Saint Domingue's islamized were submissive

(Updated : Dec. 21, 2020)

In previous articles, we had demonstrated the total absence of islamic elements in the achievements of the Haitian Revolution. And this, particularly in the 2 ceremonies triggering this Revolution; ceremonies generically depicted as the Bois Caïman ceremony. However, we did not say that there never were any muslim captives (slaves), or syncretically islamized, in Saint Domingue (Haiti).
How could we, when such a presence was amply documented?
In this article, the last of the series, we will deal with the presence of islamized captives (slaves) in the colony of Saint Domingue. And we will examine if indeed islam had any impact on the Revolution.

1- The islamic or "mohammedan" presence in Saint Domingue

Islamic presence, there was indeed in Saint Domingue. 7.05% of the Dominguois captives (slaves) came from Senegambia, and 2.83% from Sierra Leone (1) two regions with proven islamic settlements, on a traditionalist background. And colonist Moreau de St Méry reported the importation into Saint Domingue of muslims, formerly called "mohammedans", * in the French colonies :
"All the Africans of whom I have spoken so far, and who have embarked on various points of a coast which comprises about three hundred leagues, from the seventeenth degree of North latitude, where is placed the mouth of the river from Senegal to Serre-Lione [Sierra Leone] are generally Mohammedans, at least those who live near the sea." (Transl.) (2)
However, the mohammedan or islamic cult of the Senegambians in Saint Domingue was not as "orthodox" as claimed by the supporters of the islamic thesis :
"But this religion is mixed with an idolatry, which prevails all the more, as one enters the interior, and often even the proofs of circumcision, are the only ones to which one can recognize that they are subjected to ideas of Mohammedanism." (Transl.) (3)
Still according to Moreau de St Méry, the cult of captives (slaves) extracted from the Congo, in Central "Africa", consisted of a mixture of catholicism, islam and ancestral spirituality. Such a 3-religion syncretism was well detected in the prayers of François Macandal,** this Baluba precursor from Center-Eastern Congo :
"There are many Congos who have ideas of catholicity, especially those of the Zaire river. They came to them from the Portuguese, but they did not banish those of mohammedanism and idolatry; so that their religion makes a pretty monstrous assembly." (Transl.) (4)
Therefore, for Moreau de St Méry, the degree of islamic adherence varied between: 1) an orthodox minority (with unmixed islamic worship); 2) an average number of syncretics (mixed worship); and 3) a majority islamized in name only.
So which of these 3 groups can we qualify its revolutionary contribution as islamic, if any?

  1. The minority which operated an orthodox islam, without mixture, its contribution to the Haitian Revolution, if it had any, can be classified as islamic.
  2. The average number which demonstrated a religious syncretism, if it contributed to the Haitian Revolution, we cannot qualify this contribution as islamic. Because, islam banned and names shirk, any mixture of its worship with that of any other religion.
  3. The majority of islamized people who in no way practiced this religion. If it contributed to the Haitian Revolution, this contribution will automatically revert to the traditional religion that it perpetuated. Therefore, talking about it here is of no use to us.
Taking this categorization into account, let's take a look at it. Where written data are lacking, we will question Haitian linguistic memory to judge the influence or marginalization of various islamized groups. We will discuss, in closing, the cult of Haitians of Mandingo lineage in Balan (Northern Haiti) from which emerged the islamic revision of the spark of the Haitian Revolution.

2- Senegalese muslims (more or less) syncretic were submissives

Despite the undeniable presence of traditionalist Senegalese in Saint Domingue, revisionist scholars describe these captive Senegalese exclusively as pious muslims and staunch opponents of slavery. However, according to Dominique H. Lamiral, a slave trader who worked closely with them in their country of origin as much as in Saint Domingue, the Senegalese (muslims or not) loved captivity (slavery) :

"I met Negroes in St. Domingue whom I had seen in Senegal. I asked them how they were ; none complained of their fate ; several even assured me that they would not want to. return to their country ; they were there naked, malnourished, instead of in St. Domingue they are well dressed and well. We can verify what I say in the workshop of Madame Rossignol, resident of Senegal, whom has long been established in Cap Français : she has more than fifty Senegalese Negroes, we can question them all, I dare to find a single one who belies me." (Transl.) (5)
Despite working as a slave trader, Dominique H. Lamiral is extremely credible, in our opinion. Because, on the one hand, in his textbook, he made a fairly nuanced judgment of the peoples (Black and Moorish) he studied. On the other hand, the description he gave of the Bissangot (6) is identical to the view Haitian memory retains of this ferocious ethnic group which held secret societies.

2.1- The Senegalese, still as submissive

Haughty towards other Blacks, and submissive to other races, the Senegalese has not changed over time. He seems to love his tormentor more than he loves himself. On May 9, 2018, the Senegalese government even installed a "Place de l'Europe" (Europe's Square) on the island-museum of Gorée from where the boats of these settlers left, leading Blacks to genocide. The equivalent of installing a place in the honor of Germany in the heart of a site commemorating the Jewish holocaust.
(Submissive Senegalese inaugurating the "Place de l'Europe" on the slave-island of Gorée (Senegal))
Source :

The Senegalese State, through the installation of this Place de L'Europe in Gorée, insulted the memory of those whose captures, deportations and genocide it was complicit in. And such an insult came 9 months after young Senegalese - atypically rebellious - took down the statue of Louis Faidherbe, a former colonial governor.

(Toppled statue of Louis Faidherbe, governor-colonizer of Senegal)
Source :  "Faidherbe vu du Sénégal" ; [online] URL :

Statue put up immediately by the Senegalese State "grateful" of its governor who, however, in 8 months, massacred at least 20 000 Senegalese. (7)

(Statue of L. Faidherbe, colonial governor, in Saint Louis, a town bearing his name, in Senegal)
Source : "Faidherbe vu du Sénégal" ; [online] URL :

Is it not this submissive Senegalese people that the revisionists present as the standard bearer of the anti-slavery resistance, by virtue of their islamism? Nonsense.

2.2- The Senegalese according to Haitian memory

The traditionalist Senegalese in Saint Domingue provided to the traditional Haitian religion the sacred Nation called Nanchon Seneka, Siniga or Sinigal. In the traditional Haitian religion, we find, in particular, the cult of Wèlo and Brakè, which derived from the veneration of the Senegalese Kingdom of Oualo and its Kings : Brak. Without forgetting the tributes paid to Pangòl, names of the traditional Serrère Divinities (Pengol).
All in all, nothing negative is noted in the Haitian lexicon concerning the Senegalese. On the contrary, according to colonist S.J. Ducoeurjoly, they helped insert couscous into local cuisine where it is called kouchkouch :
"Couchcouch, a dish made with corn, or wheat flour, which has been soaked and pounded, and then cooked in a bain-marie, the Senegalese Negresses, are the ones that make it better." (Transl.) (8)
And in the opinion of Pierre Anglade, the Creole word "chèlbè", describing a person with impressive steps, derives from "shelbe", the master of circumcision ceremonies in Senegal :
"Chèlbè adj. Someone of great pedantry : boastful. (...) In Wolof, SHELBE : big brothers, initiators in the circumcision ceremony." (Transl.) (9)

(Music cover art)
Source : Talie (Nathalie Cerin). "Ti nèg chèlbè". [online] URL :

(Music cover art)
Source : Ton Dezi×Sun-PeterTracka ×Song-Guy – Fe Chelbe [ k-naval 2019 ]. [online] URL :

Indeed, the selbe of Senegal were initially traditionalists of the Serrère ethnic group, likewise for the Ndut, the initiation ceremony they still lead. (10)

(Dance of the selbé, in Senegal)
Source : Yayème, 2001. In : Aurélie Troy. "Les pagnes des circoncis : séparation et émotions dans les rites d'initiation seereer (Hireena, Sénégal)". In : Systèmes de pensée en Afrique Noire. 18/2008. (p.63). [online] posted on June 5, 2003. 

But anyway,  the Senegalese's submissive attitude - a constant through the centuries - has not been retained in Haitian memory. The Senegalese, however preferred in Saint Domingue for domestic work - after the Creoles - did not necessarily stand in the way of the Revolution.
Because we know the crucial role played by the privileged class of captives (slaves) in this Revolution. Whether they are workshop commanders, coachmen or servants of both genders. The positive aspects linked to the traditional Senegalese religion seem to have prevailed in the minds of Haitians whose language inherited several aspects of Wolof, the majority language in Senegal.


3- The islamized Yoruba (Nago) called Malé (or Malay) in Saint Domingue

In Haiti, the Yoruba ethnic group, called Nago, is fully linked to the traditional religion and to the cult of the Nago warriors. Yet a minority among the Yoruba (Nago) was islamized. In Saint Domingue, they were taken for a separate nation called Malé, Male, Mallet, Malet, Malais, Mallais, Mallay, etc. :

"Virgile, Malé nation, stamped in horseshoe VILHEMANSON & below A LA CUL, 30 years old, claiming to belong to Mr. Testart." (Transl.) (11)
"On the 17th, Suzanne of the Malais nation, claiming to belong to the Girard estate in Maribaroux, illegibly stamped on the right breast, aged about 45, tall, arrested on the Spaniard side." (Transl.) (12)
In colonial Brazil, these muslim Yoruba (Nago) were distinguished by the name Malê. This name derives from Imale, the way in which the Yoruba (Nago) of Nigeria and Benin designated their muslims :

"Muslim, s. Imale." (Transl.) (13)
Hence our assertion that the Malé or Malay of Saint Domingue shared the same religious profile as those of Brazil. That is to say, an islam which syncretism amplified over time, depending on the region. (14) Knowing this, it remains to be determined whether the islamic cult of the Saint Domingue Malé was responsible for the Bois Caïman ceremony that triggered the Haitian Revolution.
3.1- The sacrificial ceremony of the Saint Domingue Malé

For lack of writings on the cult of the Dominguois Malé and their celebration of the muslim feast of sacrifice, we will rely, to a certain extent, on the data relating to the celebration of such a feast among the Malê of Brazil.
We know that in Salvador de Bahia, the Malês respected the islamic calendar, customary in the Middle East, with regard to the month of Ramadan. Except for eid el-kebir, the annual feast of sacrifice. At the end of the Ramadan fasting month, they would go straight to the sheep sacrifice, instead of fixing such a celebration several months later, as the islamic calendar dictates :

"Querino reports that Malês commemorated the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, by sacrificing rams. Indeed, during 1835, at the request of a justice of the peace, a slave translated a text that was, according to the slave, "a sort of calender which the Malês use to keep track of their fasts and to know when to slaughter their rams." Querino also wrote : "When they sacrificed a lamb, they stuck the point of the knife into the sand and bled the animal saying the word Bi-si-mi-lai."" (15) 
The Brazilian Malê therefore followed the West "African" custom of the time, which was to conclude Ramadan with the annual sacrificial feast they called Tabaski.

For 1835, the year in which they staged a revolt, the Brazilian Malê set Ramadan in accordance with the islamic lunar calendar, namely from December 21, 1834 to January 29, 1835. (16) Their sheep sacrifice should therefore have been held on January 25, 1835, the last Sunday of that month. Sundays being their days off.
The dates they had to juggle were these :

  • Beginning of the month of Ramadan : December 21, 1834.
  • Date of the annual sheep sacrifice (Tabaski) : Sunday, January 25, 1835.
  • End of the month of Ramadan : January 29, 1835.
However, on that Sunday January 25, 1835, they traded the sheep sacrifice feast for the rebellion which was eventually crushed. By applying their regular calendar for the year 1791, date of the Haitian Revolution, we obtain the following dates :
  • Beginning of the month of Ramadan : May 4, 1791.
  • Date of the annual sheep sacrifice (Tabaski) : Sunday May 29, 1791.
  • End of the month of Ramadan : June 1, 1791.
Thus, if the Malé of Saint Domingue had orchestrated a revolutionary ceremony, they would have, according to the Brazilian Malê scheme, avoided their sacrificial ceremony, and attacked on Sunday May 29, 1791. So the holding of a sacrificial ceremony on Sunday August 14, 1791 (Bois Caïman) would have made no sense to them. Neither would the Dominguois revolutionary attack of August 22-23, 1791, for that matter. 
And with regard to the feast of sacrifice dictated by the regular (Middle Eastern) islamic calendar, eid el-kebir or 10 Dhou al-Ḥijjah, it fell on August 10, 1791, a Wednesday. (17) Consequently, the Sunday (day off) closest to this date would have been August 7, 1791, not Sunday August 14th.

3.2- The islamized Malè or Yoruba (Nago) in Haitian memory

In colonial Brazil, Nigeria and Benin, their spiritual leaders received the title of Alufa
"Alufa, s. a Mohammedan priest, a priest of the only true God ; ecclesiastic, clerk, presbyter." (18)
And concerning the supposed "House of an Imam or Iman" conveyed by the revisionists, reality once again caught up with their fabulation. Because, if the islamized Malé or Yoruba (Nago) would have designated their sacrificial place in honor of their spiritual leader, this place would have borne the name of Bwa Kay Aloufa, and not Bwa Kay Iman.
And we now know that even "Bwa Kay Aloufa" would have been grammatically inconsistent with the Creole spoken in Northern Saint Domingue, where this ceremony was held. "Kaya Aloufa", "Lakaya Aloufa", "Case à Aloufa" or "La case à Aloufa" would have been more suitable. Strictly speaking, "Nan Aloufa", or outright "Aloufa" would have been acceptable as places names in the North.
In addition, Haitian lexical memory also preserved the word Aloufa. However, it does not reflect the image of a spiritual leader, but that of someone selfish who devours everything, leaving nothing for others :

"Aloufa or waloufa adj. and n.: Who gluttonizes everything without restraint, eats without moderation, like a pork. messy." (Transl.) (19)
"aloufa a   n  Heavy, insatiable eater, glutton.   V afre, saf." (20)
The word "aloufa" also takes on a figurative meaning in Haitian Creole, classifying corrupt politicians and any individual deemed to be profiteer of a collective good.

