, she stated that F. Macandal tore the crucifix from her rosary. When she saw the crucifix linked to the macandal, she would have told F. Macandal "that that was the devil himself and he told her that it would be a valiant body-guard")" (Transl.) (87)
So, the insertion of catholic worship objects in Macandal's packets place them, not in islamic maraboutism, but in the sphere of the traditional religion still practiced in Haiti. Yet, apart from the addition of koranic elements, the magical approach of the "African" marabouts is compatible with that of Haitians.
One should also point out the dishonesty of the revisionists who have the audacity to claim the work of marabouts as muslim, when they know perfectly well that muslims consider marabout practice blasphemous, "shirk" and unislamic. In addition, islamic doctrine prohibits polytheism, consulting seers, and even the integration of polytheists into muslim armies. (88) In this context, we cannot consider Macandal as a muslim.


4.2- Macandal could not read

Racial pride drove the anonymous author of 1787 to overestimate Macandal, the Black who had harmed the White. That way, he maintained his illusion of superiority over the Black masses, by presenting Black winners something of exception. He mentioned the writing in Arabic, a consensus among those who cannot envisage Blacks literate in their own scriptures :
"Since he had received a much more refined education than that which is ordinarily given to Negroes. He could read and write the Arabic language, and he was not the Negro who fell by chance into slavery, and led into our Colonies, who had the same talent. Makandal still had a lively and natural taste for music, painting and sculpture..." (Transl.) (89)
It would take another 60 years before Haitian historian Thomas Madiou revived, in 1847, the anonymous islamic falsification of 1787. 89 years after Macandal's execution, Madiou - whose works do not provide any references - claimed to know the birth condition of Macandal, whom he stated was schooled in the Arabic language :
"A conspiracy led by the named Makandal, almost, in one shot, completely suffocated all the Whites. Makandal, an African born and well-bred, had been raised in the moslem religion. He was educated, and had a very good command of the Arabic language. As a prisoner of war in his country, he had been sold as a slave to the European traders who brought him to Saint Domingue." (Transl.) (90)
Judge Courtin, who praised Macandal, never said that he could read. Of the lot of Macandal's poisoners he questioned, only one, Jolicoeur, knew how to read. And Judge Courtin was astonished that Jolicoeur, a "free Negro [unofficially or "libre de savane"] of Sieur Brossard accused of having attempted the life of his master", (91) despite his knowledge - albeit limited - believed in Macandal's magical invincibility :
"The Negro Jolicoeur was equally astonished [by Macandal's arrest], but he was not an idiot. He had learned to read and to write a little, and he didn't lack intelligence." (Transl.) (92)
It must be understood that the judge had a way of knowing which of his interviewees knew how to read or not. For, it was obligatory, at the end of each interrogation session, that the person questioned sign his statement as being true. And like his disciples, Macandal was questioned by Judge Courtin, who did not mention that he could read or write, when he explained Macandal's superiority over his comrades.
We can verify the obligation of signing one's interrogation file, thanks to the text of the interrogation of Assam, a woman accused of poisoning during the Macandal period, September 1757. She was asked at the end of 2 separate sessions to sign her testimony as truthful, and she could not do so, for lack of knowing how to read. But, according to the revisionists' logic, being of Fulani ethnicity, a strongly islamized group, she should have known how to read :
"Interrogation de la Négresse Assam
(...)
ET PLUS N'A ÉTÉ INTERROGÉE étant midy sonné et avons remit la continuation du présent à ce jourd'uit deux heures de relevée; lecture à elle faite du présent interrogatoire; a dit que ses réponses contiennent vérité, y a persisté et a déclaré ne savoir signer de ce en guise suivant l'ordonnance.
Signé: Courtin et Bordier, greffier commis
(...)
A DIT qu'elle regarde ce que Pompée lui avait dit comme les discours d'un homme ivre, et que de tout ce qu'il lui avait dit, elle n'en fit point état.
ET PLUS N'A ÉTÉ INTERROGÉE. Lecture faite à elle du présent interrogatoire; a dit que ses réponses contiennent vérité, y a persisté et a déclaré ne savoir signer de ce en guise suivant l'ordonnance.
Signé Courtin et Bordier, greffier commis
Soit communiqué au procureur du roy au Cap le 27 septembre 1757
Signé Courtin
Signé Bordier" (93)
Translation :
"Interrogation of the Negress Assam
(...)
AND SHE WAS NO LONGER INTERROGATED as it was precisely noon and we postponed the current activity to today at two o'clock time; the present interrogation was read back to her; she said that her answers were truthful, she persisted at that, and had declared she didn't know how to read to sign this as ordered.
Signed : Courtin and Bordier, court clerk
(...)
SAID that she regarded what Pompée told her like the speeches of a drunken man, and that of all that he had told her, she did not consider.
AND SHE WAS NO LONGER INTERROGATED. Was read back to her the present interrogation; she said that her answers were truthful, she persisted at that, and had declared she didn't know how to read to sign this as ordered.
Signed Courtin and Bordier, court clerk
Communicated to Le Cap's Crown Attorney on September 27, 1757
Signed Courtin
Signed Bordier"

The rest of the 1787 anonymous article was more novelistic. The author elaborated on Macandal's supposed inclination for the pleasure of the flesh ; and that Macandal's master, in love with one of his conquests, became jealous of him. Moreover, the anonymous author did not even know the name, nor the customs and habits of Le Tellier, to whom Macandal was in captivity in Limbé. Rightly, historian Moreau de St. Méry described as "tale", or a work of fiction, this wacky article on Macandal. (94) Moreover, the article in question soon appeared in a fairy tales compilation.


4.3- Macandal did not speak Arabic

In 1847, like we mentioned, Haitian historian Thomas Madiou revived the 60-year-old anonymous revision ; namely that Macandal mastered the Arabic language, that he grew up in an illustrious family and that he had made enemies from those he took their women. However, Madiou pushed the islamic revision further by affirming, without evidence, that Macandal practiced the moslem religion :
"A conspiracy led by the named Makandal, almost, in one shot, completely suffocated all the Whites. Makandal, an African born and well-bred, had been raised in the moslem religion. He was educated, and had a very good command of the Arabic language. As a prisoner of war in his country, he had been sold as a slave to the European traders who brought him to Saint Domingue. He had acquired an immense influence over the North province by presenting himself to them as a prophet or sorcerer. For several years he resisted all the attacks of the marechaussée [local police], but he ended up falling into the trap set up by slaves whose women he took. He was taken and given over to authority." (Transl.) (95)
It is obvious that Thomas Madiou was unaware of Macandal's exact place of origin, as much as his religious practice, and merely repeated rumors and other information unsupported by evidence. Otherwise, he would have specified that Judge Courtin, during his interrogation, obtained certain magic words that Macandal uttered during the composition of his magic packets, receptacles of his poisons. The rebel leader repeatedly voiced the word "alla" that he identified as God or the Lord Jesus Christ :
"Le sorcier qui le compose dit quelques paroles pendant son opération. F. Macandal dans son interrogatoire au Conseil a déclaré ces paroles qui ont paru tenir de l’idiome turc, et ou le mot alla, alla était plusieurs fois répété, et lorsqu’il parlait en français il a dit qu’il invoquait Dieu ou le Seigneur Jésus-Christ. On va voir comment on doit apprécier cette invocation." (96)
Translation :
"The sorcerer who composed it said a few words during his operation. F. Macandal in his interrogation to the Council emitted these words which seemed to derive from the Turkish idiom, and where the word alla, alla was several times repeated, and when he spoke in French he said he was invoking God or the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are going to see how we should appreciate this invocation."
Macandal's magic words, through which the word "alla" was repeated, indeed reveal "lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh", meaning "there is no deity other than Allah and Muhammad is his prophet". This is the Chahaba, the muslim act of faith. It was from this anecdote that the idea that Macandal spoke and wrote Arabic circulated. However, knowing the Chahada and the word "alla" does not mean that one speaks Arabic. Because the vast majority of those who are muslims, and who are even born in the muslim religion, do not speak Arabic. Moreover, the Turks that Judge Courtin referred to, do not speak Arabic. They speak Turkish and other regional languages. Then, as we have seen, Macandal could not read. For he could not prove to read nor sign his deposition. Only the free black Jolicoeur could do so. So we will now see how knowledge of the Chahada did not mean that Macandal was muslim.

4.4- Macandal wasn't a muslim

The information that Macandal mentioned the word "Alla" has caused many others, over the centuries, to speculate excessively on Macandal's adherence to islam. But Macandal cannot even be called a muslim based solely on his knowledge of Chahada :
"The pronunciation of Shahada is not enough for one to call himself a believer and a muslim. The respect of the other four pillars of Islam is a canonical obligation prescribed by the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad." (Transl.) (97)
Another muslim author expresses it this way :
"The unity of Allah in His lordship was affirmed by the polytheists, they did not deny it, but it was not enough for them to return to islam." (Transl.) (98)
So, to classify Macandal or any other individual as a muslim, one would have to prove that he observed not only the Chahada, but also the other 4 pillars of islam that are :
  • Salat : the 5 daily prayers ; 
  • Zakat : the offering ;
  • Saum : the fast of Ramadan ;
  • Hajj : the pilgrimage to Mecca. 
So far, no archived text demonstrates Macandal's compliance with any of these other obligations.
Other reasons further refute Macandal's muslim thesis. They are as  follows :
1) The Chahada could have been acquired by Macandal both through conversion to islam or outside the islamic framework. Because the Chahada is very often diffused in the open air, in the form of a repetitive song. This phenomenon is illustrated in this scene from the Malian series Les Rois de Ségou (2010), in which the lyrics of the Chahada are loudly repeated in a loop.

(Prayer scene in which the Chahada gets repeated outdoors)
Source : Les Rois de Ségou : Épisode 17 : Le Viol de l'Esclave. Dir : Boubacar Sidibé.  Mali, 2010 ; URL : https://youtu.be/Z4FxcfVuX8c?t=21m55s ; Timeline : (00:21:55 - 00:22:37)

Thus, Macandal, as well as any passerby, any curious, or anyone in "Africa" who was physically close to a muslim place of worship could have easily memorized this phrase sung aloud, and in a loop, by zealous muslims.
2) The Chahada is the solemn proclamation that Allah is the only God, and that beside Him, no entity can be considered divine. The recitation of the Chahada by Macandal, during the manufacture of his packages, was therefore mixed with syncretic practices that go against Chahada's monotheistic message. For, in several verses, the islamic koran forbids to associate other Divine Entities to Allah, the only God. (99) This syncretic action, islam calls it "Shirk". And even the reference to Jesus Christ as the equivalent of Allah is blasphemous according to islamic doctrine that regards the Christian trinity as "Shirk". (100) Similarly, for islam, Jesus Christ is simply an apostle, and not a God, as Macandal had falsely suggested.
"Blasphemous really are those who say that Allah (God) is Christ, the son of Mary." (Transl.) (101)
Moreover, Marianne, one of Macandal's accomplices, that acted with the help of Brigitte, Macandal's wife, received communion (in the catholic church) every 8 days. That removes her from the muslim thesis :
"The negress Marianne who received poisons that Macandal sent him by Brigitte, his wife, took communion every 8 days." (Transl.) (102)
3) Macandal never mentioned Muhammad, either as a prophet or otherwise. Which goes against another islamic obligation. Instead of Muhammad, Macandal and his accomplices placed Charlot directly after God.
"He had said that in the morning the negroes who had macandals [body-guards or charms] put on the ground a packet bigger than their arm, named Charlot, which they wrapped in a white cloth, that they knelt around this packet and recited the ordinary prayers of the Church, that they kissed the earth and got up. Brigitte, brought to be confronted with Mercure, and questioned about this morning prayer said that it was true, but that it was by derision to mock the prayers of the Church, that they were recited before Charlot, that the earth was then kissed afterwards as in the adoration of the Cross, and that as they rose they said that there is nothing greater than Bondieu [the Good God] in the sky and Charlot and, after them, it is F. Macandal, that the little macandals were called children of Bondieu, to say that they were the little ones or the children of Charlot their Bondieu." (Transl.) (103)
Charlot refers to the amulets or "body-guards" that they made and worshiped. The Charlots were of two sizes : the big Charlots that remained among the great initiates ; and the little Charlots that they sold to the general captive (slave) population. And still today, Ti Chalo (Little Charlot) remains a Lwa/Jany in the Haitian ritual. He is venerated in the Gede death rite, just as Manman Brijit, Macandal's wife.
Here's a sacred song for Ti Chalo :

Ti Chalo, ankò mwen malere la
O Ti Chalo, gade m se malere
O Ti Chal mouri l ale
O Ti Chal mouri l ale la...
Translation :
Ti Chalo, I say I'm poor here
Oh Ti Chalo, look how I'm poor
Oh Ti Chal is dead and gone
Oh Ti Chal is dead and gone from here...

4) During their morning prayers, Macandal's allies would utter "qu’il n’y a rien de grand passé Bondieu en haut ciel et Charlot et, après eux, c’est F. Macandal" ; meaning : There is nothing higher than Bon Dieu (the Good God) in the sky and Charlot and, after them, is F. Macandal. So despite Macandal's knowledge of the word "Alla", this rebel leader and his accomplices named their Creator God "Bondieu" (Good God). Bondieu (Bondye or Bondje) is the name still used in Haiti by adherents of all religions to designate the Creator God ; including the traditionalists who also say Granmèt la (The Grand Master). However, the name "Allah" is nonexistent in Haitian Creole. This proves that Macandal's religion survived in Haiti, and that it wasn't islam. 
5) The Macandalists' creolized expression : "il n’y a rien de grand passé Bondieu en haut ciel" (there is nothing higher than Bon Dieu (the Good God) in the sky) was retained in the Haitian ritual as follows : "Nanpren anyen pase Bondye nan syèl". This sacred song expresses it : 

O Silibo Kjadja Mensou Lwa mwen, m ap fè Voudjou a 
O Sangayi Wèlo, m ap fè Voudjou a
Nanpwen anyen vre pase Bondje nan syèl, pou granmèsi o.
Traduction :
O Silibo Kjadja Mensou my Divinity (Lwa), I'm doing the Voudjou
O Sangayi Wèlo, I'm doing the Voudjou
There is nothing higher than Bon Dieu (the Good God) in the sky, for gratitude.

6) "After God is Charlot, then Macandal", repeated Macandal's accomplices. "After God", that's a formula that is still prevalent in the Haitian ritual where it comes off as "Apre Dye" or "Apre Bondye". 

Source : Milo Rigaud. Secrets of Voodoo. San Franscico, 1985. p.133.

Some of Macandal's allies also vocalized "Après Bondieu c'est Macandal" (After God is Macandal). In the Haitian traditional religion, they still use that expression. They follow "After God is..." with the name of a traditionalist official of note. They would say : "After God is..." (Apre Bondye se...) this one, or that one ; or "After the Good God in the sky is..." (Apre Bondye nan syèl la se...) this one, or that one (male or female). This sacred song illustrates it : 

Apre Dye Houngan, tout Houngan yo se Houngan... 
Apre Dye Manbo, tout Manbo yo se Manbo...
Translation :
After God Houngan (High religious male-official), all Houngan are Houngan...
After God Manbo (High religious female-official), all Manbo are Manbo...

That particular formula is also used among Ibo traditionalists of Nigeria. They say, "After God is Dibia". Dibia is the name of their Great religious officials, the Masters of Knowledge. "After God is Dibia", is the title of this book on Igbo divination :

Source : John Anenechukwu Umeh. After is Dibia : Igbo Cosmology, Divination & Sacred Science in Nigeria, Volume 1. London, 1997.

6) Macandal's use of the Chahada was done only in the magical syncretic sense, not religiously, because orthodox muslims themselves use the "La ilaha ila Allah" as a magic formula. (104) That says a lot about the marabouts and traditionalist magicians who are inclined to add more zest to their magic by introducing formulas taken from their customers' beliefs. Macandal, whose syncretic magic was reinforced by the accumulation of various spiritual forces, did not hesitate to incorporate this muslim phrase containing the word "alla" that he compared to Jesus Christ and to the Lord of christians.
We find traces of the Chahada in the traditional Mandingo rite practiced in Balan, Northern Haiti. Among the Mandingo ancestors of some Balan residents, there were some "Mori", thus some more or less islamized marabouts, who kept "Lia ilaha ila ba ilaho" (105) in their syncretic prayers. However, this distorted formula is contrary to islam since it is preceded and followed by invocations to multiple non-islamic Spirits. This indicates a syncretic practice that is forbidden by islam, and that draws closer to marabouts habits of mixing religious formulas with their traditional or animist magic. We will deal with it more in a future article.


4.5- Macandal wasn't a sharif

In her pseudo-scientific book, islamic revisionist Sylviane Diouf speculated that the Black Macandal could be a sharif, that is to say, a direct descendant of the Arab Mahomet :
"He [Macandal] was said to be a prophet, which indicates that he was perceived as having a direct connection to God. Thus besides being a marabout he may have been a sharif, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) ; but this is only speculation, as no evidence exists to confirm or inform this hypothesis." (106)
On the one hand, it must be pointed out that, contrary to what Diouf asserts, without any evidence, Macandal never presented himself as a prophet, nor as the envoy of any God. On the other hand, the hypothesis of Macandal as a descendant of Muhammad, is not at all trivial. For centuries, islamic griots have been operating in this fashion. Very often, with islamized Sovereigns' complicity, they falsify those leaders' genealogies, to link them to Muhammad. For example, Soundiata Keita modified his genealogy to claim lineage from Bilali (or Bilal), Muhammad's former black slave. (107) Djibril T. Niane, the historian who collected that islamized genealogy from the griot Mamadou Kouyaté, well recognized it as a falsification :
"Like most muslim dynasties of the Middle Ages, the Mali Emperors have had the constant concern to be linked to the family of the Prophet or at least to someone who has approached the Nabi.
In the 14th century we saw Mansa Moussa return to Mandingo land, after his pilgrimage, with representatives of the Arab tribe of the Qorechis (Muhammad's tribe) in order to draw
the blessing of the Prophet of Allah on his Empire. After Kankon Moussa, several princes of Manding will emulate him, especially Askia Mohamed in the 16th century." (Transl.) (108)
And although he knew it to be false, historian Djibril T. Niane continued to propose Soundiata Kéïta's islamized genealogy in his scholarly publications. Moreover, beyond certain Sovereigns' false islamic filiation, whole peoples in Western "Africa", with the help of islamized griots, have the habit of arabizing the founders of their different Kingdoms :
"It is a tradition now established among the Sahel-Saharan peoples to have Eastern and muslim ancestors from the earliest possible time. Yemeni princes have in our country a large descendants! Among which are Soninké Wagadou, Mallinké of the Mali, the Zade Koukiya, the Zaghawa of Kanem, the Hausa of the seven cities, etc.
This convergence of origins towards an Eastern cradle of islam has an obvious explanation which lies in the almost complete state of islamization in which the regions concerned are today." (Transl.) (109)
We will expose the islamic historical falsification of Wagadou (Ghana) and Kanem-Bornu (Hausa) Empires, in a later article.