(Book of poems)
Source : Samuel Frantz Suffren. Aloufa : Pwezi foto. Éditions des Vagues. [online] URL :

(Music cover art)
Source : Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly. "Aloufa". [online] URL :

(Demonstration poster)
Source : Manithor. "Manifestation pour demander l'argent du petrocaribe". [online] URL : 

The word "Aloufa" from Haitian Creole therefore stems from the colonial era. The captives (slaves) bearing the islamic title of aloufa had to behave like selfish people, eating common meals without sharing. It is difficult to see how such despised individuals could have garnered influence over other captives (slaves) ; especially those who did not share their muslim faith.
Nevertheless, Black muslims (Malê), commanded by Alufa, organized an insurrection in Brazil in 1835. One would think that prior to that, they could have done the same in Saint Domingue. But their plot in Bahia, which targeted only male captives (slaves) of their religion, was crushed following the denunciation from the wife of one of them. Helped by the Hausa, they were unable to extend their revolt to non-muslim captives (slaves). Yet the Alufa in Brazil were not as disparaged as they were in Saint Domingue.
Not to mention that prior to the end of January 1804, and the accession of Ousmane Dan Fodio, the notion of holy war or jihad was unknown to muslim "Africa". And since as early as 1805, Brazilian captives (slaves) in Rio, displayed necklaces bearing the effigy of the liberator Jean-Jacques Dessalines. (21) The Alufa and Malês of 1835 could as well have been influenced by the Haitian Revolution, as was the case elsewhere

4- The syncretic islamized Hausa (Awousa) in Saint Domingue

In Brazil, the Malê, in their 1835 rebellion, had the Hausa as allies. What was their status in Saint Domingue? The Hausa ethnic group, from Nigeria and Chad, with its syncretic islamic cult was of a considerable number in the Saint Domingue colony :

"On the 19th, Lajeunesse, Aoussa nation, stamped on the left breast LAVRIOLS, claiming to belong to Mr. Glandaz, Notary in Port-au-Prince." (Transl.) (22)
Nothing in colonial literature allows us to detail the Hausa ritual in Saint Domingue. General literature informs us however that in "Africa" their islamic priests were called "mállami" in the singular, and in the plural "mallamái". (23)
This last information contradicts the "Bwa Kay Iman" hypothesis, since if Boukman was a Hausa religious leader, according to revisionist logic, the name of the place of worship in question would have been "Bwa Kay Mállami" or "Bwa Kay Mallamái", if more than one religious leader were referred.
And to conform to Northern Saint Domingue Creole, we would have had either: "Case à Mállami" or "Case à Mallamái", "Caye à Mállami" or "Caye à Mallamái". And modern Northern and North-Eastern Haitian Creole would have demanded : "Lakaya Mállami" or "Lakaya Mallamái", "Laka Mállami" or "Laka Mallamái", "Nan Mállami" or "Nan Mallamái", etc. We are therefore far from "Bwa Kay Iman".

4.1- The Hausa (Awousa) were thieves, according to Haitian memory

The Hausa did not go unnoticed in Saint Domingue, however. Because, their ethnic name : Hausa or Aoussa, became "Awousa" in the Haitian language. It describes those who have the habit of stealing and abusing :
"arousa a, awousa a   n  Pickpocket, looter; greedy person." (24)
In Haitian culture, "awousa" is often in the news, as public thievery plagues the country.

(President "Jovenel Moïse treats a branch of the private sector as "awousa"")
Source : Luckson Saint-Vil. "Prezidan Jovenel Moïse trete yon branch nan sektè prive a de « AWOUSA »".  (June 29, 2020) ; [online] URL : ; Timeline : 00:27-00:46.

("Husband and wife, two "awousa""[pickpockets])
Source : Guy Promo Haïti. "Mari ak fanm de awousa". (Dec. 30, 2019) ; [online] URL :

It is therefore inconceivable that the syncretic muslims of the Hausa ethnic group, judged to be pickpockets, had acquired the trust of the captive population (slaves), nor had influence over anyone who did not share their faith.

5- Saint Domingue's Fulani orthodox muslims

In Saint Domingue, most of the captives (slaves) of the Fulani ethnic group were traditionalists. There was nevertheless an islamized Fulani minority. The naturalist Michel Étienne Descourtilz shed light on the customs of these islamized Fulani, as well as their position towards the Revolution of which Saint Domingue was the theater.
5.1- The Fulani and islamic precepts, according to Descourtilz

Although incomplete, Descourtilz' eyewitness testimony demonstrated that Saint Domingue's islamized Fulani or "Phylanis" practiced an orthodox, unmixed islam. Despite the limitations imposed on them by captivity (slavery), they respected, as best they could, many islamic obligations :
a) The religion of the islamized Fulani was close to that of the Jews, and they prayed to Allah :
"The religion of the Phylanis appears to be that of the Jews. A phylanis negro, a strict keeper of the law, is as perfect as a man can be. (...) Allah, means God in their language; and the word amen means, we thank you for the food and drink." (Transl.) (25)
b) The islamized Fulani made the (shahada) profession of faith and imitated Abraham's gesture
"Strict imitators of their father Abraham, they are devoted like him to the God whom they implore; and if it is a question of making profession of their faith, and of swearing that they do believe in God, they testify by publishing loudly before their fellows, "that they would gladly give their children, if this sacrifice were required of the God who gave them life." (Transl.) (26)
c) The islamized Fulani preached alms, one of islam's pillars :
"The alpha [high priest] also said:" If you pray, and do not give to the poor, your prayers are lost." (Transl.) (27)
d) The islamized Fulani did not drink alcohol (tafia) :
"Nothing less surprising to see a man like this, astonished at the sight of a job he can not define, but to see him later refuse to take my drink, and to drink tafia [hard liquor] for which a negro would get whipped ; this is what surpassed my expectations." (Transl.) (28) 
This is a guess on our part. Because Descourtilz did not specify the ethnicity of the guide who refused his drink. But Descourtilz indicated that he hunted with Phylanis (Fulanis) guides, and that he also used Congos, who for their part were crazy about alcohol (tafia) :
"The Congos are very fond of tafia; one day when I forgot to give the ration to one of them whom I used as a Harpooner for the caiman hunt, he told me in a naive and contrite tone :" Master! Congo has not yet grew a tooth, and you stop breastfeeding him! "Which means, not literally, but in the parabolic sense:" Master, I am still fasting, and have no teeth to eat, therefore do not stop breastfeeding me of this tafia which will put me in a position to take my meal"." (Transl.) (29)
e) The islamized Fulani seemed not to eat pork
"Each Phylanis family travels in Guinea's interior, camps with its herds in the middle of the most lavish sites, which quite contributes to pleasantly flatter their senses. Their caravans are made up of oxen, heifers, and dogs, useful beings and faithful friends, of goats and sheep, peaceful and productive animals." (Transl.) (30
This information concerning the Fulani way of life in "Africa" was gathered by Descourtilz in the sermons of the Fulani high priest to young people of his ethnic group. The absence of pigs in the Fulani caravans of "Africa" leads us to deduce that the Fulani who maintain islam in Saint Domingue have refrained from consuming pork meat banned by their religion.

5.2- Ramadan fasting and the sacrificial feast of Saint Domingue's islamized Fulani

The islamized Fulani celebrated eid el-kebir, the obligatory sacrificial feast :
"One of the Phylanis present, the alpha (i) of their sect, and an old man in his eighties, taught his children around him, (...) that their religion had a lot to do with that of the Jews; indeed , after having described their mobile temple, he speaks of the ceremonies which are observed on the feast days, and of the sacrifice of the ram which takes place on the famous day of Auderbiché [eid el-kebir], in commemoration Abraham's sacrifice." (Transl.) (31)
a) The ramadan fast was celebrated annually by the islamized Fulani
"Their main festival, which is renewed every year, at the spring solstice [equinox], is called Auderbiché [eid el-kebir]. The Phylanis observe, before its time, a private fast of thirty days, and the last week, they only have a meal in the evening of each day" (Transl.) (32)
From Descourtilz' revelations, we understand that :
1) Similar to the Malê of Brazil (and possibly those of Saint Domingue), the islamized Dominguois Fulani have fixed their sacrificial feast at the end of the ramadan fasting month ; and not several months later. But unlike the Malê of Salvador de Bahia, they did not follow the muslim calendar as to the date of ramadan.
2) Saint Domingue's Fulani muslims performed their annual sacrificial ceremony (eid el-kebir) on the first day of spring, or the Spring Equinox. (Descourtilz got the wrong word. He used Solstice instead of Equinox.)*** From the spring equinox, they counted 30 days down to determine ramadan.
3) Apart from ramadan and the sacrificial feast, for practical reasons, the islamized Fulani's religious calendar was modeled on colonial holidays. This religious calendar, which we detail here, teaches us a lot about orthodox muslims' involvement or non involvement, on the one hand, in the ceremony known as Bois Caiman ; and on the other hand, in the Haitian Revolution :

Religious calendar of Saint Domingue's islamized Fulani
Colonial holidays (excluding patronal and administrative holidays)
Regular islamic ceremonies
Special islamic ceremonies

New Year's Day
Saturday, January 1, 1791

30 days prior to the Spring Equinox

Sunday February 20, 1791, Beginning of the fasting month of ramadan
Equinox (or first day) of spring

Sunday March 20, 1791 (feast of the islamic sacrifice, Aid el-kebir, known as Auderbiché by Descourtilz; celebrated at the end of ramadan, according to West "African" custom.
The Annunciation
Friday, March 25, 1791

Sunday April 24, 1791

The Ascension
Thursday, June 2, 1791

The Pentecost
Sunday June 12, 1791

The Assumption
Monday August 15, 1791 (celebrated on Sunday August 14, 1791 ; not at Bois Caïman, but elsewhere)

The Saint Louis
Thursday, August 25, 1791 (Not celebrated because of the insurrection which began on August 22-23)

All Saints' Day
Tuesday, November 1, 1791 (Not officially celebrated because of the unrest))

Sunday, December 25, 1791 (Not officially celebrated because of the unrest)

Source (Catholic holidays) :

4) For the revolutionary year of 1791, the Fulani's annual sacrifice fell on March 20, the first day of spring, while their ramadan began on February 20. So they did not orchestrate the so-called Bois Caïman ceremony. And even if the islamized Fulani had followed the muslim (Hegirian) calendar, the date of their festival of Aid el-kebir would fall on the 10th of the month of dhou al-hijja, year 1205, corresponding to Wednesday August 10, 1791 .
But given that the captives (slaves) only had Sundays and holidays as resting days, the islamized Fulani would have chosen the nearest Sunday, Sunday August 7, to establish their feast of sacrifice. All the more so since the last 4 days of the fast of ramadan - corresponding to August 7, 8, 9, and 10, 1791 - are considered the most sacred, according to islam. There is therefore no reason why August 14, 1791, the date of the Bois Caïman ceremony, would be the date of a muslim sacrifice.
5) Saint Domingue's muslim Fulani also held their regular religious ceremony (therefore without sacrifice) on the date of the colonial feast of the Assumption, Sunday August 14, 1791. That same day, the traditionalists, gathered at Morne Rouge, activated their own sacrificial ceremony, preceded by a meeting or a political "congress". This August 14, politico-religious ceremony, followed by another on Sunday August 21, 1791, form the revolutionary ceremony of Bois Caiman which started the Haitian Revolution.


5.3- The high priest of the Fulani, according to Descourtilz

a) The islamized Fulani high priest and writing skill
Documentation shows that the high priest of the islamized Fulani was a literate. The revisionists however invented that writing was forbidden to captives (slaves) including Boukman Dutty. And any offender, severely punished. However, in this excerpt, not only was the writing of the high priest (alpha) not hidden, it was offered as a gift to colonist Descourtilz
"One of the Phylanis present, the alpha (i) of their sect, and an old man in his eighties, taught his children around him that those of his religion lived in Guinea in the midst of peace and good intelligence (...)
(i) High priest and sacrifice official. This brave benjamin of angelic gentleness, and like an old man, accustomed to receiving with resignation the insults of young perverse negroes, gave me various tablets of bamboo stains, on which he traced using a split rod, and ink composed of lemon juice and acacia siliques, the dogmas of his religion that I very much regret not having been able to bring back to Europe. These lines, written in the opposite direction to our usage, offered very varied and very curious hieroglyphic characters." (Transl.) (33)
Thus falls the revisionist fantasy, that makes believe that writing gave a muslim captive (slave) ascendancy over his fellows. Here again, Descourtilz underlined the constant lack of respect suffered by this high muslim priest who knew how to read and write, this "old man, accustomed to receiving with resignation the insults of young perverse negroes." 
But this old man's non-Western writing, what use would it have when the colonist (Descourtilz in this case) could not read it? No way to forge a false pass in this indecipherable writing, displaying "Very varied and very curious hieroglyphic characters hiéroglyphiques très-variés et très-curieux".

b) The "alfa" title and the Bois Caïman revision
In Saint Domingue, the Fulani high priest bore a title related to "alufa" of the Malé. He is "alfa" (alpha), not imam, nor iman :
"A phylanis negro, strict observant of the law, is as perfect as a man can be. Their high priest called alpha, does not abuse the authority which their confidence in him has established." (Transl.) (34)
Consequently, the revisionist notion that "Kayiman" would have referred to (Kay Iman) the House of an Imam (or Iman) does not match reality. Rather, the residence of a Fulani high priest officiating the sacrificial ritual should be "Kay Alfa".
And even this form is problematic. The Creole spoken in Northern Saint Domingue - the location of the pre-revolutionary ceremony in question - requires that one say either "Kaya Alfa", "Lakaya Alfa", "Case à Alfa" or "La case à Alfa". "Nan Alfa" or "Alfa" for short, would also do the trick.
Moreover, the temples in which the islamized Fulani organized their annual sacrificial feasts, were not habitable houses, but temporary structures built on the same day :

"The temple that they build in haste, when it comes to a propitiatory sacrifice, is called guine-grine, into which they never enter without having first purified themselves, like the Jews, by a feet and hands bath.
Well convinced that in a superb building, or in a simple room, the magnificence of the great Creator God is the same. (...) They make up for their lack of residence for the stable construction of their temples, by the choice of suitable places to bring the creature closer to its Creator." (Transl.) (35)
Note also that the Fulani hunted caimans with Descourtilz :
"I was leaving one day early in the morning to hunt the caimans which desolate our shores, (...) we followed in silence one of the arms of the Ester, when one of my negroes glimpsed marauding and believed to recognize a  phylanis nation (nation means compatriot), (...) one of them named Fleuri, shouts to him in a sepulchral voice: haucou! which means hello." (Transl.) (36
In addition, Descourtilz' Congo hunting aid explicitly used the word "caiman" in his conversation in Creole :
"I saw the same [Congo] harpooner one day stealthily take away the bloody limbs of a caiman on which I had just observed the blood circulation. I did not know what about he had said to me during my experience : "Maître, n'a pas faire li souffrir comme ça donc ! caïman li y'oun' boun' bagage, et pis vous va malheureux, quand vous va mouri." ["Master, don't make it suffer that much! caiman is something good, besides, you will be miserable when you die."] (…) He announced to me, by a conjecture of metempsychosis,**** that having made the caimans suffer so much, I myself would, after my death, be subjected to the cruelties of the first hunter." (Transl.) (37)
These facts contradict the revisionists saying that there weren't caimans in Saint Domingue; and that "Kayiman" in the "Bwa Kayiman" ceremony could not have come from the animal's name. But in any case, the islamized Fulani would not have held such a festive ceremony (with drums, songs, etc.) as the one that vibrated at Morne Rouge on August 14, 1791 :
"The Poules, since they were Mohammedans, have given up on the favorite entertainment of other blacks, dance and music; I have seen in them no other instruments than a sort of jaw harp: the sound cannot please but only an African ear." (Transl.) (38)
As we mentioned in a previous article, festive music and islamic doctrine do not always go hand in hand. This extract above comes from the observation of Gaspard-Théodore Mollien in Senegambia during more or less the same period (1818). Similarly, in the sacrificial ritual of the Dominguois Fulani, here finely detailed by Descourtilz, festive music was no where to be found. In addition, as we will see, "a respectful and imposing silence" was sought.