4.6- Macandal wasn't a Mahdi

In 1961 Aimé Césaire speculated that Macandal was a "Mahdi", meaning a muslim reformist whose coming is prophesied :
"And especially who could forget that for several years in Saint-Domingue, a man, a slave, saying that he had been sent by God, a Mahdi, the muslim Makendal, had been campaigning? No doubt, betrayed, had he been defeated, then, captured, wheeled alive, but no one in Saint-Domingue, neither among the whites, nor among the blacks, had forgotten his prediction, which to many seemed a prefiguration of the future…" (Transl.) (110)
That sounds good, for anyone unfamiliar with the history of Haiti. However, any Haitian schoolboy is able to see that Aimé Césaire's text does not hold water. For Macandal was burned alive, not wheeled, as Aimé Césaire falsely claimed. Moreover, Charles-André Julien, who prefaced Aimé Césaire's book, expressed doubt on that "Mahdi" suggestion that came out of nowhere :
"I will not rally though around the legend of the Guinean black Makendal... (...) Makendal, in which Césaire believes to see a Mahdi..." (Transl.) (111)
That being said, we will still analyze Aimé Césaire's revisionist thesis. First of all, let's see what a Mahdi is :
"Nevertheless, one of the concept of shiite origin, the belief in the coming of the Mahdī, has penetrated into sunni islam, not in the form of official teaching as in shiism, but as a belief of the popular religion where the Mahdī is the Messiah who will return to earth, kill the Antichrist and spread justice in the world as it has been filled with injustice and tyranny. The mahdī appeared from time to time during centuries in various muslim countries, the most famous examples being those of the Sudanese mahdī Muḥammad ibn ˓Abdallāh and Somali Muḥammad ibn ˓Abdule." (Transl.) (112)
Thus, the Mahdi would be a messiah returning to earth to kill the Antichrist. This is problematic because at no time during his 2-day interrogation did Macandal tell Judge Courtin that he was neither a Mahdi nor a messiah, nor that he wished to fight the Antichrist or the devil. On the contrary, the Courtin memoir reveals that Macandal and his accomplices named their practice "Faire Diable" ("Make Devil") ; while they named their places of worship : " Case à Diable" ("Devil's Hut"), that is to say the "Devil's House" :
"The sorcerers, or so-called wizards, celebrate the macandals ; there is the small and the big ones, the hut where it is done is called la caze à Diable [the Devil's hut], and the ceremony is called faire Diable [do the Devil], according to the Negroes. Proof that the profanations of the holy things they use are not a result of their idiocy, but a true impiety that goes to the point of sacrilege." (Transl.) (113)
Clearly, Macandal and his accomplices' religious practices were at the extreme opposite of the muslim concept of Mahdi. But let's push further. Let's consider the case of Sudan, which in 1881 witnessed a Mahdi, Mohammed Ahmed, who drove settlers out of his country :
"Mahdi (the well guided) : Nickname of the Sudanese reformer and nationalist Muhmmad Ahmad (1844-1885). Originally from Dongola on the Nile in Northern Sudan, he entered a brotherhood and gathered some disciples (talibés) in the small Aba island, on the White Nile. On June 29, 1881, he took the title of Mahdi and gathered his followers to drive the Anglo-Egyptians out of the country and establish a state based on the original islam and the conversion of the animists." (Transl.) (114)
Macandal certainly aimed at the same military objective 133 years earlier, some would say. But what about : Slavery? State religion? Animism? Women's place? Festive activities? Alcohol consumption? Pork consumption? etc.
a) Slavery : Macandal was a fierce opponent of slavery in Saint Domingue, from 1740 to 1758. In Sudan in the 1860s, the Anglo-Egyptian occupiers abolished slavery :
"Until its gradual suppression in the 1860s, the slave trade was the most profitable undertaking in Sudan… (...) Under prodding from Britain, Ismail took steps to complete the elimination of the slave trade in the north of present-day Sudan." (115)
However, Mahdi Mohammad Ahmed restored slavery in Sudan :
"In 1870, the Mahdi made a proclamation that slavery was once again a legitimate institution. During the second half of the 19th century it was estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 slaves were transported annually from the Darfur region into Egypt, and the route through Sudan to Mecca gradually assumed an important role, too..." (116)
On this point Macandal did not share the same values as the Mahdi.
b) State based on islam : Fighting to drive out colonists, the Sudanese Mahdi was working to "establish a state based on the original islam". However, Macandal made it known that he was working to drive out Whites and to replace them with Blacks. Nowhere did he mention a desire to establish a muslim State. His aim was above all racial.
c) Animism : Religious mixture is deemed shirk by islam. The Sudanese Mahdi sought, in his new state, "the conversion of the animists". But Macandal constantly used animist practices ; as well as syncretic ones (by mixing catholic articles).
d) Women's place : In the territory of the Mahdi who advocated the return to the original and severe islam, women and men could not intermingle in public places. Now, in Macandal's ranks, women  and men were equals. There were two types of meetings : a big "feast" in which everyone participated. And a small "feast" more restricted in which only the great initiates were admitted. And women took part, half-naked, in those magic-religious meetings in the company of the men who were totally naked :
"The feast resembles lectisternium of the Romans. All the initiates gather in some place where they think they are safe. They lay a macandal as big as an arm to keep the door open and keep the laypersons away. All negroes are naked, the negresses have only a handkerchief around their body, as when they wash clothes." (Transl.) (117)
Moreover, more than mere participants in these macandalist feasts, it is often a woman, a Manbo or priestess, who operates them, in accordance with the egalitarian and non misogynistic way of the traditional religion :
"The great witch sit on the ground and presents to the great sorcerer all the macandals she holds in her hands wrapped in a handkerchief and a hat and well watered with holy water." (Transl.) (118)
In contrast, the Sudanese Mahdi demanded women confinement. And islam, like other Abrahamic religions, prohibits women from orchestrating religious services.
e) Festive activities : The Macandalists danced calenda together. At the point that they have arrested Macandal during a calenda dance. However, the Sudanese Mahdi was renowned for his intolerance for dancing, which he considered anti-muslim as an activity. And his intolerance towards dancing was such that it got him expelled from koranic school, in his youth :
"Mohammed Ahmed's great asset in drawing people to revere his personality was his piety and deeply religious zeal, this made him a favorite with all of his teachers…. yet at one time this pious disposition led to conflict. Mohammed Ahmed rebuked one of his instructors for allowing singing and dancing at feast. He held the opinion that this activity would be displeasing to God. In the quarrel and conflict that followed, Mohammed Ahmed was told in very harsh words to leave the school. This was heartbreaking for his teacher... (...) But, this disciple had rebuked him in the presence of the elders and the leading citizens of the town. Ordering him out of the school was the only way the teacher could maintain his authority and prestige." (119)
But Macandal loved dancing. He took part in a dance party at the Dufresne residence in Limbé where he was captured.
f) Alcohol consumption : Macandal was captured completely drunk :
"One day the negroes of the Dufresne estate, in Limbé, held a large calenda there. Macandal, who was accustomed to a long impunity, joined in the dance.
A young Negro, perhaps by the impression that this monster's presence had produced on him, came to inform M. Duplessis. the landlord, and M. Trevan, who were on this residence, and who caused the tafia [hard alcohol] to be spread with so much profusion, that the negroes were all intoxicated, and that Macandal, in spite of his prudence, found himself deprived of his reason.
They arrested him in a negro hut, from where he was taken to a room on one of the ends of the main house." (Transl.) (120) 
Alcohol consumption is unequivocally a behavior proscribed by islam that would have outraged a Mahdi whose name means "guided" or islamic messiah. A title that besides, Macandal never claimed, nor mentioned. Moreover, in their meetings, Macandal and the great officiants offered food and tafia,  (strong alcohol) to their protective Deities (Macandals). And they also ate these dishes, which included alcohol. Such was the practice, according to Judge Courtin's description, during the "great feasts" in which only the greatest officiants took part :
"They hold many speeches in this feast. They say that there is nothing greater on earth than Bondieu, and after Bondieu, it is F. Macandal. (...) In another bowl they put boiled chicken with rice, cod, tafia. (...) They [the Macandal Spirits] are given a reasonable time to consume their meals and the assistants eat their leftovers." (Transl.) (121)
Similarly, during the "small feasts" that were accessible to a larger number, the Macandalists also drank alcohol :
"The little feast is quite common, all the initiates assemble in a hut, they put holy water and crucifix and a tablecloth on a table or a chest. And on someone's arrival, they store the macandals, and recite prayers, and then they resume their practices, (...) and they make the macandals dance, and they end up making a lot of noise and getting drunk with tafia." (Transl.) (122)
From this firsthand account, obtained and verified by Judge Courtin, it is undeniable that Macandal and his people practiced the most authentic form of the traditional religion.
g) Pork consumption : Settler Monnereau, linked livestock theft (including pigs), to the Makandalists, as he called them :
"They [the Makandalists] have this wonderful talent, among others, for stealing oxen, sheep and pigs from the parks, despite the dogs and even the Guardians who are at the gate." (Transl.) (123)
And as islam orders to avoid contact with pigs, these Makandalists were therefore not muslims. Besides, they wouldn't have run considerable risks and even fatal ones, in order to steal pigs. We have proof that the Makandalists consumed pig meat. Monnereau said that these same Makandalists held extravagant, gender-mixed, funeral ceremonial dances, in which they consumed alcohol (124) and sacrificed pigs which they later ate. (125) Thus, in all respects, Macandal was not a Mahdi.


5- Macandal the Poisoner

What was Macandal and his accomplices' real mastery of poisons? And those poisoning acts by Macandal, do they have a link with islam? As a clever propagandist, the revisionist Sylviane Diouf, in her quest to islamize Macandal's poisoning acts, began her thesis by stating that Macandal was a muslim, and that muslims were known and feared :
"These Muslims were well known and feared, but the most famous of the pre-Revolution maroon leaders was without a doubt Francois Macandal. Macandal was a field hand, employed on a sugar plantation." (126)
Diouf's argument turns out to be false, because nowhere is there such a reference in the Saint Domingue archives. Moreau de St. Méry, who drew the profile of some more or less islamized peoples in Saint Domingue, did not even point out the scary character that the revisionist Diouf attributed to them. (127) Diouf, like many other revisionists, relied on the bad reputation that some islamized ethnic groups in the Spanish colonies may have had, in order to paint a picture that was not theirs in Saint Domingue. In fact, the fear inspired by Macandal, this Saint Domingue settler defined it in these terms :
"MAGICIAN, s. he or she who makes profession, and who is known among the people to make use of magic. MAGIC, sf, etc., etc. Macandal. This name comes from a Negro band leader, who had it, and by the knowledge he had of poisonous plants, wreaked unprecedented havoc; he had communicated his knowledge, and wished to use it in the whites destruction. Since that time, all that seems supernatural, in physics, deception, etc., is macandal. The poisoner is mainly called macandal.
(...)
SORCERER, s., he or she who, in the opinion of weak people, has a pact with the devil, etc. Macandal. The Creoles rank poisoners especially in this class." (Transl.) (128)
Thus, settler S.J. Ducoeurjoly imputed the fear evoked by the Macandal name, to traditional "diabolical" magic, and not to islam. And even today, in Haiti, the Creole word "Makanda" retains the same negative connotation, and continues to be tied to the traditional religion. And there is little doubt that the islamic revisionists who claim Macandal's exploits do not want the evil connotation that accompanies it.


5.1 - Macandal didn't introduce poisoning in Saint Domingue

Audacious, Diouf then claimed that Macandal taught the other captives (slaves) the art of poisoning :
"For eighteen years Macandal was at large, living in the mountains but making frequent incursions on the plantations to deliver death. He organized a network of devoted followers and taught the slaves how to make poison, which they used against their owners or against other slaves in order to ruin the slaveholders." (129)
This is false for the following reasons :
a) Poisoning is 13000 years old in "Africa". Therefore, the Saint Domingue captives (slaves) did not need Macandal to learn the art of poisoning that was customary in their continent of origin for several millennia. Thirteen thousand years ago, in the mother continent, more precisely in Tanzania, on the Unguja Island, in a cave called Kuumbi, poison-soaked bone arrows were used for hunting as well as for warfare :
"Bone technology was essential to a Stone Age man's lifestyle and has been shown to have been in use 60,000 years ago.
The majority of the evidence to support this has been found in sites in southern Africa, but now 13,000-year-old artifacts found in a large limestone cave known as Kuumbi show that this technology was being adopted in eastern Africa as well." (130)
Here is the presentation of the prehistoric poisoned arrows found in Tanzania :

(Prehistoric poisoned arrows)
Source : Michelle C. Langley et al. 2016. Poison arrows and bone utensils in late Pleistocene eastern Africa: evidence from Kuumbi Cave, Zanzibar. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 51 (2): 155-177; doi: 10.1080/0067270X.2016.1173302

b) Poisoning in Saint Domingue precedes Macandal. For in June 1723, 35 years before Macandal's execution, Colas Jambes Coupées (Colas Cutted Legs), a great poisoner using magic, was sentenced as well as his accomplices to be broken alive :
"Colas Jambes Coupées, slave of Sieur Doze, well known for four to five years by his maroonings to the Spanish side, with seduction and kidnapping of other Negroes ; chief of cabal bearing arms ; highwayman, by day as well as by night, in the neighborhood of Bois-de-Lance and Morne à Mantègre, attacks whites, has several intelligence and secret correspondence to abolish the colonies ; is a friend or accomplice involved in the cabals of Cézar, Jupiter, Louis and Chéri who were punished by the last torture : accused, among others, of spell and magic, for having many times escaped from irons and prisons and having poisoned several Negroes." (Transl.) (131)
On February 7, 1738, thus two years prior to Macandal becoming a maroon around 1740, and 17 years before the onset of the massive poisonings orchestrated by the Macandalists in 1755, Le Cap's Council adopted the '"ARRÊT en Réglement du Conseil du Cap, touchant les Poisons ; et qui ordonne l'exécution de l'Édit du mois de Juillet 1682." (ACT of Regulations by Le Cap's Council, concerning Poisons ; and that orders the execution of the Edict of July 1682.) (132) And this 1738 article of law : "défenses aux Chirurgiens, Apothicaires et Droguistes, de confier ni laisser aux Nègres, leurs Esclaves, lesdits poisons, drogues et compositions, sous prétexte qu'ils travaillent de Chirurgie..." (forbids Surgeons, Apothecaries and Druggists, not to entrust nor leave to the Negroes, their Slaves, said poisons, drugs and compositions, under the pretext that they work in Surgery...). This shows that the fatal art of poison was not Macandal's invention.
c) The Aradas (traditionalists) were reputed to be the most poisonous. It is known that in Saint Domingue, the captives (slaves) of the Arada ethnic group (from Dahomey/Benin), were the most fervent promoters of the traditional religion :
"But it is not only as a dance that Vaudoux deserves to be considered, or at least it is accompanied by circumstances which assign it a rank among the institutions where superstition and bizarre practices have a large part.
According to the Arada negroes, who are the true followers of Vaudoux in the colony, and who maintain its principles and the rules, Vaudoux means an all-powerful and supernatural being, on which all the events that happen on this globe depend." (Transl.) (133)
And here, S.J. Ducoeurjoly, presented, not an islamized ethnic group, but the traditionalist Aradas, as the main holders of poison know-how :
"The Aradas especially, compose, with the venom of certain insects, a poison to which we have not yet found a remedy." (Transl.) (134)
Moreover, Ducoeurjoly, an eyewitness who knew so much about life in the colony that he wrote a two-volume textbook about it, associated poisoning with "their gods" or "their demons", referring to the traditional "polytheistic" religion and not to monotheistic islam :
"They do not try their poisons on whites, they are convinced that success depends on the power of their gods or their demons, who have none on us." (Transl.) (135)
Later, in the late 1790s and early 1800s, the settler Descourtilz linked captives (slaves) of Arada ethnicity to poisonings. His statement was based on the arrest of Samedi, a poisoner and captive (slave) from his own family Rossignol-Desdunes estate, who was sentenced to be burned alive :
"All the negroes, but especially the Aradas, use poison quite commonly to avenge their enemies. One of them named Samedi, from the Rossignol-Desdunes estate, neighborhood of Artibonite, where I wrote these memoirs, had found a way to poison two of his rival's children... (...) After having pulled from his hair, several small paper cones containing a gray powder that the accused confessed to be poison similar to the one he had used himself against the children, and had reserved for himself, in order to avoid the horrible tortures during execution which was prepared for him. He further showed, by a complete confession, the nails of his two thumbs that he had been growing for a long time, and under which he had fixed poison to use if necessary." (Transl.) (136)
Descourtilz also mentioned a midwife of Arada origin, from the same Rossignol-Desdunes estate, who killed at least 70 newborns in order to spare them the fate of slavery. And according to the poisoner's own words, poison was one of her tools :
""Look, she said, if I have indeed deserved my fate ; the seventy knots of which this belt is garnished, indicate the quantity of children killed by my own hands, either by poison or by an execrable custom which made it a duty to take these young beings to a shameful slavery. (…) I am now dying satisfied that I have nothing more to confess, and am going to join in my country, all that I left there." At these words she rushes forward intrepidly towards the devouring blaze, where she was soon reduced to ashes, uttering frightful cries." (Transl.) (137)
Thus, this traditional Arada poisoner bravely darting into the fire and, through death, returning home to the land of "Africa", firmly contradicts Diouf's unsubstantiated claims. For the islamized captives (slaves) did not hold the science of poison in Saint Domingue. Besides, the particular style of poisonings used by Arada traditionalists remains in the Haitian magico-religious tradition.
d) Macandal was not even the biggest poisoner on the island, but Jean à Tassereau was. Justice Courtin made that observation :
"A negro named Jean à Tassereau, partner and great friend of F. Macandal and the greatest poisoner than he, and who after having quarreled with F. Macandal had retired with his family in the mountains of Le Cap where he has been captured." (Transl.) (138)
Obviously, if Jean à Tassereau was "greater poisoner than" Macandal and disagreed with Macandal, the whole revisionist thesis on Macandal gets flatten. For this thesis rests on the omnipotence of the supposed muslim Macandal who would have spread his revolutionary islamic knowledge among the uneducated and passive mass. The conflictual relationship between Jean à Tassereau and Macandal is rather a demonstration that the ancestral knowledge owns the practice of poisoning. A practice however restricted among the high initiates organized in initiatic groups or secret societies, as it is still the case in the traditional Haitian ritual.
e) In the land of "Africa", the Ibos, as traditionalists, were poisoned masters. The black islamized in Saint Domingue were far from having invented, and far from having taught the others the art of poisoning that was reality in the land of "Africa". Eyewitness account from Olaudah Equiano, a former Ibo captive (slave) who became abolitionist, indicates that poisoning was widespread in Igboland (Southeastern present-day Nigeria). According to Olaudah Equiano, in his youth up until his capture (1745-1754), the Ibo used poisoning in warfare
"This common is often the theatre of war ; and therefore when our people go out to till their land, they not only go in a body, but generally take their arms with them for fear of a surprise; and when they apprehend an invasion, they guard the avenues to their dwellings, by driving sticks into the ground, which are so sharp at one end as to pierce the foot, and are generally dipt in poison." (139)
These poisonous sticks that Ibo traditionalists drove into the ground, as a defensive measure in their country, is a practice still in used in Haitian rural areas. This is further evidence that the art of poisoning in Saint Domingue came from traditionalists. And still according to Equiano, poisoning, the art of Ibo (traditionalists) magicians, was still practiced by Blacks in the West Indies :
"Though we had no places of public worship, we had priests and magicians, or wise men. (...) They calculated our time, and foretold events, (...) These magicians were also our doctors or physicians. They practised bleeding by cupping ; and were very successful in healing wounds and expelling poisons. They had likewise some extraordinary method of discovering jealousy, theft, poisoning; (...) I do not remember what those methods were, except that as to poisoning ; I recollect an instance or two, which I hope it will not be deemed impertinent here to insert, as it may serve as a kind of specimen of the rest, and is still used by the negroes in the West Indies." (140)
Moreover, the use of poison was so widespread in Igboland, that in everyday life, everyone feared being poisoned by his neighbor :
"The natives are extremely cautious about poison. When they buy any eatables, the seller kisses it all round before the buyer, to shew him it is not poisoned ; and the same is done when any meat or drink is presented, particularly to a stranger." (141)
So, if while Macandal and his accomplices were using poison in Saint Domingue, the use of poison was already widespread in Ibo land, during the presence of Equinano (1745-1754), so we cannot attribute the paternity, nor the exclusivity of the art of poisoning in Saint Domingue to Macandal. And the Ibo being traditionalists, so then was poisoning. And so far, apart from the vile propaganda from the revisionists, nothing factual connects poisoning to islam, in the colony of Saint Domingue, or elsewhere in the Americas.