5.4- Description of an islamic sacrificial ritual in Saint Domingue

a) Water source required for the place of worship among the islamized Fulani
Revisionists love to repeat that there was no caiman at Bois Caïman (Morne Rouge). But what is certain is that there is no waterfall in this place, although it is a prerequisite for the holding of the sacrifice among Saint Domingue's islamized Fulani :

"The sight of a thick wood, which active greenery testifies in favor of the Author of Nature, first attracts their attention; they inspect the place, and seek to combine, under its umbrella, all the required qualities. High forests, the top of which is only swayed by the wind, a faint light produced by their dense shade, sheets of lush green grass, fruit trees, to offer the first fruits and draw its contour; rocks quivering beneath the sound of waterfalls chosen for the purification and maintenance of the place's freshness; a respectful and imposing silence that suits man's direct relationship with God, only interrupted by birds created to sing his praises, this is the chosen place in the countryside, for the building of their temple." (Transl.) (39) 
So, how to explain that muslims chose Morne Rouge (Bois Caïman) for a meeting of more than 200 representatives, when there is no river (or waterfall) so that the representatives can wash themselves (an islamic obligation) before starting their prayer?

b) The islamic ceremony, by day, requires flowers encircling the head
We can hardly imagine Boukman accompanied by 199 other workshop commanders (skilled in bodily correction) and haughty coachmen, going to Bois Caiman with wreaths of flowers on the head.

"As soon as the morning star announces a new day, (...) they take their footsteps in the countryside still wet with dew, look for flowers to encircle their heads, and pick them doubly enriched with a fresh color, of a suave and sweet smell, and of the brilliance of the flickering pearls that the dew has developed. (…) However the moment approaches when the sacrifice will be announced, and all the Phylanis gathered near the alpha, urge him to begin the ceremony. Here is the procession at its departure. Twelve trumpets lead the way; they are followed by two columns of Phylanis, men and women, crowned and separated from each other ; after them, advance with smaller steps and more precipitously, twelve male children also having their heads encircled with variously shaded flowers, held in the midst of them by garlands of white roses." (Transl.) (40)
The separation of women and men testifies to the islamic character of this ceremony. But it borders on the ridiculous to think that the Saint Domingue revolutionaries, recognized and feared worldwide for their most ruthless acts, would have participated in such a scented masquerade of freshly picked flowers.

c) The islamic ceremony aimed to simulate a child sacrifice, reenacting the story of Abraham
Pork is by no means a consideration for muslims who attended their annual feast. On the contrary, having a child as a sacrificial object is the central point of this ceremony. However, no mention was made anywhere of a procession of sacrificial children crowned with flowers, preceding the delegation of plantation elites in Morne Rouge :
"A young victim, a thirteenth child crowned with flowers of the same color. Finally the alpha whose old age slows down, follows with difficulty, and ends this simple procession.
Arrived at the place intended for the consumption of the sacrifice, they find there a prepared pyre, the fatal knife placed at the bottom, and the vase intended to purify the high priest before exercising the functions of his ministry. The people are divided and ranged in a circle, and the alpha arrives at the foot of the pyre, always preceded by the group of children. The one chosen for victim is stripped of his flowers, and presented to the people, while he cries out for the authors of his days. These, glorious at having been chosen to immolate their posterity to the great God, join for the last time their darling child, their only hope, indulge in silent pain in their last embraces, and, to give a more authentic proof with their entire devotion to the cause of the great God, they kiss for the last time their child, who himself gives a sign of his approval by indicating with his weak finger the road to heaven; his closest relatives put him on the stake." (Transl.)
We see here that the annual sacrifice of the islamized captives (slaves) was not political or revolutionary. The aim is strictly religious: to simulate Abraham's sacrificial offer to his God.

d) A sheep replaced the child as a sacrifice
The Saint Domingue islamized Fulani did not sacrifice children. And they didn't sacrifice pigs. At the last minute, the child, who symbolizes Abraham's son, is replaced by a sheep that the high priest then sacrificed :

"It was then that the priest, after having called on the Lord, opened the eyes of the assistants, and announced to them that God did not create man to be offered to him as a burnt offering, that this sacrifice was not acceptable to him ; that he commands creation, and must replace the annihilation of his being by that of an animal submitted to his will. Immediately the child is removed from the stake, raised to the highest by the arms of a group of nervous men, offered to the people who from that moment consider him, and he is replaced by a sheep that the alpha immediately slaughter. It is, as we see, the simulacrum of Abraham's sacrifice." (Transl.) (42)
Because, never would a pig have been accepted as a sacrificial animal by a muslim. The argument is clearly explained here. The sheep or the lamb, if you prefer, is cited as the animal most "subject to the will of the god" of Christians, Jews and muslims. And, they oppose pork, which is banned entirely by muslims and Jews, as well as by Adventists and other Protestant sects.

e) The islamized people avoided any contact with blood, even less with the mouth
In their daily life, the islamized Fulani avoided, as much as possible, contact with animal blood, as required by islam :

"The utmost cleanliness is demanded of the butchers of the Phylanis, and a considerable fine is imposed on them when the knife which hangs by their side is stained with a drop of blood, or when their rags become soaked with it." (Transl.) (43)
In this context, we can affirm that there were no contact with animal blood, in the islamized Fulani's sacrifice ritual. Their annual sacrificial ceremony was therefore the opposite of the traditionalist Bois Caiman ceremony in which, with the finger, the participants took turns placing a drop of the slain pig's blood on their lips.
5.5- The orthodox muslim Fulani against the Haitian Revolution

a) During the muslim sacrificial ceremony, the high priest preached against the slave revolt
Not only the muslims were not the engines of the Bois Caiman ceremony, during their annual sacrificial ceremony, described around 1800-1803, their high priest (alpha) demanded that his disciples not take part in the fully engaged “slave revolt”. For this is forbidden by Allah, their God :


"The burnt offering being consumed by the fire, the alpha and the people bow down in thanksgiving; they humbly kiss the earth, and raising themselves up with their arms crossed on their breasts, the alpha develops for them the sacred dogmas of their institution in these terms. (…) The alpha again says : "If you do not care for the poor, if you kill or steal; if the slave revolts, if you do not assist the sick, tremble! God will punish you."."(Transl.) (44)
Because the high priest of the muslim Fulanis preached against the Haitian Revolution when it was in its final phase, (Descourtilz having attended this sacrificial ceremony around 1800-1803) proves with certainty that the Fulani, orthodox muslims, did at no time support this Revolution.
In the same time period, in 1802, this other author, Jean-Baptiste-Léonard Durand, described the contempt of the muslim Fulani (of "Africa") for Blacks, and their penchant for Whites :

"Without the not very charitable maxims of the koran, the naturally good Foulahs of Bondou would be more benevolent towards foreigners (...) These peoples have the highest idea of their origin ; they regard other negroes as their inferiors; and when they speak of different nations, they always line up with the white class, whom they consider to be the elect, and forming the first of the nations." (Transl.) (45)
This other author, Gaspard-Théodore Mollien, observed in 1818 that the islamized Fulani (Poules) of "Africa", sympathizers of the Moors, believed that the Blacks' place was in slavery, then in hell :
"All the Poules are Mohammedans and rigid observers of the precepts of religion; inflamed with the zeal of proselytizing, they push intolerance to the point of fury. It is undoubtedly one of the most egotistic nations that exist.
The Foutatoro is, according to its inhabitants, the first in the world, and the Hen is the man par excellence. In their opinion, the European is distinguished only by his industry, but he is cowardly and powerless. The Negro is destined to live in slavery, and after his death to be thrown into the fires of hell; the Moor alone has bravery, he can be placed after the Poule." (Transl.) (46)
The islamized Fulani's pro-slavery attitude goes back to the muslim religion which taught them that Blacks were the descendants of Cham ; and thus “cursed” by Noah, to be slaves of the Whites (and Arabs) :
"Strictly speaking, there are only the Africans, who are between Cap Blanc [Tunisia], and Cap Nègre [Tunisia], who can be said to have been born for servitude. These wretches admit without ceremony, that 'an intimate feeling tells them that they are a cursed nation. The most spiritual, like those of Senegal, have learned through a tradition, which continues among them, that this misfortune is a result of the Sin of their Father Tam [Cham], who made fun of his Father [Noah]. These Senegalese are, of all the Negroes the best made, the easiest to discipline, and the most suitable for domestic service." (Transl.)  (47)
However, according to this Judeo-islamo-Christian myth, Noah never cursed Cham, a name taken from the appellation  of Ancient Egypt's : Kamit or Kemit (Black Earth), Km (Black).***** Noah would have however explicitly shouted "Cursed be Canaan", name designating current day Lebanon and the ancestor of the Arabs. But instead of taking on this false curse, the Arab muslims preferred to pass it on to Black converts, the better to dominate them. Likewise, Spanish priest Bartholomé de Las Casas reinterpreted this myth to bring about black slavery in America.

b) The muslim Fulani and the prohibition to kill 
The alpha or high priest of the muslim Fulani forbade them to “kill”. This is incompatible with the Bois Caiman ceremony that sparked the general uprising that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of White settlers. Descourtilz himself contrasted the docility of the islamized Fulani with the ferocity of the traditionalists of the Diabon ethnic group :

"We leave with all the more regret the reunion of the good Phylanis, that my neophyte and I, we overhear with indignation several confessions of Diabon negroes, cruel and ferocious by habit as much as by character.
These monsters immolate to their gods, according to the advice of their priests, the strangers whom they surprise on their lands, while they tolerate the murder of their fellows among them." (Transl.) (48)
Descourtilz also contrasted the respect of the islamized Fulani for the elders, and the flagrant lack of respect for the elders on the part of the Congo (the most numerous ethnic group, and among the most traditionalist in percentage) :
"The Congos, far from respecting old people like the Phylanis, have no regard for their elderly or infirm parents, and they force them to pound the corn they intend for their only food." (Transl.) (49)
We will relate the Congo contempt for elders to the Saint Domingue revolutionaries who reserved the greatest tortures for the old men among the colonists. Because, according to their estimate, the old men, having lived a long time, mistreated their captives (slaves) for a longer period.
This Congo "anti-elders" attitude left its mark on modern Haitian culture. The Congo word "Ba-Kulu" meaning "old persons", remains in Haitian Creole (Bakoulou) synonymous with "vicious, deceiver, or thief". Consequently the adjective "vye" (old) is used in Haitian Creole to qualify anything that is“ disagreeable, worthless, undesirable, disgusting, unappreciated", etc.

c) The islamized Fulani and the pre-islamic moral code
We would like to point out that if the religion of the Saint Domingue muslim Fulani opposed them to the slave revolts and to the Haitian Revolution, their respect for elders, the poor and the infirm precedes islam. This respect stems from the Pulaaku, the multi-millennial traditionalist moral code perpetuated by all the Fulani (islamized or traditionalists).
I personally received this ultra-respectful Pulaar (Fulani) education, which was - unlike its muslim version - intolerant of any injustice (social, racial, religious, economic, etc.). It is a bequest from my Fulani maternal ancestor named Augustin. This one lived in Northern Saint Domingue, in the locality of Quartier Morin (Bonnay). Here is an August 1777 ad concerning him :
"At Le Cap, Augustin, Poular nation, about 30 years old, blind in his right eye, illegibly stamped, claiming to belong to Mr. de Beaunay, in Quartier-Morin." (Transl.) (50)
Augustin's granddaughter, who bore his first name as a surname + - and whose first name escapes me - gave birth (to my maternal ancestor) by General/Senator Annibal Béliard, grandson of Henry I, known as Henry Christophe.++

(General/Senator Annibal Béliard)
Source : Marc Péan. L'illusion héroïque : 25 ans de vie caapoise, 1890-1915. Port-au-Prince, 1977. p.136.

But in this Fulani family education (or Foula) that I received from this link, nothing invokes an islamic past. Minority in Haiti, this Fulani education, focused on respect for elders, obedience, sharing, truth, self-control, etc., is entirely in line with the Pulaaku, the pre-islamic Fulani moral code. At least, in its nomadic version, the reflexes of which have long been documented in certain family members.
I would go so far as to suggest that my Haitian Fulani education, by the rigor and altruism that it instilled in me, is to be credited for my accomplishment of such a study.  A study which, in my humble opinion, is not far removed from the sensitivity of Malian Fulani Amadou Hampathé Ba, nor from the generosity of the voluminous Fulani texts posted online and accessible to all.
As the Foula (Fulani) ethnic group was a minority in Saint Domingue, many aspects of its education are rare in Haiti. One of the reasons that Haitian intellectuals can rarely stick to the facts, and think about the disastrous impact of their egocentric maneuvers. They will still flounder in mediocrity for a long time to come.

5.6- The Fulani (Foula) in Haitian memory

The traditionalist Fulani (Foula) were those who endure in Haitian memory. Their ancestral cult formed the Sacred Nation, known as Nanchon Foula in the traditional Haitian religion. Sacred Nation that has contributed the Divinities (Lwa/Jany) : Lawe, Lawedji, Balenndjo (that we thought came from the Mandingo), Bazilo (or Bagilo), Èzili Dantò, Èzili Boran (we thought originated from the Boran of Kenya), the Toro family of Lwa/Jany, etc. Without forgetting the word "foula" itself which retained its original meaning, namely the dispersion : 1) of Fulani nomads, in the "African" context ; 2) dispersion of a liquid by the mouth, in the Haitian ritual. The Creole verb "foulaye" derives from it.

The sedentary islamized Fulani known as Toucouleurs or Halpullar (Apoura), were voracious

The ethnic group recently called Toucouleur by French colonists is not listed in Saint Domingue as such. The Toucouleurs refer to themselves as "Halpulaar", meaning "those who speak Pulaar". Some say that they are not Pulaar or Fulani. But the most convincing arguments, coming from the Fulani themselves, say that the Toucouleurs are sedentary Fulani of Fouta Toro. (51)
Whether it is the name of an autonomous Pulaarphone ethnic group or that of a sedentary islamized Fulani people, the word "Halpulaar" is retained in "Apoura" in Haitian Creole. It indicates a voracious person, a thief :
"apoura   attrib   1. Gluttonous.   (syn) saf, afre.
     2. Greedy and aggressive." (52)
Considering the precariousness of the resources allocated to the Saint Domingue captive (slave) population, such a reputation for gluttonousness made undesirable the Toucouleur or Halpulaar, a group islamized since the 11th christian century. We can therefore dismiss the idea of their influence on the captive (slave) population.