5.2- Macandal, did he compose his own poisons ?

Macandal and his accomplices named their poisons and the magic that accompanies them "Ouanga", written Wanga in Creole. Judge Courtin's text tells us that all the poisoners he interrogated, including Macandal himself, described their poisoning magics by the word "Ouanga" :
"They put the macandal [magical object] loaded with curses under a big stone, and there is no doubt that it brings bad luck to whom they wish. But he did not believe that it would kill him or make him stay in bed, but it makes him hated, makes him get cut and gives him all kinds of damage. But to harm him in his body, it is necessary, according to their expression, to approach him, that is to say, to make him take ouanga or poison, which is synonymous among those we interviewed." (Transl.) (142)
Macandal's "Ouanga" (Wanga) poisonings were prepared using poisonous herbs. In spite of the fact that Judge Courtin entitled his report : "Mémoire sommaire sur les pratiques magiques et empoisonnements prouvés aux procès instruits et jugés au Cap contre plusieurs Nègres et Négresses dont le chef, nommé François Macandal, a été condamné au feu et exécuté le vingt janvier 1758" (Summary Memorandum on the magic practices and poisonings proved to the instructed trials and judged in Le Cap against several Negroes and Negresses whose chief, named François Macandal, was sentenced to the stake and executed on January twenty, 1758), 18 years past Macandal's execution, the author Hilliard d'Auberteuil, in 1776, questioned the use of herbal poisons called "Ouanga". He doubted that Macandal and his accomplices had made their own poisons. According to him, the Macandalists have instead obtained arsenic from local doctors and pharmacists' inventories :
"The poison, which for twenty years has been fatal to so many men in Le Cap's surroundings, is not composed of plants, it is not a secret, a spell (Ouanga) as the people of the Colony dumbly believe. (...) We can see in the Le Cap Registry, the criminal proceedings against Macanda, Pompée, Angélique, Brigite, Laurent, and others since burned, all have only used arsenic and corrosive sublimate." (Transl.) (143)
In 1909, the author Pierre de Vaissières supported Hilliard d'Auberteuil's argument, classifying as "legend" the idea that Macandal and his accomplices have manufactured their own poisons :
"In spite of these formal testimonies, the legend of the secret poison manufactured by the Negroes was still prevalent in Saint-Domingue." (Transl.) (144)
However, as early as April 8, 1758, less than three months after Macandal's execution, Le Cape's Town Council published the '"ARRÊT du Conseil du Cap, qui, de l'agrément des Administrateurs, ordonne, sur des Empoisonneurs condamnés, l'essai des poisons et contrepoisons par eux indiqués, et pièces relatives." (Le Cap's Council Decision, which, on the approval of the Directors, orders, on convicted Poisoners, testing of poisons and antidotes indicated by them, and relative parts.) (145) This act of law allowed doctors to test poisons and antidotes revealed by the interrogated Macandalists. Three arrested poisoners by the name of Samba, Colas and Lafleur were designated as guinea pigs for these tests. The poison tests carried out on April 13 and 15, 1758 were conclusive :
"The Physicians and Surgeons took an oath at the hands of M. Lambert on the 13th and 15th of April, 1758 ; but they did not answer to the Court's confidence, they only produced a newspaper draft from the 24th to the 31st of May, without signature, which announces that they gave to an unknown Negro an emulsion made with a half-ounce of a seed common in America. It appears that an hour later this Negro was motionless, unconscious, had a thick tongue, a sticky saliva, a yellowish mucus in the nose, and that he was restored to his natural state by the elixir of Paracelsus's property and some drops of the volatile spirit of Sylvius and lilium : but this piece of information was not made to inspire the slightest confidence." (Transl.) (146)
2 months later, the June 24, 1758 correspondence reveals that Macandal was the author of his own herbal poisons. The Macandal poisons, tested on dogs, were of 3 types that acted at fast, medium or slow speeds :
"François Macandal has discovered three species of poisons, of which there are so dangerous and so violent, that dogs, which the Physicians and Surgeons have administered them to, died on the spot. It exists others the effect of which is slower, which causes five and six months to languish, but from which it is always necessary to perish." (Transl.) (147)
This settler confirmed also, after a test on a female dog, the effectiveness of the captives (slaves)' poisons made with herbs :
"They claim, writes another, that it is with pharmacy-known poisons that negroes operate. But how can one explain that an herb resembling absinthe bâtarde [bastard absinthe], found in a negro's room, given by infusion to a female dog in front of twelve witnesses in the sénéchaussée [judiciary district] of Fort Dauphin, made it fall dead stiff. In reality, they have secrets brought from Africa, and some even claim that with the aid of talismans and arranging these plants near the bed or at the door of their master, they poison them." (Transl.) (148)
Proof of this also lies in the interrogation of Assam, a captive (slave) lady, who among several other customers, spent days at Jean's, a master poisoner from the Laplaine estate in Limbé. Jean spent several days out in search of herbs to make "remedies" on the spot that turned out to be poison :
"That Jean told her that he would give some to her provided she stayed in the house for four days while he went to get herbs that he needed ; (...) that the Negro Jean, at whose place she had arrived on the Friday, went to get herbs on the Sunday that he brought to his hut ; (...) and that he gave to her, telling her to give them to the negroes of her master. (...) that as soon as she arrived she gave to the sick negroes both in drinks and as enema, the drugs that Jean had given her, that they gave the negro a heavy stomach and that they  tighten up the little negress and made her swell ; (...) Madelaine Nago who was at the market selling salted meat ; that the said negress asked her how the drug that Jean gave her worked ; and that she told her that it was went bad and that the two negroes were dead." (Transl.) (149)
In short, the captives (slaves) and their accomplices obtained poisons from the Whites' inventories, but this did not prevent a number of poisoners to make and sell their compositions. The poisons of Macandal, as well as those of Jean of the Laplaine estate, unknown to the Whites, after testing, were judged complexed and effective.