6The syncretic cult of Haitians of Mandingo origin in Balan

n 1960, Carl Peters, a catholic priest working in Northern Haiti, had just taken part in the "anti-superstitious campaign", a genocidal movement against the traditional religion. However, he carried out a study entitled "Société Mandingue" (Mandingo Society) with neutrality. Republished in 1965, this brief study discovered in Balan, near Morne Rouge, a group of Haitians of Mandingo descent perpetuating traditionalist funeral services.
The following year, in 1966, Haitian anthropologist Gerson Alexis approached Balan's traditional cult with an islamic bias, in his article, "Aperçu sur les Mandingues haïtiens" ("Notes on the Haitian Mandingoes"), written in 1967.
In 1991, driven by the 200th anniversary of the so-called Bois Caïman ceremony, two French intellectuals entered the scene: Gérard Barthélemy (1992), Charles Najman (1995). They have broadened and popularized the revisionist thesis that focused on the Balan ritual that they want islamic.
Since then, other intellectuals+++  have joined in :
  • Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique & Eddy Prophète (2000, 2001)
  • LeGrace Benson (2001, 2006)
  • Ulrich Fleischmann, Alex-Louise Tessonneau (2003)
  • Jean Rénald Clérismé (2009)
  • etc.
Feigning scientific neutrality, these revisionist intellectuals sought by all means to establish and amplify an islamic link to Balan. Their goal seems to be to obscure the traditionalist action in the Haitian Revolution.

6.1- The name "Maromèt" in Haiti (Balan)

Carl Peters related, that some say, members of this so-called "Mandingo Society" or "Maromète Society" are themselves called "Maromète" :
"In the vicinity of Cap-Haitien, in the area between Morne Rouge and Bas Limbé and more precisely in Balan, Camp-Louise, Labardie, we meet a strange grouping named : "SOCIÉTÉ MANDINGUE" [MANDINGO SOCIETY] :
In a brief investigation, some said :
The Society is called" SOCIÉTÉ MAROMÈTE ", the service : "SERVICE MANDINGUE", and the officers: "MORY". 
Others declared : The Society is called "SOCIETÉ MANDINGUE", those who belong to this society: "MAROMÈTE" (could it be a deformation of Muhammad?)." (53)  
The name "Maromeète" certainly caught Reverend Peters' attention. This researcher nevertheless held himself to objectively review the syncretic ceremonies observed. But Haitian ethnologist Gerson Alexis will not share Peters' impartiality. He initially persisted in separating the Balan practitioners from the rest of Haitians :
"The mandigo knows that he belongs to a religious confession of equal value with the known cults.
He believes that his cult is the most authentic african one and mainfests some prejudices against vodoo groups.
The Mandigoes say that they belong to "the society of king Mahomet""." (54)
This feeling of religious exclusivity and superiority is not unique to Balan. It is a Haitian phenomenon. The residents of Mare Rouge, in the North-West, identifying themselves more with the traditional Congo cult, look down as much on "Vodou", namely on the "Rada" cult coming from the Aradas of Dahomey (Benin) :
"Daniel Louisius  even adds that the residents of Mare Rouge do not even know the "Rada ", that is to say the rite hailing mainly from the ethnic groups of Benin (Dahomey) who venerated the" Vodoun ". In fact, they consider the Rada like a cult of ill-intentioned wizards. In Mare Rouge, they worshiped Linglessou..." (Transl.) (55)
Similarly, the Northern and North-Eastern traditionalists consider their cult of the "Jany" more "pure" and honorable than that of the "Lwa", although revered in the rest of the country, but they regard as evil. And this, despite the fact that "Jany" and "Lwa" are synonymous.
Moreover, these Haitians from Balan whom Gerson Alexis improperly qualified as "Mandigos", their use of the word "Maromète" corresponded more to the traditional way than to the Muslim one :

"The Mandigo believes in the existence of one Supreme Being. Some of them confound this supreme being with the "GRAND MAITRE" (the first vodoo god), but they say that their way to worship the GRAND MAITRE [GREAT MASTER] is the best one.
Some others confound the Supreme Being with the Sun because the mandigo worship is made at dawn when the sun is rising. For some others, this god is Mahomet. They pronounce MA RO MET". (56)
It is beneficial to know that this "Maromète" is not the sign of a muslim cult in Balan. Because, Muslims name their Creator God Allah, and not "Muhammad". And the islamized Mandingos of "Africa" do not refer to their prophet by the French name "Mahomet" either. Instead, they use the Arabic name "Mahamadu :
"Mahamadu n. pro.: Muhammad, Mahomet; Muhammad, Mohammed. Category: Islam. An kuntigi Mahamadu. Notre prophète Muhammad. Our prophet Muhammad". (57)
Finally, far from indicating islamic antecedence in Haiti, "Mahomet", as a name, dates back rather to Saint Domingue's christian settlers.

6.2- The name Mahomet (Muhammad) in the Saint Domingue colony

However, we know that the name Mahomet circulated widely, and very early on in the colony publications. And this, firstly, in the section "Nouvelles d'Europe" (News from Europe) which regularly shed light on the politico-military activities underway in Turkey. And the name Mahomet appeared there : 
"NEWS FROM EUROPE. Turkey. (...) The day that the Flag of Mahomet was paraded through the streets of Constantinople, many Christians who had dared look at it were massacred..." (Transl.) (58)
Secondly, very early on, the name Mahomet was displayed in Saint Domingue, as title of several plays. This play "Mahomet I, ou le Fanatisme" (Mahomet I, or Fanaticism) by Voltaire, according to the advertisement, was replayed at Cap Français in 1778, after many years :
The Comedians of Le Cap will give next Saturday 10 of the current, for the benefit of Mde Teisseire, a performance of Mahomet I, or Fanaticism, Tragedy in verse and in five Acts, by M. de Voltaire, which has not been performed here since number of years..." (Transl.) (59)
As late as 1791, a theatrical piece entitled "Mahomet et la Fédération villageoise" (Mahomet  and the Village Federation) was played in Port-au-Prince :

Today Saturday, [for the benefit of Sieur de l'Orme] Mahomet, and the Village Federation ; Sunday 9, the Caravan, from Cairo, and its ballets..." (Transl.) (60)
Thus, via news articles and cultural notices, the name Mahomet was spread throughout the colony, without any connection to islamized captives (slaves). The owners, readers of these pamphlets, could have easily drawn the Mahomet name to baptize their newcomers.

6.3- Mahomet as captive (slave) name in Saint Domingue

The runaway (maroon) ads and prison registers indicated that the settlers gave the name Mahomet to their captives (slaves) without religious consideration. For example, in January 1777, the Cap Français jail announced a prisoner named Mahomet, from Congo Nation :

"On the 27th, Mahomet, Congo, illegibly stamped, claiming to belong to Mr. Belly, at Port-François.." (Transl.) (61)
In July 1785, they reported in Cap Français, the marronnage of a captive (slave) of Congo stock, called Mahomet :   

"Mahomet, Congo, height 4 feet 8 inches, about 19 years old, has shapely legs, stamped CLERISSY FRERES: Caesar, Congo, height 4 feet 9 inches, 20 years old, stamped FOLIN, belonging to Mr. Mathieu, Charpentier in Borgne: a third, stamped DL, maroon for eight months, belonging to the Dusanton estate, in Borgne. Those who have knowledge of it are asked to give notice to Mr. Dupon, in Le Cap. There will be a reward." (Transl.) (62)
And we met many other captives (slaves) with Mahomet for name :
  • In May 1787, among 3 imprisoned Congo captives (slaves), one of them had Mahomet for name. (63)
  • In July 1787, the flight of 3 captives (slaves) stamped ROUDLOFF was announced, including one bearing the name of Mahomet. (64)
  • Captured 2 years later, in May 1789, this Mahomet stamped ROUDLOFF turned out to be of Congo stock, according to the ad from the Port-de-Paix jail. (65)
  • In March 1788, the runaway ads mentioned a captive (slave) named Mahomet, whose ethnicity was not revealed. (66)
In these ads, almost all of the captives (slaves) named Mahomet were from the Congo, an ethnic group that has little exposure to the muslim religion. This can be explained by 2 factors :
The majority status of the Congo makes them receive all the names distributed in the island, including that of Mahomet.
The Congo's unmatched appetite for escape caused them to be overrepresented in advertisements.
At the same time, we observe the absence of the name Mahomet among the captives (slaves) coming from places with high contact with islam. This confirms the idea that the name Mahomet was allocated, in the colony, to the captives (slaves) in the same fashion as the French names, and those taken from Greek, Roman mythology, etc.

6.4- The Shahada recitation, catholic and traditionalist prayers in Balan

Without necessarily knowing its meaning, the Balan traditionalists explicitly named the word "mamadé" in their ancestral syncretic prayers :
"Missoul ou rail soul ou rail manmadé la soul ou rail soul ou rail sa quibail". (67)
This "Mamadé" is closer to "Mahamadu", the way in which the islamized Mandingos name their prophet, who was called Mahomet in French. In addition to "mamadé", the Balan traditionalists  remember the following prayer/song :
 "Lia ilaha ila ba ilaho". (68)
This prayer sung by this group known as "Société Mandingue" (Mandingo Society), clearly derives from Shahada, the muslim act of faith which goes as follows :
"lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāhu muḥammadun rasūlu-llāh". (69)
But, as we mentioned in a previous article, the Balan residents, having sung residues of what was once the Shahada, the muslim act of faith, in the midst of traditionalist and catholic prayers, is not enough to make them muslim :
"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.) (70)
And if they would have recognized Muhammad and Allah, that would not even be enough :
"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.) (71)
In addition to reciting the Shahada, knowingly observing these 4 other pillars of islam is required to be classified as a muslim :
  • Salat : the 5 daily prayers ;
  • Zakat : the offering ;
  • Saum : the fast of Ramadan ;
  • Hajj : the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Of course, these islamic obligations have no connection with the daily life, nor with the religious life, of the people of Balan. The islamic content that they retained was mixed with various catholic and traditionalist passages such as  :
  • La Vierge de miracle (The Virgin of Miracles ; catholic Saint)
  • La Vierge imprudente (The Virgin Most Prudent ; catholic Saint)
  • Mari Ginin (Mary of Guinea ; catholic-traditional syncretism)
  • La Rène Baltaza (Queen Baltazar ; catholic-traditional syncretism))
  • La Rène Nanci (Queen Nanci ; traditional God)
  • Pierre Dambara (Traditional God)
  • Pierra Cala Oussou (Traditional God)
  • Le Roi de Miminuit (The Midnight King ; traditional God and secret societie)
  • Le Roi de Carrefou (The King of the Crossroad ; traditional God)
  • Le Roi de Gazou (The King of the traditional Kingdom of Gabou)
  • Le Bonzange Gadient (Good Guardian-Angel ; catholic-traditional syncretism)
  • Adiassou Cala ou (Traditional God)
  • Adiassou Roche Adiasso (Traditional God)
  • Misango (Traditional God and secret societies)
  • Baltaza Bizango (Traditional God and secret societies)
  • Musique Massoco (Traditional agrarian element, attribute of the Divinity Zaka Masòkò) (72) 
Unlike father Carl Peters who did not distinguish the Shahada, Gerson Alexis displayed it as tangible proof that the people of Balan are muslims. The daring Gerson Alexis, however, did not hesitate to reveal the catholic gestures of these same officials, which contradict his muslim claim :
"The Mori with a course yellow candle in one hand [non islamic practice] delivers a long speech on the high religious value of the mandigo faith. Afterward, he begins his Ordinancy by the recitation of the "Pater Noster" [catholic practice] and the "Ave Maria" [catholic practice] in french. The audience responds in chorus to the prayers. The Mori signs himself [catholic practice]..." (73)  
Likewise, Gerson Alexis asserted that Balan practitioners did not worship the "Loa". Now, this syncretic prayer of this same society, collected by father Peters, was explicitly addressed to "Loa" as much as to non "Loa"" :
"Misoulourail, soulourail, soulourai!, sa qui loa, [those who are loa (Divinities) sa qui pas loa, [those who are not loas] hola, holala.
Misoulourail adiassou cala ou, rène Baltaza, rène Nanci, Pierre Dambara, Adiassou ho, Adiassou Cala, Misango, Pierra Cala oussou' cala ou adiassou roche adiassou..."" (74)
Moreover, the religious leader of the Haitian Mandingo being titled "Mori" goes against the revisionist discourse. Because if a habitat would have referred to him, it would not have been designated "Bwa Kay Iman", but rather "Bwa Kay Mori". And if we apply Northern Haitian grammar to 1791 language, they would have said : "Case à Mori" or "Kaya Mori", "La Case à Mori" or "Lakaya Mori". At worst, they would have called the area "Nan Mori" or simply "Mori".

6.5- The Supreme Being according to practitioners of Mandingo lineage in Balan

As we have mentioned in a previous article, the Balan practitioners recognize in Granmèt (Grand Maître, the Grand Master), the same Creator God as all traditional Haitians. They told Gerson Alexis :
"The Mandigo believes in the existence of one Supreme Being. Some of them confound this supreme being with the "GRAND MAITRE" (the first vodoo god), but they say that their way to worship the GRAND MAITRE is the best one." (75)
But Gerson Alexis did not accept their dissenting opinion on his islamic thesis. He will even lie when he asserts that the people of Balan saw Mahomet as the name of their Creator God. Something Reverend Carl Peters did not mention, nor did any other researcher for that matter :
"Some others confound the Supreme Being with the Sun because the mandigo worship is made at dawn when the sun is rising. For some others, this god is Mahomet. [Lie] They pronounce MA RO MET.
In fact, it is a question of an islamic cult at the african way. The mandigoes do not know the name of their pantheon gods because their religious ritual is conducted in an unknown language." (76)
Another revisionist, Jean Rénald Clérismé, not as daring as Gerson Alexis as to attribute to Mahomet the rank of God, but asserts that the Balan residents claim to be of the Prophet Mahomet, which no researcher before him had mentioned :
"The Mandingo descendants are distinguished from the rest of the Balan population by their way of burying and venerating their dead. They claim to be of the Prophet Mahomet..." (Transl.) (77)
Paradoxically, in the same text, the author cited a recording from 1969 in which the great officiant of Camp Louise (close to Balan), Mori Bwa Inan made no mention of Mahomet, and indicated that he was doing the work of the Grand Maître (Grand Master), of the Eternal Father and of the Sun ; words of Haitian traditionalists :
"Bwa Inan tells us that those who organize the Mandingo rite always say that they regulate the affairs of the Grand Maître, the affairs of the Eternal Father, the affairs of the Sun, and that it is in the name of the Grand Maître, it is in the name of the Sun they do." (Transl.) (78)
And Mori Bwa Inan did not present the Haitian Mandingo as members of a separate and islamic community as the revisionists have been propagated. The Mori declared that the word Mandingo represents the whole of the Haitian nation. Mandingo practices are therefore those of a Nanchon (that is to say one of the sacred Nations) among several from Lafrik Ginen (L'Afrique Guinée, Africa Guinea, as Haitian traditionalists name their ancestors' continent of origin) forming the traditional religion :
"In his account the mori Bwa Inan tells us that the term Mandingo can have more than one meaning. It can designate the entire Haitian nation, the children of Africa Guinea, the "nanshon" (the nation), the Mandingo ethnic group or their descendants. It can also mean the Mandingo funeral rite." (Transl.) (79)
In this sense, Haitians of Mandingo lineage in Camp Louise and Balan hardly differ from those of Nan Soukri who officiate a Congo ritual. They are neither different from those of Lakou Badjo who operate a Nago (Yoruba) ritual, nor from those of Nan Souvnans who do a Dahomean (Beninese) ritual. The same goes for hundreds of other shrines and families with specific ethnic worship. The fact remains that these Haitians practice the same traditional religion, but according to their own ways and family customs.

6.6- The Mandingo solar cult in Balan

Gerson Alexis' description becomes more or less accurate with respect to the Balan cult's orientation towards the Sun :

"The cult is oriented toward the worship of the king of the king of the past creation which is the Sun and also toward the adoration of the past ancestors. In their prayers, they invoke the moslem god : ALLAH, also some other well known prophets as Mohamed or some outstanding mandigoes as Moussa." (80)
Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, for her part, argued that the solar cult observed by Haitians of Mandingo origin in Balan is inspired by the muslim religion :
"Of very religious and magical nature in Africa as in Haiti, the members of this clan are distinguished by the peculiarities of their burial and their worship (salutes to the sun) influenced by Islam." (Transl.) (81)
This is completely delusional, given that Michel Azinka, the “Mandingo” officiant whom she (Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique) cited, spiritually identified himself as “Fran Ginen”, which amounts to saying “purely traditionalist” and moreover, he made no allusion to islam :
"We are frank Ginen whose center was in Grand Kay, Bois Neuf. But we Mandingos have the Sun in our cult. We can make requests there, for example, to obtain justice." (Transl.) (82)
Surprisingly, Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, islamic revisionist, did not reealize that she contradicted the muslim doctrine by proposing a legitimate alliance between islam and "vodoun", among Haitians of Mandingo origin :
"The Mandingos of Morne Rouge (Bois Caïman) combine their Islamized cult with vodoun, especially in its Makaya form : Garde briz, Linglessou, Jean Dantor… The cult is "hot."" (Transl.) (83)
But the solar cult observed in Balan is, with a few variations, common across Haiti where the traditional religion is fusional, multi-ethnic. This solar cult has therefore nothing islamic, for these reasons :
1) Muslims orient themselves to pray towards Mecca, and not towards the sun, as do the Balan residents.
2) The islamic events are spaced in order to avoid contact with the sun. Whether they are the 5 daily obligatory prayers, or the fast of the month of Ramadan in which one abstains from consuming food, and from drinking when the sun is active in the sky.
3) The Mori, or Haitian officiant in Balan, makes his essential prayers at dawn and then interprets the messages of the deceased ancestors, which is contrary to islam :

"According to the believers, the Mori is the depositary of the cult secrets. He only knows and understands the mysteries. He lives in a strict relationship with the Supreme Being who communicate him his science by dreams. He understands the dead ancestors messages. He interprets them for the community...
The mandigo ceremony is divided into two parts: one, at night, for the prayers and another one, early in the morning, for the offerings.
The night ordinancy as well as the morning one is a succession of recommandations, prayers, songs, dances with or without  orchestra accompaniement. This orchestra is composed of two conic drums, a major and a small one and of some "castagnettes" beaten by the participants." (84)
4) The most intense operations in Balan take place when the Sun is at its highest point. Let us raise for this purpose the ability of certain elders of Mandingo stock to magically "return" to die in ancestral Guinea through the sun. The revisionist Gerson Alexis, having learned of this magical practice in 1966, linked it to a Mandingo superiority complex and to islam :
"…This has conducted to a sort of superiority complex in favor of the mandigoes, a complex maintained from generations to genrations by the persistency of legends and fables concerning the magic nature of the past mandigoes. One of these legends says that in the past, the "good mandigo" did not die as he common people. Feeling his life about to end, the old mandigo addressed a prayer to the sun at a propice hour and one could see him flying away from earth to heaven. Thee is such legends concerning haitian independance war heroes as MACKANDAL AND BOUKMAN (1792) who were themselves moslem mandigoes." (85)
Either Gerson Alexis was misinformed. Either he wanted to give this practice an islamic resemblance, by inventing the dying "rising in the clouds". Around 1999, Exalus Barthelemy, the Mori of Accul du Nord, dealt with this Mandingo phenomenon differently. There is no mention of rising to the clouds, nor of racial superiority. Moreover, the Mori linked the phenomenon to the traditionalist spiritual ideal : the return to Guinea, that is to say the return to ancestral "Africa" :
"They, the elders, they would not die in Haiti. Old aged, they gathered all their possessions in a belt and prepared themselves. When the hour arrived, the earth opened up and they returned to Guinea." (Transl.) (86)
In this regard, my family has similar eyewitness testimony. It comes from Lucita Durosier, our old neighbor in Petite Anse, a village at the entrance of Cap Haitien. Madame Durosier, whom we affectionately called Gran Manman (Grandma), witnessed such a mortuary practice in her childhood, around Quartier Morin.
Around 1900, close to death, an old man (whose ethnicity was not specified) gathered his family around him, including our witness. In his courtyard, at noon (therefore the Sun being at its zenith) he performed magical operations, then returned to "Africa" by sinking into a sieve (layo / laye) set on the ground.
Our beloved neighbor, was she of Mandingo origin? Likely. But it was never addressed, nor of importance. Certainly, she was not a muslim. She did not come from Balan, nor from its neighboring region. Extremely caring, generous and altruistic, our Gran Manman did not correspond to the cliché of an autarkic and complexed Haitian Mandingo that the revisionists boast constantly.
Unfortunately, Gerson Alexis made disciples. In 2003, revisionists Ulrick Fleischmann and Alex-Louise Tessoneau took his islamic innuendo to the extreme. With a view of painting the Haitian Mandingos as muslims, Fleischmann and Tessoneau have linked the magical departure of Haitian elders to the physical departure of certain dying Fulani members in "Africa"

"When an old Mandingo felt that death was close he sat down at dawn under a calabash tree and when the sun reached its zenith, he disappeared: he had left for Africa, the land of his ancestors. Once, one of them had a child with a Creole woman and hefore he was able to teach it the lslamic faith, the child died. Since that time, Mandingos have not been allowed to retum to their ancestors' land hefore they are huried according to the rites that have been revealed ('révélé) by the ancestors. We were very surprised to discover a similar foundation myth reported by Tauxier for the Fulani: an Islamic chief, when he felt that he was about to die, left his Fulani wife and his children from this marriage. This story explains why the Islamic Fulani live in different communities.
Certainly, these similarites are not very conclusive, but we should note that within a closed world like that of the Mandingo/Fulani any attempt to disrupt or deny it is sanctioned trhrough the death of the culprit; it is part of a radical fundamentalism which, for the sake of group conservation, has to reinforce cult rites, above all those connected with rites of passage
." (87)
Fleischmann and Tessoneau quoted Louis Tarifier, who nevertheless related the physical departure of old Peul men from one region to another where they died :
"Vadier said:" Around 1780, under the reign of the Fittobé Peul chief Hamat Diam, living in Bahn, a Fulani named Pabé left alone the Bahn region to graze his herd in the Téma region (circle of Ouagadougou). There, he married the daughter of the chief of this province who was of Mossi race (this woman was named Siboudou) (…) His Mossi wife bore him five sons and a daughter. (…)
Pabé, leaving his children in Kalsaka, came to die in Bane." (Transl.)
So, around 1780, in Burkina Faso, Pabé, the Fulani, traveled 250 kilometers (155 miles) to await his death in Bané (commune of Boulgou Province). He left his "mixed" children (Silmi-Mossi or Fulani-Mossi) in Kalsaka (commune of Yatenga Province). No mention is made of the sun, nor of magical devices, nor of islamic religion, in this quote. This Fulani's departure was physical and cultural.
It goes without saying that the supposed teaching of "the islamic faith" delivered or not by a Haitian Mandingo mother, as much as the alleged killing of violators of "group conservation" among the Fulani of "Africa", are but a bunch of lies from Fleischmann and Tessoneau
5) The Balan solar cult and the animal sacrifices that are made there, mark the era of Faro, the Water and Rain Divinity in Haiti, as among the Mandingo peoples of "Africa"   :
"The beginning of the era of Fâro.
At the end of the flood waters withdrawal, the beginning of which was marked by the simultaneous rising of sigi doolo (Sirius) and the sun, Fâro sowed on the fly — just as after her descent from the sky
the signs of living beings (man, animals, plants). These signs, by drinking the water from the ground and by eating the black earth of Fâro's pond, gave birth to the present life.
Thus was born the "sun", the era of Fâro. She then formed deep within herself the wish to "sanctify" (saraka), to make her reign prosperous, and wondered what would please the creator the most. In response to this wish, God immediately resuscitated and brought out of the waters of the pool of Fâro dyigi makan dyigi, the ram he had been led to create and sacrifice in heaven to save the world from certain collapse. And Fâro had this ram sacrificed after he had covered the nine primordial sheep.
It is since then, it is said, that any true sacrifice presupposes the resurrection of the victim." (Transl.)
Thus, dawn or Sunrise simply symbolizes the start of Faro's era, in the cult of the Mandingo peoples. Era following a Flood causing the fourth destruction of the world by Man Ngala, the Creator God. This primordial Ram was sacrificed by lightning which sliced like a flint, hence the thunder stones on Haitian traditionalist altars : a Mandingo tradition, not an Amerindian or Taino one.++++

7- The funeral cult of the Haitian Mandingo

From early 1960s, Haitian Jean Rénald Clérismé wondered about the Mandingo funeral rite. Following his 1996, 1998 investigation in Balan and its neighboring regions, revisionist Clérismé declared the funeral cult of Haitians of Mandingo origin to be islamic :
"The funeral rite remains the most eloquent vestige of muslim culture in Haiti. It is intended to reaffirm values and to ensure the revival of the Mandingo social organization. (...) Bwa Inan describes to us in great detail the process of the Mandingo funeral rite from which it allows us to measure the weight of the cultural heritage that the islamized captives have bequeathed to us. So that we must add the Mandingo alongside vodou in our religious cultural heritage." (Transl.) (90)
What is it really? A summary analysis of various elements of Mandingo funerals is necessary.

7.1- The offering of white hens by the Haitian Mandingo

White hens are sacrificed during the Mandingo funeral in Balan. The revisionist Jean Rénald Clérismé even had the audacity to claim that white poultry sacrifice was in honor of Mohamed ; an abomination :
"The white rooster ritual sacrifice in honor of the prophet Muhammad is highlighted next to the sacrifice of the hens and the goat whose meat will be prepared, distributed in part to the audience and partially deposited in a determined place for the soul of the deceased." (Transl.) (91)
Shortly after, the officiant, addressing sacred words to the rising Sun, will evoke "Simba ou" or "Simbaou" :
"The Mandingo have services that they organize either on the occasion of a death or to obtain justice for a false accusation. In the first case, the service will be done in two stages: seven days after a member's death and six months after his funeral. (...) The pounding finished, a real ball will follow which will continue until daylight. AT SUNRISE, the white hens will be sacrificed, the celebrant, addressing the sun , will say: "Si'm ba ou, si'm ba ou..."." (Transl.) (92)
This "Simba ou" or "Simbaou" is a slight distortion of Simboumba Tagnagati, a primordial Mandé Ancestor who, after receiving Faro's first words, spoke all night to be silent at sunrise :
"The third ancestor, Simboumba Tagnagati, received from Faro thirty-first words and eight cereal seeds in the pond in which he penetrated after the fall of The first rain on Earth. When he came out of the water, he said, "Nko / I speak." He built a sanctuary in which he put the seeds. At this sanctuary's door, Simboumba Tagnagati revealed to his brothers the thirty words of Faro ; he spoke all night and stopped talking when he saw Sirius and the sun rising together on the horizon." (Transl.) (93)
The white hen, symbol of the Haitian Mandingo (and Bambara), finds its source in the Mandingo Creation story. Because following the second destruction of the world by the Creator, the birds offered their submission to Faro, the primordial Divinity. Thus facilitating the repopulation of the land :
"But God subsequently made a second sacrifice, dreadful that one, a sacrifice of destruction, to put an end to the actions of the Musokoroni. Dreaming of getting hold of the universe, she sent the winged people to God, in the hope of obtaining the knowledge and the secret of eternal youth. These birds, these insects and these butterflies were of gigantic size. Furious, God went to the fifth floor of the sky and he struck down the envoys of Musokoroni. Lightning destroyed most of the species; those that remain survive only in a reduced or shriveled form. The hornbill, whose wings, legs and spine were broken, made its submission. It gathered the "signs of the world." in its big beak. The vulture, remained faithful to Faro, like the turtledove, brought back the surviving birds, diminished, in obedience to God." (Transl.) (94)
Consequently, the fowl with white plumage, linked to Faro, distinguishes the chosen from the simple mortal :
"Ntouba nin gwè dondo, from ntouban,"pigeon", nin, "small ", gwè, "white", and dondo,"rooster, male" : "Small dove or white male dove", is, in Malinké mythology, a white male turtledove in the service of Fâro, goddess of water. It would only manifest itself to the elect of God and of this goddess, especially on the threshold of death." (Transl.) (95)
Faro, Divinity, Jany, Lwa of water and rain, is still honored in Haiti, where she is offered very spiced white hens. And Faro, Faro Pyè, Faro Dantò, etc., enjoy their dishes well washed down with strong alcohol. Sign of the non-islamic nature of their Bambara/Mandingo cult. One would think that the researchers would be convinced of it. But no.