5.3- Macandal aimed for the colony's destruction

Like we saw, even decades before Macandal, poisoners like Colas Jambes Coupées and his associates, who were executed in 1723, took aim at destroying the colony. Judge Courtin himself heard rumors circulating about Macandal's prophetic practices that advocated the disappearance of Whites and the control of the island by Blacks :
"F. Macandal always had a piece of cloth that he dipped in a watered oil. His cloth came out sometimes one color, sometimes the other, and it dyed the water with all colors. They claim he began by drawing the olive color, like the ancient islanders, and he said that it was the island's first inhabitants ; then he pulled it white, it was those who were now masters of it, and finally he It was all black, to make known those who were to be the masters thereafter. This fact has not been well verified at trial, but this scoundrel is not for that less dangerous." (Transl.) (150)
On the road to death, Macandal, this leader of great charisma, publicly predicted the fatal fate of the colony :
"F. Macandal was punished by the sentence of fire, his trial wasn't long. He was arrested on Tuesday, January 17th, executed on Friday the 20th. He preceded all his accomplices, made several very important declarations, and from which he concluded that, he and his confidants, who were honored to be called his valets, ruined the neighborhoods of Port-Margot, Limbé, Souffrière, and Borgne by poison, and the correspondence which began in Le Cap would become the most fatal." (Transl.) (151)
However, despite of Macandal's prophetic and public statements that came true, Moreau de St. Méry argued that Macandal and his accomplices were seeking "specific retributions" (152) rather than the colony's destruction and the replacement of Whites by the Blacks.
But Pierre de Vaissières, quoting him, published Médor's testimony that contradicts Moreau de St. Méry. Questioned on March 26, 1757, 10 months prior to Macandal's arrest on Tuesday, January 17, 1758, Médor, a long-time poisoner, specified the intentions of the poisoners and the Blacks' objective. These free Blacks who, are often poisoners themselves, also served as intermediaries and facilitators :
"If the negroes, he [Médor] said, commit these poisonings, it is in order to obtain their liberty and to be able to dress like the whites... There is also, he added, a secret among them which tends only to destroy the colony, that the whites do not know and whose free negroes are the main cause, making all these assets move to increase their number, in order to be in a state to face the whites when needed." (Transl.) (153)
Then in 2015, was published a failed doctoral thesis in which they tried in vain to identify Macandal's origin. The author of this thesis, Christina F. Mobley, claimed that there was no evidence of a conspiracy to destroy the colony among Macandal and his Accomplices :
"In other words, Makandal’s crime was making powerful packets using holy items that he sold to others and in so doing not only corrupted them but also made himself into a powerful leader. Makandal’s crime was therefore not plotting to kill the entire white population of the colony. Indeed, contrary to the claims of colonists in later decades, colonial authorities failed to find any evidence of a colony-wide conspiracy to poison white colonists. Their failure to do so was not for lack of trying." (154)
This argument shows that Mobley was unaware that the same document presenting the correspondence of June 24, 1758, which she nevertheless quoted on four occasions, also included a letter dated November 8, 1758. And this last letter mentioned a conspiracy by the Blacks to first kill the White troops by poison, before eliminating the rest of the Whites with weapons :
"By another Letter written from the same place, the 8th of November, 1758, we learn "That the Negroes seek to make themselves masters of the country, by killing all the Whites ; that the principal chiefs of these seditious ones have been burned, and that eight have been arrested lately at the spring which supplies water to the barracks ; their purpose was to introduce poison into the canal which leads to the fountain water, and thereby kill the Troops who alone retain them, and who prevent them from killing all the Whites."" (Transl.) (155)
It goes without saying that all acts of poisoning in Saint Domingue were not motivated by the same objective. Some aimed at personal revenge, others sought protection against traitors :
"Many confessed that they had poisoned Negroes to whom they had offered poison, but who seemed to them to be too fond of their Master and who could have discovered them." (Transl.) (156)
According to colonist L'Huillier de Marigny, other reasons such as "visions of freedom to come..., jealousy, revenge, too harsh treatments" (Transl.) (157) also fueled poisoning. But this did not prevent sabotage of the system as one of the objectives of poisonings ; nor the fall of the system as predicted by Macandal, as he bravely walked towards the stake. Moreover, as we will see later, the interrogations revealed several gatherings of plotters-poisoners. Furthermore, Mobley did not take into consideration that Macandal's conviction was made under the July 1682 Poisoning Act. And this 1682 Act which publication was ordered by the Macandal condemnation act, presents poisonings as the consequence of blasphemous acts. That is why the majority of those condemned in France in the "Affair of the Poisons", from 1679 to 1682, were women named Devineresses-empoisonneuses, that is to say foretellers-poisoners. (158) Thus, the condemnation of Macandal's desecration acts does not indicate the absence of poisoning. On the contrary, it implies the condemnation of the immorality of his acts of poisoning. Especially since, at that time, poisoning was linked to the devil.

In conclusion : this article has amply demonstrated that Macandal practiced the traditional "African" religion still in use in Haiti, and not islam. The same goes for his poisoner accomplices who, according to Judge Courtin, recited - by derision, of course - the catholic prayer every morning. Such a syncretic practice, to which Macandal's wife, Brigitte, was committed, persists in the traditionalist Haitian ritual. Similarly, Marianne, to whom Brigitte supplied Macandal's poisons, received communion in the catholic church every eight days, as Judge Courtin revealed. Also Genevieve, one of Macandal's clients, wore her catholic rosary which crucifix was used to garnish the magic packet that Macandal made for her. And we must also emphasize the complicity of some catholic priests. Notably Father Duquesnoy, a Jesuit who, in 1757, on the pretext of giving the last confession to Assam, who was sentenced to death, advised the poisoner to endure torture, rather than denounce her accomplices. Otherwise, he threatened, she would go to hell. (159) This is yet another proof of Assam's syncretic adherence (traditional religion mixed with catholicism). She denounced Father Duquesnoy, and her life was spared by Judge Courtin, for doing so. And the Jesuits were later expelled from the colony 6 years later, in 1763, for their complicity with the poisonous rebels whose dogma free religion was compatible with that of the catholics. We can not say as much for the islamic religion.
The next article, as we have mentioned, will complete the portrait of Macandal by revealing the provenance of his practice, and the significance of his cause.

* See The "Affair of the Poisons", that is to say the mass poisoning and judgments that occurred in France from 1679 to 1682. The poisoners were also accused of seduction. One of the most famous poisoners Catherine Deshayes aka La Voisin, was burned alive in 1680 for seduction, profanation, impiety, poisoning and abortions.
** The initial relationship between Macandal's name and the court of Urba (Okba) magicians was established by Michel Étienne Descourtilz, in his book : Voyages d'un naturaliste et ses observations..., Tome 3. Paris, 1809. pp.127-130. However, Descourtilz made no mention of the islamic religion. On the contrary, he proposed that the Urba people, composed of Blacks, were superstitious and idolatrous ; in the image of their King who converted to the christian religion, following an illness.




Notes
(1) France "Macandale, chef des noirs révoltés, arrêt de condamnation par le Conseil supérieur du Cap-Français à Saint-Domingue, 1758." FR ANOM COL E 295 ; URL : http://anom.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/ark:/61561/up424uoqnsvb
(2) "Lettre de MM. Bart et Lalanne, du Port-au-Prince, 27 février 1758. (A. M. C., Corr. gén., Saint-Domingue, C9, vol. CI.)". Quoted by Pierre de Vaissières. Saint-Domingue : la société et la vie créole sous l'ancien régime (1629-1789). Paris, 1909. p.247.
(3) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire sur les pratiques magiques et empoisonnements prouvés aux procès instruits et jugés au Cap contre plusieurs Nègres et Négresses dont le chef, nommé François Macandal, a été condamné au feu et exécuté le vingt janvier 1758. (A.N. COLONIES F3. 88).
(4) Relation d'une conspiration tramée par les Nègres; dans l'Isle de S. Domingue ; défense que fait le Jésuite Confesseur, aux Nègres qu'on suplicie, de révéler leurs fauteurs & complices. 1758.
(5) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint Méry. Description topographique... Tome 1. Philadelphie, 1997. p.653.
(6) Philippe R. Girard. The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon : Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian War of independence, 1801-1804. Tuscaloosa, 2011. p.181.
(7) M. de C. "Makandal, Histoire véritable" paru dans "Le Mercure de France, 15 sept. 1787". Annexé dans Pierre Pluchon. Vaudou - sorciers empoisonneurs : de Saint- Domingue à Haïti. Paris, 1987. pp. 308-315.
(8) "The Negro Makandal, an authentic History." In: The Gentleman's and London Magazine: Or Monthly Chronologer, 1741-1794. April 1788. Dublin, 1788. pp.170-173.
(9) "Makandal ou le Nègre prophète et criminel". In : Annales du crime et de l'innocence, ou Choix de causes célèbres anciennes et modernes. Tome 19. Paris, 1813. pp.55-81.
(10) Thomas Madiou. Histoire d'Haïti. Tome 1. Port-au-Prince, 1847. pp.35-36.
(11) Melvil-Bloncourt. "Les Drames du Monde Colonial". In : Revue du monde colonial, asiatique et américain : organe politique des Deux-Mondes, Volume 12. Paris, 1864. pp.438-456.
(12) J.C. Dorsainvil. Psychologie haïtienne : vaudou et magie. Port-au-Prince, 1937. p.33.
(13) Dantès Bellegarde. La Nation haïtienne. Paris, 1938. p.63.
(14) Alejo Carpentier. El reino de este mundo. Mexico, 1967. p.17. (1ère édition, Havane, 1949 ; traduit en Français "Le Royaume de ce monde" et en Anglais "Kingdom of this world", en 1957).
(15) Aimé Césaire. Toussaint Louverture : la révolution française et le problème colonial. (1ère édit. 1961), Paris, 1981. p. 38.
(16) Gerson Alexis. "Notes on the Haitian Mandigoes." (Mars 1967), in : Lecture en anthropologie haïtienne. Port-au-Prince, 1970. p.198.
(17) Jean-Marie Drot. Journal de voyage chez les peintres de la fête et du Vaudou en Haïti. Genève, 1974. p.19.
(18) Sylviane A. Diouf. Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. New York, 1998. p.151.
(19-20) Courtin, Sébastien Jacques, procureur au Conseil supérieur du Cap à Saint-Domingue, notaire général, sénéchal par intérim au Cap (1756/1779) ; FR ANOM COLONIES E 96 ; URL : ark:/61561/up424g3353q
(21) M.L.E. Moreau de St. Méry. Loix et constitutions... Vol. 4. Paris, 1785. p.753.
(22) "Observations de M. Fremon, Syndic du Quartier du Limbé, sur l'Article concernant ce Quartier, inséré dans le Journal de Janvier" (pp.63-68). In : Les Affiches Américaines du mercredi 12 février 1766. Parution No.7, p,67.
(23) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint Méry. Description... Tome 1. Op. Cit. p.651.
(24) Relation d'une conspiration... Op. Cit.
(25) France "Macandale, chef des noirs révoltés, arrêt de condamnation par le Conseil supérieur du Cap-Français à Saint-Domingue, 1758." ; In : M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Méry. Loix et constitutions... Vol. 4. Paris, 1794. p.217. FR ANOM COL E 295 ; URL : http://anom.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/ark:/61561/up424uoqnsvb
(26) The December 20, 1779 letter from widow Anne-Marguerite Barbaroux Courtin, reveals her husband's judicious and relentless investigation that aimed at elucidating the poisonings striking the colony. Painful investigation, which, according to the Courtin widow, affected the judge's health, even caused his death. See : Courtin, Sébastien Jacques, procureur au Conseil supérieur... Op. Cit.
(27) Courtin, Sébastien Jacques, procureur au Conseil supérieur... Op. Cit.
(28) Relation d'une conspiration... Op. Cit.
(29-31) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Méry. Description... Tome 1. Op. Cit. pp.652, 651, 652.
(32) M.L.E. Moreau de St. Méry. Loix et constitutions... Vol. 1. Paris, 1784. pp.371-375.
(33) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(34) Hilliard d'Auberteuil. Considérations sur l'état présent de la colonie française de Saint-Domingue. Paris, 1776. p.137.
(35) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(36) According to David P. Geggus, Mayombé comes from Central Africa. See David P. Geggus. Haitian Voodoo in the Eighteenth Century: Language, Culture, Resistance. In : Jahrbuchfür Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas 28 (1991). pp.21-51 ; The name Teysello, still according to Geggus, could result from a distortion, in Congo, of "Terceiro", that is to say "Third" in the Portuguese language. See David Geggus. "Marronage, voodoo and the Saint-Domingue slave revolt of 1791". In: Proceedings of the Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society. New York, 1992. pp.22-35 ; According to Christina F. Mobley, Mayombe refers to a Congo forest. And Teysello comes from "nganga tesa", a Yombé expression (from the Congo) that designates a divination leader. See Christina F. Mobley. The Kongolese Atlantic-Central African Slavery & Culture from Mayombe to Haiti. Durham, 2015. p.224.
(37-38) M. de C. "Makandal, Histoire véritable". Op. Cit.
(39) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(40) Melvil-Bloncourt. Op. Cit. p.448.
(41) Ferdinand Hoefer. L'univers : histoire et description de tous les peuples, de leurs religion, moeurs, coutumes, etc... Livres 1 à 12. Paris, 1848. p.320.
(42) Louis Tauxier. Moeurs et histoire des Peuls. Paris, 1937. p.36.
(43-44) Melvil-Bloncourt. Op. Cit. pp.448, 449.
(45-46) "The Negro Makandal, an authentic History." Op. Cit.
(47) See Gleaner. The gleaner; or, Entertainment for the fire-side. Vol. 1. Manchester, 1804. pp.55-59.
(48) "Makandal ou le Nègre prophète et criminel". Op. Cit.
(49) "Makandal ou le Nègre brigand et empoisonneur". In : La caverne des brigands ou recueil des assassinats, des vols, des brigandages, des scélérats qui ont expié leurs crimes... Paris, 1814. p.10-23.
(50) Le Sage. Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane. Tome 2. Paris, 1825. p.286.
(51) "Makandal ou le Nègre empoisonneur". In : Répertoire général des causes célèbres. Tome 4. Paris, 1835. pp.279-288.
(52) Dantès Bellegarde. La nation haïtienne, Tome 1. Paris, 1935. p.64.
(53-54) Thomas Madiou. Histoire d'Haïti. Tome 1. Op. Cit. pp.22. 13.
(55) Alfred Métraux. "Histoire du vodou..." Op. Cit.
(56) Alejo Carpentier. The kingdom of this world. (Transl.) New York, 1957. p.16.
(57) Alejo Carpentier. The kingdom of this world. (Transl.) New York, 1990. p.17.
(58) Gérard aîné à Laborde. Au fond, le 5 juillet 1780, My 463-10. Quoted by Foubert Bernard. "Le marronage sur les habitations Laborde à Saint-Domingue dans la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle." In: Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest. Tome 95, numéro 3, 1988. pp. 277-310.
(59) M.L.E. Moreau de St. Méry. Loix et constitutions... Vol. 1. Op. Cit. pp.27-28.
(60) Relation de la découverte... en 1716. In : Histoire générale des voyages. Paris, 1747. p.633.
(61) Mungo-Park. Travels in the interior districts of Africa. London. 1807. p.29.
(62) In 1992, Kintto Lucas, inspired by Alejo Carpentier's fictitious writings, made Macandal a Mandingo, not a traditionalist one, but a muslim and an Arabic speaker. The author wrote ridiculously that Haiti became "The first Black Republic" in 1789. Then he indicated that Macandal was executed in 1758, while revealing in the same article, that Macandal landed in Saint Domingue in 1779, 21 years after his own execution. The Kintto Lucas' text was translated into French in 2007-2008. Guy Everard Mbarga then Frantz Latour published this translation under different titles. And to hide the lie in the text saying that Macandal landed in Saint Domingue in 1779, the unscrupulous translator removed the truthful but contradictory part, which related that Macandal was executed in 1758. See  Kintto Lucas. Rebeliones Indígenas y Negras en América Latina. Quito, 1992. ; Guy Everard Mbarga. "Makandal, Marron Nègre Haïtien", posted on August 24, 2007. [online] URL : https://afrodes.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/makandal-marron-negre-haitien/ ; Retrieved on May 5, 2018. ; Frantz Latour. "Macandal, symbole de la lutte de libération des esclaves", paru dans Haïti Liberté Vol. 1, No.27, 23-29 janvier 2008. ; Guy Everard Mbarga. "Portrait d'un esclave révolté", published by le Nouvelliste du 10 novembre 2008. [online] URL : http://www.lenouvelliste.com/public/article/64044/portrait-dun-esclave-revolte ; Retrieved on May 5, 2018.
(63) France. "Interrogatoire de la Négresse Assam, du 27 septembre 1757. Extrait des minutes du greffe du Tribunal du Cap." AN, Arch. Col. C9A 102. Annexed in dans Carolyn E. Fick. Haïti : Naissance d'une Nation... Montréal, 2014. pp.463-471.
(64) Mungo-Park. Op. Cit. p.51.
(65) Jean-Marie Gibbal. "Possession, représentation de l'autre et recherche d'identité". In : Archives de sciences sociales des religions. N. 79, 1992. pp.7-18.
(66-67) Youssouf Tata Cissé, Wâ Kamissoko. Soundjata la gloire du mali: La grande geste du Mali, Tome 2. Paris, 2009 (2e édit.) pp.37, 38.
(68) Lilyan Kesteloot, Bassirou Dieng. Les épopées d'Afrique noire. Paris, 1997. p.166.
(69) See Germaine Dieterlen. "Mythe et organisation sociale au Soudan français". In : Journal de la Société des Africanistes, 1955, tome 25. pp. 39-76.
(70) Djibril Tamsir Niane. Histoire des Mandingues de l'Ouest : le royaume du Gabou. Paris, 1989. p.103.
(71) Youssouf Tata Cissé, Wâ Kamissoko. Soundjata la gloire du mali... Op. Cit. pp.122-123.
(72-73) Djibril Tamsir Niane. Histoire... Op. Cit. pp.19, 22.
(74) Amadou Oury Diallo. Histoire et fiction, contextes, enjeux et perspectives : récits épiques du Foûta-Djalon (Guinée). Tome 1. (thèse) Nice, 2014. p.45.
(75-78) Djibril Tamsir Niane. Histoire... Op. Cit. pp.86, 103, 104-105, 106.
(79) Ibid. pp.86, 87.
(80) France. ARRÊT de Réglement du Conseil du Cap, qui défend aux Nègres de garder des paquets appelés Macandals, ni de composer et vendre des drogues. 11 Mars 1758. In : Moreau de St. Méry. Loix et constitutions... Vol. 4. Paris, 1785. pp.222-223.
(81) Sylviane A. Diouf. Servants of Allah... Op. Cit. p.151.
(82) Féquière Vilsaint, Maude Heurtelou. Diksyonè Kreyòl Vilsen. Coconut Creek, 2009. p.317.
(83) Prophète Joseph. Diksyonè Sinonim lang Ayisyen. Montréal, 2002. p.255.
(84) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint Méry. Description... Tome 1. Op. Cit. p.653.
(85) Prophète Joseph. Dictionnaire Haïtien-Français. Montréal, 2003. p.114.
(86-87) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(88) Cheikh Ibn Bâz. Fatâwa. Volume 1 : le dogme islamique. pp.158, 344-345.
(89) M. de C. "Makandal, Histoire véritable" Op. Cit.
(90) Thomas Madiou. Histoire d’Haïti. Tome 1. Port-au-Prince, 1847. pp.22-23.
(91) France. "Procès-verbal des prisons du 9 novembre 1757. Extrait des minutes du greffe au Siège Royal du Cap." In : Carolyn E. Fick. Haïti : Naissance d'une nation. (transl.) Montréal, 2014, p.472.
(92) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(93) France. "Interrogatoire de la Négresse Assam..." Op. Cit. p.463, 469, 471.
(94) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint Méry. Description... Tome 1. Op. Cit. p.653.
(95) Thomas Madiou. Histoire d’Haïti. Tome 1. Op. Cit. pp.22-23.
(96) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(97) See "La Shahada (ou Chahada) la profession de foi islamique". URL : http://fr.assabile.com/a/la-shahada-chahada-la-profession-de-foi-islamique-29 ; Retrieved on September 28, 2016.
(98) Cheikh Ibn Bâz. Op. p.33.
(99) Sourates 7: 148-150 ; 8 : 39 ; 9 : 1-5, 14 ; 71 : 23.
(100-101) Sourate 5 : 72-76 ; 5 : 17-18.
(102-103) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(104) See comments in "Recettes mystiques 2014 (Géomancie Africaine1)" ; URL : http://geomancie-africaine.com/recettes-mystique/comment-page-127/ ; Retrieved on April 23, 2018.
(105) R.P. Carl Peters."Société Mandingue". In : Revue de la Faculté d'ethnographie. No.10. Port-au-Prince, 1960. pp.47-50.
(106) Sylviane A. Diouf. Op. Cit. p.151.
(107-108) Djibril Tamsir Niane. Soudjata ou l'épopée mandingue. Paris, 1960. pp.12-13, 14.
(109) Fatimata Mounkaïla. Le mythe et l'histoire dans le la geste de Zabarkâne. Niamey, 1988. p.171.
(110) Aimé Césaire. Toussaint Louverture... Op. Cit. p. 38.
(111) Charles-André Julien. Préface (sept. 1961) de "Toussaint Louverture. Op. Cit.
(112) Mohammed El Fasi et Ivan Hrbek. "L’avènement de l’Islam et l’essor de l’Empire musulman". In : Histoire générale de l'Afrique, Vol. 3. Paris, 1990. pp.68-69. (pp.53-80)
(113) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(114) Bernard Nantet. Dictionnaire d’Histoire et Civilisations africaines. Paris. 1999. p.175.
(115) Federal Research Division. Sudan : Country Studies. Washington, 1992. p.17.