7.2- Pounded rice dishes among the Mandingos

At the heart of the Haitian Mandingo funeral is the preparation of a pounded rice paste called "moni" or "dèguè", according to its consistency. This sweet dish offered to the deceased and to worthy participants, has a sacred character :
"The mori is the 'priest,' the officiant who conducts the Mandingo funeral ritual. At one point in the ceremony, he dons a white alb and lights a white candle. He is the only one authorized to consume and distribute the monni to those he considers worthy of consuming it. Hence its sacred character. It is he who composes the white and red degue. It is to him that falls the honor of presenting it first to the rising sun. he is the one who mixes the white degue with the red and distributes it before sending the rest to the depot for the dead.
The degue is made from rice flour, cold water and salt. A quantity of white rice is pestled in an adjoining room while the mori conducts the ceremony. Monni is a kind of mousse made from the head of crushed rice reduced to a paste." (Transl.)
Catholic priest Carl Peters sums up the Haitian-Mandingo funeral well, emphasizing the central role of a specific food, ground rice :
"The wake will be out of the ordinary: After the passing of the deceased, they get white hens, white rice that will be "pounded" by four people and cassava flour. The rice pounding will be accompanied by songs and dance.
After songs and prayers, they prepare a "meal" made up of all kinds of dishes, (dish called "manger gaudioye". All the heirs of the deceased will take part in this meal. When the meal is over, they will continue to dance until the music ceases around four in the afternoon." (Transl.)
he islamized Mandingos who immigrated to Portugal from Guinea Bissau perform a similar funeral ceremony which they call munkoo. Munkoo is also the designation of the sweet rice flour dish. Orthodox muslims in Portugal refer to these Mandingos as “pretos” (Blacks) instead of muslims. They consider their funeral practices and infant "baptisms" un-islamic.
During these ceremonies, Mandingo immigrants sacrifice white hens (a non-islamic practice), and the rice flour dish preparation is central
. (98)


Where does this tradition come from?

This rice flour dish dates back to the Mandingo Kingdom of Gabou. During the first harvests traditional festival, the sweet rice dough was prepared by the women, then distributed to the children :

"At harvest time, they organize large ceremonies; they cut the first millet, the first sheaf of rice, the women make cake, porridge. The celebration takes place under the large trees — dialan —, the priests officiate. Cola, which is precious to old people, rice paste and porridge to children, are distributed. Tiramaghan himself sacrifices the bull, blood is spilled on the stone altars; the crowd rejoices and dances. They drink millet beer. They also drink palm wine. It is the local wine. Heads heat up, the drum rumbles, the desire to fight swells the hearts; the clans provoke each other, but Tiramaghan appears, or else they pronounce his name; immediately everything returns to normal." (Transl.) (99)
Short of a few elements, this sacrifice made by the King of Gabou (honored in Balan as Roi Gazou (King Gazou)) recalls a typical traditional Haitian ceremony; whether held in Balan or elsewhere in the country. It is also reminiscent of the bull sacrifice by a powerful figure in Morne Rouge, August 14, 1791.

7.3- Mandingo funeral divination

Gerson Alexis reported the divinatory portion of the Mandingo funeral. The participants are possessed in turn by traditional Divinities, called Jany (Zanges ; meaning Angels) in Northern Haiti. Then came the Spirit of the deceased, the "Jany Mò" ("Zange mort" ; meaning Spirit of the deceased) that the officiant (Mori) will question in "African" language, in order to obtain the circumstances of his death and other relevant answers :
"The round of the Deaths is followed by the rounds of the members of the family (the Heirs). (…) The music for that dance is by and by languish or vivid. I have noticed here upon, a predominace of the following vodou rythm : YANVALOU, CONGO, DJUBA and MAHIS.
During the dance, the possession crises are numerous. But the Mori watches the show with unconcerned eyes until the manifestation of the "ZANGE MORT" (…) With the blanket, the Mori covers the head of the possessed person along with his head, and, one can hear a dialogue between the Mori and the possessed unde the blanket. The dialogue is in an unknown language. Some minutes later, the possessed recovers his sense and, the night-time ordinancy is over. The participants may sing and danse still morning
." (100)
Faced with the evidence that the Balan Mandingos perpetuated a traditional cult tinged with residues of islamism, the revisionist Gerson Alexis opted for distortion. Unable to deny the predominance of traditional Yanvalou, Congo and Djouba dances, Alexis claimed that these elements are influenced by the Mandingo tradition, which is more "civilized", more "organized" and more "muslim" :
"The words : HOUNGAN and MAMBO, for the designation of male and female vodoo priests are mandigo words. A god name as DAMB-ALLAH (a snake god) is a mandigo creation.
Even the vodou musical rythm appear to derive from the mandigoes. By listening some mandigoes tunes, one can easily recognise the basic vodoo rythms as the YANVALOU, the CONGO, the MAHIS, the DJUBA. More orginazed, the mandigoes had more to offer to this melting pot represented by the mass of the other slaves.
." (101)
Facing the same problem, the revisionist Clérismé, for his part, feigned ignorance and a lack of information :
"He explains how at dawn on Tuesday a member of the audience dressed in white is possessed by the spirit of the deceased and conveys a message to some family members. Is there an influence of vodou's krazé kanari rite here, or is it a practice specific to the Mandingo funeral rite? I cannot say at this stage of my research." (Transl.) (102)
The lack of integrity demonstrated by these 2 Haitian intellectuals is both revolting and typical.

7.4- No ground contact for the coffin or mat
More honest on this point than the Haitian intellectuals, revisionists Ulrick Fleischmann and Alex-Louise Tessoneau concede that funeral sacrifices, the prepared meals and divination belong to the traditional religion. However, they argue that the entombment among the Haitian Mandingos points to islam :
"Sacrificial animals are mostly white fowl immolated at sunrise; after this ceremony white rice will be offered in a white plate.
These rites as well as other more general elements of a magical view of the world - divination, interpretation of dreams, rites to obtain justice after false accusations - are part of Haitian creole culture. The most obvious link with Islam is the funeral rites. The dead body is rolled in a mat and buried so that it has no direct contact with the earth; the grave-site is chosen in relation to a calabash tree (a detail that obviously refers to the foundation myth)
." (103)
Indeed, the corpses do not touch the ground in Balan's Mandingo burials. Carl Peters observed tree leaves placed between the ground and the coffin (or mat) :
"Mandingo funerals are done according to a special rite. The society members do not wear black as a mourning sign but preferably white; the coffin should not be varnished but of raw wood when one is not simply buried in a mat.
The pit is dug in such a way that it can first be lined with a layer of logwood branches itself covered with a thick carpet of guava leaves. The coffin will therefore rest on this guava leaves layer
. These precautions are taken to prevent the earth from touching the coffin, which would cause the worst calamities to the family, possibly even more deaths in the near future." (Transl.) (104)
But this Mandingo funeral practice predates islam. Formerly, in traditionalist Mandé, corpses were not buried, but hung from a tree, to prevent them from touching the ground :
"The rites have evolved. In the past, the bodies were suspended from trees until they rotted, while the bones were preserved. Today the corpse is buried. Only a cotton strip symbolizing the tongue of the dead, meaning his word is hung, on the tree branch." (Transl.) (105)
The extract here is taken from a study on the Bambara, the Mandingo people who have remained faithful the longest to the traditional religion. Paradoxically, islam, at the extreme opposite of the Mandingo funeral cult, requires that the remains be laid on the ground several times :
"It is also recommended that before burying the dead body it should be placed a few yards away from the grave and moved to the grave halting slowly thrice. It should be placed on the ground every time and lowered into the grave at the 4th time. And in case the dead body is of a man it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time… (...)
And in case the dead body is of a woman it should be placed on the ground at the 3rd time towards the Qibla (...) and after the dead body has been lowered into the grave the ties of its shroud should be unfastened and its cheek should be placed on the earth and an earthen pillow should be placed under its head...
" (106)
Frankly, what do the revisionists know about islamic funerals? Absolutely nothing.

7.5 - Moni in Haitian culture

If its name "moni" is Mandingo, this flour-based dish is not the exclusive property of Haitians of Mandingo origin. Because "moni" is also called, among others, "boyri" by other West "African" peoplesw ho make it with flour from rice, millet, corn, etc.

(Boyri or Moni, in West "Africa")
Source : Barry recipes. "Corn porridge, boyri/moni, African recipe" [online] ; URL :

Everywhere in Haiti, (and in several other Caribbean islands) they know a variant of "boyri". They designate this boiled dough, sometimes large in size, "bòy", "donbòy", donbrèy, etc.

(Bòy, donbòy or donbrèy in Haiti)
Source :  "Haitian dumplings (donbrey or boy)" [online] ; URL :

Besides the religious aspect, the sweeten aspect of the West "African" "boyri" has also disappeared from the Haitian "bòy", "donbòy" or "donbrèy". And although they use "moni" in their ceremonies, Haitians of Mandingo origin from Balan and its surroundings also savor the modified "boyri", commonly called "donbòy" or "bòy" in Northern Haiti.

7.6- Dèguè and traditionalist Mandingo alliance

Today, in the territories of "Africa" occupied by the Mandé peoples, dèguè is a common dish made from millet, rice, wheat or couscous flour, mixed with milk.

(Dèguè in West "Africa")
Source : © Okedjenou. "Comment préparer un délicieux dèguè en moins d'une demi-heure?" ; [online] ; URL :

But the name "dèguè", "deguè" or "degué" hides an essential function : that of sealing alliances between traditionalist Mandingos :

"Dégué: A sort of couscous with milk; council, alliance. Déguémi: ally." (Transl.) (107)
"Drinking the dèguè" is a traditional ceremony marking political and warlike alliance. The example of Samory Touré asking a rival chief to drink the degué in his honor, to ally against the French colonists comes to mind :
"The dèguè ceremony is an important plan of Malinke culture in times of war. The dèguè ceremony is a rite — purely and exclusively Malinke — practiced in order to seal the bonds of vassals to overlords. It entails an oath of allegiance from the first to the second, that is to say from the vanquished to the victors. It is with good reason that Samory Touré had invited Djigui Kéïta to the consumption of the dèguè so that the last would swear allegiance to him and be subject to him to unify the war front against the columns of Faidherbe and build a powerful Mandingo empire, which Djigui refused. Hence the dislocation of resistance at the base which led to Manding's conquest." (Transl.) (108)
Communal function is also associated with the action of drinking dèguè in Balan. Communion preceded by the "Dio" (Djò), the traditional prayer par excellence which is attested throughout Haiti. Because, it must be said, the Mandé (Bambara/Mandingo, etc.) did not live only in Balan, or in the North :
"The mandigoes sing the "DIO" which is a mandigo oath by which they advocate the testimony of their ancestors. After that is the ritual communion moment. The dêguê is distributed first to the heirs, then to the mandigoes and finally to any by stander who fills himself "pure enough" to eat it." (109)
In this context, the Saint Domingue Mandingos did not orchestrate the black pig sacrifice near Morne Rouge, on Sunday August 21, 1791. Otherwise, their pact would have been sealed by dèguè distribution, and not by a finger size drop of the sacrified animal's blood. However, once again, the August 14, 1791, black bull sacrifice at Morne Rouge, agrees with traditionalist Mandingo practices. The sacrifice - by a young officiant - of the black pig on August 21, 1791, matches more the cult of the Lemba brotherhoods from Congo, known as Lenmba or Kongo-Lenmba in Northern Haiti. In this Lemba cult, a drop of a consecrated liquid (holy water in Congo; sacrificial blood in Bois Caïman) seals notable events.

8- The Mandingos and the Bois Caïman ceremony

8.1- The Haitian Mandingos and the action of "enclosing" the Bois Caïman ceremony

The Mandingo Haitians of Balan reject the islamic hypothesis that they had started the Bois Caïman ceremony. Faced with insinuations by their questioners, some believe on the contrary that they have closed or "enclosed" this ceremony. This action at Bois Caïman seemed to them more in keeping with their tradition.
It goes without saying that Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique reinterpreted their words in her own way, introducing her elastic and abusive concept of the "21 nations"
"They claim to have participated to August 14, 1791, thanks, among other things, to their ability to make themselves invisible, especially in combat -"the Mandingo society is a security force."
At Bois Caïman, it was pointed out to us that the Mandingo people still located in this place today [False : the Morne Rouge inhabitants say they practice a Congo cult, not a Mandingo one] had played the role of "enclosing": the meaning of this term is fundamental for the group, since, the Bambara / Mandingo being of clan nature, it is the enclosure which contains the extended family, which defines the fundamental unit : "The Bambara family resides in huts which a fence joins to each other... This fence bears, in certain dialects, the name of Gwa... Gwa, taken in its sense of 'fence', is used to designate all kinds of agglomerations thus surrounded ... There is no proper term to designate expressly and exclusively a collectivity similar to that which our law defines as family. used for this purpose ". The Mandingos, by enclosing Bois Caïman, sealed the unity of the twenty-one nations." (Transl.)
Indeed, in their continent of origin, the Mandingos sealed their houses grouped by enclosures or fences :
"All the huts of the same family are surrounded by a crinling tapade (bamboo bark enclosure). At harvest time, sheaves of millet and corn are spread on the huts roofs.
The chiefs' huts are surrounded by a strong palisade of tree trunks." (Transl.)
However, "gwa" does not refer specifically to the fence as such, but to the Mandingo "kitchen," "homes" or "family homes" :
"Goua : Hut front, verandah, shelter, shed, kitchen." (Transl.) (112)
"Gwa" is also associated with the chiefdom among the Mandé peoples :
"Before sowing, the oldest head of household in a neighborhood, the gwa tigi, recalls this fact.
Each undivided family lives under the authority of its patriarch, lu tigi (from lu, house, tigi, chef or owner) or gwa tigi (from gwa, kitchen)." (Transl.)
In Balan, the word "Gwa" (Goua) is repeated many times in the Mandingo prayer gathered by Carl Peters. Showing that it is at least an important religious and community concept :
"...goua pouce, goua tendé, goua chanté, goua poussière, etc." (114)
Translated :
"...goua thumb, goua heard, goua sung, goua dust, etc."
But the Mandingo heritage not being confined to Balan and its surroundings, as the revisionists claim, "Gwa" is also inscribed in the traditional Haitian ritual at large as the name of Divinities (Lwa / Jany) Legba Atigbon Gway Legba and Gwa Zizwe Lakaya.