(116) Beatrice Nicolini. "Mahdi Rebellion" In : Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora…Vol. 2. Santa Barbara, 2008. pp.644-645.
(117-118) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(119) John Henrik Clarke. "Mohammed Ahmed, (The Mahdi) Messiah of the Sudan." In : The Journal of Negro Education. Vol. 30, No. 2, Spring 1961. pp.156-162.
(120) M.L.E. Moreau de St. Méry. Description... Tome 1. Op. Cit. p.652.
(121-122) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(123-125) Élie Monnereau. Le parfait indigotier, ou Description de l'indigo... (version originale 1736) Nouvelle édition, revue et augmentée. Amsterdam, 1765. pp.120-121, 111, 111-112.
(126) Sylviane A. Diouf. Servants of Allah... Op. Cit. p.150.
(127) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint Méry. Description... Tome 1. Op. Cit. pp.27-28.
(128) S. J. Ducoeurjoly. Manuel des habitans de Saint-Domingue... Tome 2. Paris, 1802. pp.330, 350.
(129) Sylviane A. Diouf. Servants of Allah... Op. Cit. pp.150-151.
(130) Michelle C. Langley et al. 2016. "Poison arrows and bone utensils in late Pleistocene eastern Africa: evidence from Kuumbi Cave, Zanzibar." Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 51 (2): 155-177.
(131-132) M.L.E. Moreau de St. Méry. Loix et constitutions... Vol. 3. Paris, 1784-1790. pp.48-49, 492.
(133) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Méry. Description.. Tome 1. Op. Cit. p.46.
(134-135) S.J. Ducoeurjoly. Manuel des habitans de Saint-Domingue. Tome 1. Paris, 1802. pp.24, 30.
(136-137) Michel Pierre Descourtilz. Voygages d'un naturaliste et ses observations... Vol. 3. Paris, 1809. pp.117-119, 119-120.
(138) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(139-141) Gustavus Vassa. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or, The African. London, 1794. pp. 15, 22-23, 24.
(142) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire. Op. Cit.
(143) Hilliard d'Auberteuil. Op. Cit. pp.137-138.
(144) Pierre de Vaissières. Saint-Domingue : la société... Op. Cit. p.241.
(145-146) France. ARRÊT du Conseil du Cap, qui, de l'agrément des Administrateurs, ordonne, sur des Empoisonneurs condamnés, l'essai des poisons et contrepoisons par eux indiqués, et pièces relatives. 8 avril 1758. In : Moreau de St. Méry. Loix et constitutions...Vol. 4. Paris, 1785. pp.229, 231.
(147) Relation d'une conspiration. Op. Cit.
(148) Mémoire sur les poisons qui régnent à Saint-Domingue, 1763 (A. M. G., Corr. gén., 2e série, carton XV). In : Pierre de Vaissières. Saint-Domingue : la société... Op. Cit. p.242.
(149) France. "Interrogatoire de la Négresse Assam... Op. Cit. pp.464-467.
(150-151) Sébastien Jacques Courtin. Mémoire sommaire... Op. Cit.
(152) Moreau de Saint-Méry. Notes historiques sur Saint-Domingue (A.M. G.. F3 136, p. 198) ; quoted by Pierre de Vaissières. Saint-Domingue : la société... Op. Cit. pp.246-247.
(153) "Déclaration du nègre Médor, le 26 mars 1757, aux A. M. C, CORR. gén., C9, vol. CH." ; quoted by Pierre de Vaissières. Saint-Domingue : la société... Op. Cit. p.247.
(154) Christina Frances Mobley. The Kongolese Atlantic-Central African Slavery & Culture from Mayombe to Haiti. (Thesis). Durham, 2015. p.302.
(155-156) Relation d'une conspiration... Op. Cit.
(157) L'Huillier de Marigny. "Mémoire sur les poisons que régnent à St. Domingue", 1762, ANOM, AC, série F3, vol. ; quoted by Yvan Debbasch. "Opinion et droit : Le crime d'empoisonnement aux Iles pendant la période esclavagiste". In : Revue française d'histoire d'outre-mer, tome 50, n°179, deuxième trimestre 1963. pp. 137-188.

(158) Arlette Lebigre. L'Affaire des poisons (1679-1682). Paris, 2006. pp.15, 149.
(159) Relation d'une conspiration... Op. Cit.


How to cite this article:
Rodney Salnave. "Macandal wasn't muslim". July 15, 2018 ; Updated Sept. 16, 2019. [online] URL : https://bwakayiman.blogspot.com/2018/07/macandal-wasnt-muslim.html ; Retrieved on [enter date]

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