8.2- The Mandingos and the bull sacrifice in Morne Rouge

The repetition of "Goua" in Balan does not imply that the Mandingo ritual sealed the Bois Caïman ceremony. But, this possibility turns out to be more and more probable, with regard to the sacrifice - by a male officiant - of the black Bull in Morne Rouge, on August 14, 1791. Because Mandingo King Soundjata sealed his sacred pilgrimage to Kita by bulls and rams sacrifices :
"His pilgrimage was then transformed into a plebiscite; and to close it, Soundjata would have made important oxen and rams sacrifices after having updated the alliance pact which bound — and which still binds — the Massalens to the Cissé, Tounkara and Kamara from Kita." (Transl.) (115)
The traditionalist Mandingos therefore used to sacrifice bulls on special occasions. Their Kings (Mansa) were responsible for rain (in the manner of Faro). Since prolonged drought lead to their dismissals, if not their deaths, naturally, they presided over the harvest sacrifices :
"The mansa function is subject to many constraints. As soon as the first rains fall, the mansa-ba locks himself in his palace only to leave it on the occasion of the harvest; his exit is a celebration. The sovereign presides over  the harvest festivals, superbly dressed, he rides a horse, gallops around the city, followed by all the nianthio living in Kansala.
In front of the altar, the high priest sacrifices the bull while the royal drums resound, the mansa-ba having sat on the royal lion-skin carpet surrounded by his nephews and young nianthios of the capital." (Transl.)
The relationship between great ceremonies and rain remains in Balan and its surroundings. The Mandingo officiant at Camp-Louise mentions it :
"He says that in times of great droughts, as soon as members contribute to make a great Mandingo general, it starts to rain. He also relates that the Mandingo ceremony protects against storms and bad weather." (Transl.) (117)
Obviously, the traditionalist Mandingos of "Africa" also sacrificed animals for the success of a current project. Explorer Mungo Park witnessed this :
"By way of invoking the aid of a higher power than that of man, Isaaco, on entering the reputedly dangerous woods of Simbani, laid a black ram across the road, and after reciting a long prayer, cut its throat as a sacrifice." (118)
Saint Domingue's traditionalist Mandingos would certainly have sacrificed an animal for the success of a revolutionary project such as Bois Caïman. But what about the islamized Mandingos? In 1893, it was written that the islamized Mandingos of "Africa" named their annual sacrificial feast "Tabaski" :
"The feast of Tabaski takes place around the twelfth month of the muslim year. This feast is the object of great rejoicing. It is tradition among muslims to slaughter at least one sheep in each family on the day of the Tabaski, and to practice the widest hospitality towards foreigners and visitors throughout the feast. Drumming and gunshots ring out until evening.
Shea butter, a forced fast which lasts a certain number of days and which begins in the tenth month of the same year, corresponds to Ramadan for the Arabs; it is faithfully observed by the Mandingo. During the entire duration of Shea, no muslim is allowed to take food from sunrise to sunset." (Transl.) (119)
This Tabaski, in 1893 and to this day, is held in the 12th month of the regular islamic calendar and on the day of 10th Dhou al-HIjja. Thus some 2 months after Ramadan. But, as late as 1814, the Mandingo and other islamized West "Africans" celebrated their feast of sacrifice (Tabaski) directly at the end of Ramadan, and not on the 12th islamic month :
"The Tabaski is the negroes' passover; it is preceded by a fast of one month which is called Bayram or Ramadan.
During the month, the marabouts and the negroes who pride themselves on devotion observe with the greatest scruple the fast prescribed by law, and eat nothing during the day; many even push their scruples so far as not to swallow their saliva until sunset, when they then compensate themselves for the abstinence of the day.
The Tabaski and the Coré are celebrated with the same joys as the Gamon, except that at Tabaski several oxen are killed to distribute them to the people in pieces: the Coré is celebrated in the month of October." (Transl.) (120)
This implies that Saint Domingue's islamized Mandingos did not perform the Bois Caïman ceremony (August 14, 1791 or August 21, 1791). Because, Ramadan began on May 4, 1791, and ended on June 2 of that year. Their Tabaski was held on the nearest Sunday which was that of May 29, 1791.
The sacrificial feast of the Middle Eastern islamic calendar certainly fell in August 1791. But the "10 Dhou al-hijja" sacrifice was on August 10, 1791. If Saint Domingue's islamized Mandingos had celebrated it, it would have been on August 7, 1791, the nearest Sunday.

8.3- Mandingo's acts of "enclosing" battles, according to Haitian memory

The action of "closing" or "enclosing" events seems more in accordance with the Mandingo tradition than to initiate them. Traces of this are lodged in the Creole word "mikalaw". "Mikalaw" derives from Nyamakalaw, the plural form of Nyamakala, designating the class of Griots, Blacksmiths, Craftsmen, Leatherworkers, etc. of the Mandé peoples (Mandingo, Bambara, Soniké, Dioula, Malinké, etc.)
The Mandingo word "Nyamakala" is made up of "Nyama", which is the life force, and "Kala" which means to manipulate by the hand. Because of their manual professions, in Mandé land, the Nyamakalaw formed a subordinate and despised class

("Nyamakala" in a music art cover)
Source : Blanc Manioc. "Nyamakala Beats #1" ;

In wartime, the Nyamakalaw formed the regiment which, always numbering 740, launched simultaneously on the enemy to inflict the coup de grace :
"The Bambara Kingdom of Segou had an elite regiment, like the parent commandos, of 740 Nyamakala cavalrymen. Who went to war. Who were behind the King. They only took action to finish the battle, or to conclude it." (Transl.) (121)
In Haitian Creole, "mikalaw" or "fè mikalaw" is equivalent to "many, abundance, pour out in very large numbers" :
"mikalaw: fè ~ to abound, be plentiful, teem with, overflow with, swarm with." (122)
From there, the Balan Mandingos retained, instinctively or via orality, that their group "enclosed" events. This sentiment implies that many of their ancestors - and those of Haitians at large - came from the NyamaKalaw class. For in "Africa", in the event of defeats, the Nyamakalaw bore the blame, were killed or sold into slavery.
("Fè mikalaw", "do as the Nyamakalaw" in a news thumbnail)
Source : Fouyapòt News24 ; 2 août 2020 ;
Whether syncretically islamized or not, the Mandingo Nyamakalaw or their descendants were not the initiators of the Bois Caiman ceremony, nor of the general insurrection of August 1791. Their logic was to make a difference in the end.

9- The Mandingo in the Saint Domingue colony

9.1- The myth of the rebellious Mandingo
a) The severe Mandingo
The revisionists constantly acclaim the Mandingos' rebellious spirit. Most of them rely on this quote from Moreau de St-Méry who spoke of the Mandingo's severity as a teacher. They always omit the author's conclusion that the Mandingo was "good to use on the islands" :

"The Mandingo is a severe master, sometimes cruel, and he is rogue by habit. (...) But the Mandingo slave, by the very fact that he has been 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.) (123)
The revisionists wrongly insinuate that the Mandingo's educational severity resulted in resistance to captivity. However, the most severe Haitian parents - whether of Mandingo origin or not - mainly aim to keep their offspring at home and away from society. And from experience, when civil disobedience arrives, these severe families shut themselves in their homes, only to leave them timidly when calm returns.
The most extroverted family groups - at a pinch the most educationally flexible - in principle, of Congo stock, are the most inclined to civil and subversive participation. This is the case in Haiti, and it was so in the Saint Domingue colony

b) The robust Mandingo
The transatlantic slave trade records show that the "cargoes" of captives (slaves) were dropped randomly in the colonies, without any ethnic hierarchy. Yet other revisionists evoke this unproven quote from Jean Fouchard :

"Mandingos and Bambaras (...) These are therefore rebellious and proud negroes, hostile to servitude who populated the colony and it was the most valiant of them, the most robust and the healthiest that the slave traders reserved for Saint-Domingue." (Transl.) (124)
Indeed, Jean Fouchard offered as proof only an urban legend stating that they reserved the most robust ethnic groups to Saint Domingue :
"They used to say "the good people of Guadeloupe", "the Gentlemen of Martinique" and "the lords of Saint Domingue"." (Transl.) (125)
The planter Gérard aîné confirmed the robustness of several ethnic groups, including the Mandingo. And far from constituting rebels, these robust ethnic groups cooperated and were appreciated, because they were profitable :
"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." (Transl.) (126)
Thus, the robust, efficient and reliable ethnic groups, including the Mandingo, contributed to the exploitation system's continuity. Moreover, the influence of the Mandingo ethnic group on others in Saint Domingue was non-existent. Because, the Mandingos were not esteemed by the captive (slave) population, according to colonist S.J. Ducoeurjoly's observation :

"They don't think much of the Mandingo, Congres, and Mondongues negroes. They have their teeth filed down to a point, and are considered among other peoples to be anthropophagous." (Transl.) (127)
Even worse than disdain, the Haitian lexicon retains the Sousou, the islamized Mandingo people as traitors.

9.2- The Mandingo (Sousou) were traitors, according to Haitian memory
Saint Domingue has had its share of the Sousou (Soussou) ethnic group, the Mandingo people of Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone :

"New Negro, from the Sousou nation, who could not say his name or that of his master, stamped on the left breast PLICHER, about 28 years old, the size of 5 feet 2 inches, arrested in Valière." (Transl.)  (128)
The Sousou converted to islam in the 17th christian century. (129) And their worship remained syncretic. The name Sousou symbolizes money circles in several countries : a word and a practice that however derived from "esusu", of Nigeria's Yoruba. (130) In Haiti, Sousou evokes something quite different. Because in Haitian Creole, the "sousou" or "Ti sousou" is the traitor par excellence.

"sousou a   n  Flatterer, sycophant, boot-licker." (131)

("Traitor, sell-out, Judah, Ti sousou, Tchoul Blan")
Source : Smith Georges. "Haiti: Toto Constant Talks About CIA vs. Aristide". (March, 26, 2009) [online] URL : ; Capture : 02:00

Literature has confirmed the ethnic link of "sousou" that means "traitor" in Haitian Creole. As early as 1889-1890, 2 distinct researchers described the Sousou character in these words :
""The Sousou has no warlike instincts and has all the faults of the black race : lazy, without worrying about the morrow, the Sousou is also a liar, deceitful and a thief."
"The Sousou (...) his character is pusillanimous and carefree (...) ; however, many individuals have a highly developed commercial instinct and serve as intermediaries for commercial transactions between Europeans established on the coast and the peoples of the interior (...) The Sousous, especially the chiefs, have a spirit of dissimulation which makes them very apt for politics, and lying is carried with them to the last limits. They also suppress by poison, with great facility and without any remorse the man who can hamper their ambition."" (Transl.)
Almost a century later, in 1971, researcher Claude Rivière noted the Sousou's tolerance, adaptability, conciliatory spirit, indolence, open and cooperative spirit. And their :
"tendency to blend their culture with that of the more socially structured and numerically important neighboring people." (Transl.) (133)
n Saint Domingue's extreme domination environment, it is hardly surprising that the Sousou leaned on the stronger side, and used their talent for concealment to the detriment of their fellow captives (slaves).
Here again, the existence, in Haitian Creole, of the word sousou, synonymous with treachery, testifies to the mistrust of the captive population (slaves) for the Sousou ethnic group who practiced, according to all estimates, an islam extremely syncretized with the traditional religion.
Moreover, Divinities (Lwa/ Jany) named Sousou are found in the traditional Haitian pantheon. But there is confusion between Sousou, the ethnic group and "sousou", the sacrificial animal, which derives from "nsusu", meaning "chicken" in the Kikongo language. The Divinity Sousou Pannan offers this double interpretation

Sousou (susu) among Jamaicans?

It is hastily circulated the idea that Jamaican "susu" or "susu 'pon you" refers to the Soussou ethnic group, as is the case in Haiti (sousou, ti sousou, sousou pannan). But there is no link between these 2 entities. The Haitian sousou is an adjective that describes the sly and flattering manner of a person, in reference to the Soussou ethnic group.

("Su-su" in Bob Marley's music)
Source : Bob Marley. "Who the cap fit". [online] URL : ; Capture : 0:3:42.

Jamaicans' "su-su" is a verb that refers to the act of speaking badly about someone in their absence. This verb comes from the Twi language (Ghana) in which "susuw ka" means "to utter a suspicion", and "asu-tu" equates "to whisper - behind one's back", "to gossip", "to speak ill of someone". (134) And we know the linguistic impact of the Kromenti (Akan from Ghana) fugitives in Jamaica.

9.3- Contrast between the Sousou and his Bambara traditionalist cousin

As for the "Bambaras, who were a fraction of the Mandingos who remained loyal to animism and fiercely opposed to islam", (Transl.) (135) no qualifier is attached to their name in Haiti. Otherwise they are honored as Banmbara, Danmbara or Palmannan, in the traditional Haitian ritual. And as Mannmannan, in the folklore register.
In "Africa", the Bambara (Bamanan), unlike the islamized Sousou "Mandingos", make an identity trait of their aversion to betrayal and parasitism. Here is, on this subject, the Malian griot Oumar Koné

"To be Bamanan is a great honor. In that it symbolizes the rejection of gratuitousness and betrayal.
The headgear that the Bamanan man puts on means never to eat the meal to which one has not contributed.
When El hadj Omar Tall arrived with us, he tried to get to know the Bamanan of Ségou better, according to whom, a nobleman is not capable of lying, betraying his fellow man and courting the wife of others.
Here in Ségou, we express our thoughts without detour, whatever the consequence. We don't know genuflection. The Bamana is a man of his word, of honor." (Transl.)
Having learned of the Bambara's autonomist character, Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique sought to benefit the islamized Mandingos whom she associated with Balan and the Bois Caïman ceremony. To achieve this, she denied the Bambara as a distinct group, equating them with the Mandingo and the Fulani. Then she inserted the Bambara's rebellious character (which is however not retained by Haitian memory) in a Haitian saying, that she distorted :
"Bambara is locally called "Banmanan "; the Haitian idiom : "banmanan kase kòd nan batiman"only indicates the original meaning of the term "baman: refusal of master". Reputed to be rebels, their name comes, moreover, from the sign displayed by the members of their powerful secret brotherhoods." (Transl.) (137)
Dishonest, Beauvoir-Dominique claimed here that Haitians say "Banmanan" (Ban-ma-nan), when in reality, they say "Palmannan" (Pal-man-nan). The authentic Creole expression is on the contrary "Blan mannan kase kòd (nan) batiman" (The destitute White man broke the ship's rope).
This notorious Creole expression refers to "Blan mannan", (destitute Whites). '"Manant" being an archaic word describing : a peasant, a villager, once a villain, a commoner, a man of poest, a subject of feudal justice; by extension a rude, boorish man
. (138)
In colonial times, the Manants, nicknamed "Engagés" (Enlisted) or "36 mois" (36 months), were destitute Europeans whose hard work was bought in the islands for a period of 36 months. These European indentured workers, fearing the brutal treatment awaiting them on the islands, often escaped from the ships landing them.

9.4- The Mandingo heritage in Haiti is above all traditionalist

By dint of dissecting the few lines of islamic prayers saved in the Balan region, we forget that most of the Mandingo legacy in Haiti is purely traditional.

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

Fortunately, the majestic Djò prayer, the classic Mandingo rhythms, the rhythm known as "Madanm Tobodop" (variation of Ngri), the Divinities (Jany/Lwa) Faro, Penmba, Palmannan, Nantyou (or Nanchou), etc. are there to remind us.

10- Saint Domingue islam and post-colonial reality  

How can one attribute the paternity of the Haitian Revolution to islam, a religion for all practical purposes absent from the Haitian State's two centuries of existence? In 1804, year of the Haitian independence, two thirds of the Blacks were born in "Africa". However, since the start of the Revolution (1791) to this day, all the supreme leaders that Haiti has known were Creoles (therefore born on the island) :
  1. Jean-François Papillon (1791-1793),  Creole (syncretic catholic)
  2. Toussaint Louverture (1794-1802), Creole (traditionalist Dahomean lineage; practicing catholic)
  3. Jean-Jacques Dessalines (1803-1806), Creole (traditionalist Congo lineage; traditionalist)
  4. Henry Christophe (1806-1820), Creole (traditionalist Ibo lineage; catholic, more or less Protestant)
  5. Alexandre Pétion (1807-1818), Creole (catholic)
  6. Jean-Pierre Boyer (1818-1843), Creole (traditionalist Congo lineage; catholic)
  7. Charles Rivière-Hérard (1843-1844), Creole (catholic)
  8. Philippe Guerrier (1844-1845), Creole (catholic)
  9. Jean-Louis Pierrot (1845-1846),  Creole (practicing traditionalist). Husband of Cécile Attiman Coidavid known as Cécile Fatiman, father of Célestina Pierrot known as Cécé.
  10. Jean-Baptiste Riché (1846-1847), Creole (practicing catholic) 
  11. Faustin Soulouque (1847-1859), Creole (Mandingo lineage; practicing traditionalist). Placed in power as a joke, because considered harmless due to his pronounced "African" (Mandingo) origin.
  12. Fabre Nicolas Geffrard (1859-1867),  Creole (Senegalese lineage; practicing catholic). Signatory of the concordat with the Vatican.
  13. Sylvain Salnave (1867-1869), Creole (practicing traditionalist)
  14. Nissage Saget (1869-1874), Creole (practicing catholic)
  15. Michel Domingue (1874-1876), Creole (more or less traditionalist)
  16. Boisrond Canal (1876-1879), Creole (syncretic traditionalist)
  17. Lysius Salomon (1879-1888), Creole (more or less catholic)
  18. François Denys Légitime (1888-1889), Creole (Ethiopian-islamic-christian lineage; catholic)
  19. Florvil Hyppolyte (1889-1896), Creole (catholic)
  20. Tirésias Simon Sam (1896-1902), Creole (practicing catholic)
  21. Pierre Nord Alexis (1902-1908), Creole (practicing traditionalist). Son-in-law of Cécile Attiman Coidavid known as Cécile Fatiman, husband of Célestina Pierrot known as Cécé.
This table illustrates that a century after independence (1804-1904), only 3 of these chiefs have a known lineage related to a place in contact with islam
1) Faustin Soulouque, whose mother Marie-Catherine was a Mandingo, was yet the most traditionalist of all the heads of State Haiti has had. And his totemic name "Soulouque" derives from "suluku", meaning "hyena" in the Mandingo language. (139)
2) Fabre Nicolas Geffrard whose paternal grandmother, Julie Coudro, came from Senegal, was yet by far the most catholic of Haitian heads of State
3) François Denys Légitime, his mother, Modeste Testas née Oriol-Poci or Alpouci, practiced an islam mixed with christianity, in her native Ethiopia. (140) However, President Légitime was catholic and wrote "La vérité sur le vaudoux" (The Truth about Vodou), (141) a work favorable to traditional religion. 
As though, Haitians have turned their backs on islam brought by a portion of their ancestors.

10.1- Where did the Saint Domingue muslims go?

About 4% of captives (slaves) imported into the island were taken from more or less islamized countries. Why, for all intents and purposes, has their cult completely disappeared from Haiti? 3 tracks were voluntarily taken by the islamized in the new Haitian nation :
1) A portion died out with its more or less mixed muslim worship that was not perpetuated.
2)A portion had converted voluntarily to catholicism, in the past, under considerable social pressure from captives (slaves) that were Creoles (therefore born on the island). These Creoles expressed contempt for the unbaptized "Africans" whom they called horses .

"As the Creole negroes claim, because of the baptism they received, to a great superiority over all negroes arriving from Africa, and who are designated by the name of Bossals, employed throughout Spanish America; the Africans who are apostrophized by being called Horses, are very eager to be baptized. At certain times such as those of Holy Saturday and Pentecost Saturday, when adults are baptized, the negroes come to the church, and too often without any preparation, and without any other care than to make sure of a godfather and a godmother, that one indicates to them sometimes at the moment, they receive the first sacrament of the Christian, and guarantee themselves thus of the insult addressed to the unbaptized although the Creole negroes still called them baptized on their feet. [Unlike the Creole who is presented to the temple as a baby]" (Transl.) (142)
Hence the Creole expression : "M pa ka legliz pou m mouri chwal". : Literally: "I cannot find myself in church, then to die a horse." Expression which, in modern Haiti, invites individuals to take advantage of a good opportunity. This expression denotes that the Saint Domingue islamized or traditionalist captives (slaves) were genuinely seeking to convert to catholicism, so as not to die unbaptized or "horse.
3) Another portion, officially converted to catholicism, but in fact returned to the traditional pre-islamic religion. Moreover, clues to this effect remain. We think of "Machala" (March a Allah) which lodges in some magic formulas. Likewise, "Nchala" (Inch Allah) meaning in Arabic "If Allah wills", has survived in the names of the Divinities (Lwa/Jany) Abikou Nchala Nougwe ; and Grann Dayanou Nchala Nougwe. This should not come as a surprise, since the vast majority of islamized people of Saint Domigue as from the mother continent practiced an islam mixed with their ancestral traditional religion.
That said, we are well aware that the revisionists reject the idea that a muslim can voluntarily convert to christianity and even less to the traditional religion. Free will, from their point of view, is one-sided; that is, an "African" traditionalist can convert to islam. But this same "African" does not have the right to return to his pre-islamic religion

10.2- Black islam and slavery in "Africa"

Unlike christianity, islam has passages encouraging individual acts of abolition. However, the abolition of slavery as a system is not proposed by muslim doctrine.
The trans-Saharan slave trade, by which millions of Black "Africans" were deported to the islamic Middle East lasted 14 centuries: from the 7th to the end of the 20th christian century. At least officially. Comparatively, the trans-Atlantic slave trade orchestrated by Western christians lasted 4 centuries: from the 16th to the end of the 19th christian century

(Slavery raid by Moors)
Source : "Maures pillants un village Nègre". René Geoffroy de Villeneuve. L'Afrique, ou Histoire, moeurs, usages et coutumes des africains: ‪le Sénégal ; orné de quarante - quatre planches, exéculies la plupart d'apris les dessins originaux inédits, faits sur les liaux‬. Volume 2. Paris, 1814. p.129.
Concerned primarily with racial considerations, researchers regularly expose these historical facts. They are however quite silent on the role of islam practiced by Blacks in local slavery.
However, the islamic revision of the Haitian Revolution is based in part on the ignorance of the pro-slavery islam practiced by Blacks themselves. For example, in the year 1900, more than a century after the start of the Haitian Revolution (1791) and the forced abolition of slavery in Saint Domingue (1793-1794), islamized Black "Africa" still held millions of captives (slaves)

Slavery by muslims in Black "Africa" in 1900
Slave population
Percentage of total population
Sokoto Caliphate
1,000,000 - 2,500,000
2,837,000 - 4,337,000

Source : Paul E.  Lovejoy. "Islam, slavery, and political transformation in West Africa : constraints on the trans-Atlantic slave trade". In: Outre-mers, tome 89, n°336-337, 2e semestre 2002. traites et esclavages : vieux problèmes, nouvelles perspectives ? pp. 247-282. (p263)
These millions of captives (slaves) were the work of Black muslims. For example, in January 1804, while Haiti had just achieved its independence, Fulani islamist Ousmane Dan Fodio initiated the concept of holy war (jihad) in West "Africa" ; not to emancipate, but to impose orthodox islam and then to establish slavery upon millions.
The Sokoto Caliphate+++++ that Dan Fodio founded in February 1804, and which was subsequently ruled by his family, had more captives (slaves) than Saint Domingue ever had. It took British (christian) intervention to end the enslavement of Blacks set up by these ardent Black muslims.
And if in Saint Domingue, they were relying on rebellion of islamized captives (slaves) who believed that Blacks deserved to be slaves because of a biblical-koranic legend, slavery would never have been abolished on that island ; and Haiti would never have been independent

11- Traditionalist ethnic groups, according to Haitian memory

Overall, the perception in the Haitian lexicon of traditionalist ethnicities is positive. Their names have become the names of sacred Nations, Divinities, rites, sacred songs, dances, etc. That said, Haitian Creole also retains negative perspectives, even insults, from the names of traditionalist ethnic groups :
  • Avadra (name of the Fon, Ewé and Adja language ethnic groups, from Arada, in Dahomey or present-day Benin) : Rascal, poor, lousy, poorly dressed, abandoned children, worthless.
  • Baka (name of the pygmy ethnic group from the forests of Cameroon and Congo) : Dwarf, demon. This misperception stems more from superstition than anything else. The presence of a little person sometimes evoked a dangerous hysterical fear in some ignorant Haitians.
  • Bizango (name of the ethnic group from the Bissangots Islands): Devil, cannibal, because members of feared secret societies. We illustrated in a previous article that this bad reputation was well founded. 
  • Wondonn or Wondong (name of the Moundang ethnic group of "Central Africa") : Brute, without finesse.
  • Kongo (name attributed to all the ethnic groups in the Congo) : Fool, idiot, peasant, uninformed, unsophisticated, etc.
All these labels, as well as those given to islamized ethnic groups, constitute insults in Haitian Creole. This is not a problem. For, unlike the islamic revisionists, we do not propose the ethnicity of traditionalist captives (slaves) as element of popular influence. Any observer can clearly conclude that the Haitian Revolution required contribution from all the oppressed elements of Domingo society.

11.1- The Congo question and treachery

Ignoring the insults linked to other ethnic groups' names, researchers argue that "Kongo" is an insult in Haitian Creole. Because, according to them, the Congo being happy on the plantations, the colonists loved them for that ; which caused the other captives (slaves) to consider them traitors. What was it really?
Colonel Gérard ainé exposed the physical fragility of the Congo and their taste for running away which harmed the system of exploitation

"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 and we observe that they are already old at 40. Finally, we can say that the Negroes of the Gold Coast are men while the Congo are only machines very easy to disturb." (Transl.) (143)
The Congo, libertines in essence, their cheerfulness in the workshops made them, not hate, but loved by other captives (slaves) :
"The Congos, in general, are great mockers, noisy, pantomimes, jokingly mocking their comrades. A single Congo is enough to put in good humor all the negroes of a house. Their inclination for pleasure makes them suitable for laborious occupations, being moreover lazy and very much addicted to gluttony, a quality which gives them a good disposition to easily learn the details of the kitchen : they are usually employed in the service of the large hut, because they are usually a returning figure." (Transl.) (144)
The colleagues' affection for the Congos resulted in the association of the word "Kongo" with positive things : Congo rite, Congo dance, Congo rhythm, Congo Divinities, Congo peas, etc. So where does this false accusation of treason come from?
1) From a fanciful (anti-Vodou) novel by Frenchman Jean Kergoz (1921) which certainly had echoes in the Haitian Catholic milieu invested in its anti-superstition fight.
2) Directly exposed - or not - to this novel, Haitian historian Jean Fouchard (1977, 1988) argued against the supposed treachery of the Congo, without emphasizing the foreign origin of this connection.
3) Haitian Guérin Montilus (1988), a great promoter of the Dahomean (Beninese) cult, spread the treachery of the Congos in order to elevate the Dahomeans. He remained silent on the fact that, like the Congos, the Dahomeans enjoy a positive label (Rada) and a negative label (Avadra) which is a worse insult than "Kongo".
4) David Geggus (1991), then other foreign researchers, ignorant of Haitian Creole, believed in the false association of Congo and treachery that no Creole dictionary has noted. (145)

11.2- The traditionalist revision of Bois Caïman and the Haitian Revolution

Traditionalists too - whether they support the islamic revision or not - propagate unproven theories about Bois Caiman and the Haitian Revolution. Their most stubborn and absurd theories go as such :

- Prior to the Bois Caïman ceremony, the Saint Domingue ethnic groups were divided. And that it was during the Bois Caïman ceremony that they were finally able to unite. (False)
Moreau de St-Méry recounted that individuals, regardless of their ethnicity, kept a fraternal connection, and called each other "batiment" (meaning "ship") when they crossed the Atlantic on the same slave ship. (146)
Similarly, traditionalist revisionists evoke the Creole expression : "Pa p fè 1 pa Kita, 1 pa Nago" (Will not take 1 Kita step, and 1 Nago step), to express an undocumented tribal conflict between the Kita and Nago ethnic groups. In fact, "will not take 1 Kita (dance) step, 1 Nago (dance) step" is implied in the expression marking immobility, not discord. Not to mention that the meeting at Morne Rouge mainly involved coachmen and workshop commanders. Prestigious positions filled almost exclusively by Creoles, and not by "Africans", strictly speaking.

- The Saint Domingue ethnic groups did not speak a common language. And that it was during the Bois Caïman ceremony that Haitian Creole was invented. (False)
  • There are lingua francas (meaning common languages) in all areas of "Africa" which allow a multitude of ethnicities to exchange.
  • You cannot invent a language during one or two ceremonies
  • The captives (slaves) who arrived on the island were taught Creole by those speaking their ethnic languages
  • The French-based Creoles of the Americas (including Haitian Creole) were created around 1635, in Martinique and Guadeloupe, from the fresh coexistence of a few hundred Black captives (slaves) bought from Dutch merchants, with the majority of Norman Engagés from France's North-Western coasts. The Norman indentured workers, in charge of the captives (slaves), taught them a simplified version of their jargon. The missionaries then transported this new language to the many islands where it was taught to captives (slaves) - Creole and imported. Over time, social and political changes, more or less important variations appeared in the French Creoles. That of Haiti acquired its current form only from 1820, after the fall of King Henry I and the reunification of the island by President Jean-Pierre Boyer. The citizens, no longer confined to their former colonial dwellings - at least in the North - "Africanized" the structurally Norman Creole by adding their lexicons, their regional and ethnic syntaxes.

- That the Haitian Revolution is solely the work of the traditional religion. (False)
The Morne Rouge meeting participants were not chosen on a religious basis ; but in connection with their intermediate position which made them the elite among the Black captives (slaves). The participation of christians (catholic and protestant) cannot be overlooked prior to the insurrection ; followed by the participation of catholic priests during the first months of fighting. Let's remember, for example, that :

  1. Catholic priests of the whole island (French and Spanish), opposed to the French Revolution, were among the first promoters of an uprising by the Saint Domingue captives (slaves).
  2. Toussaint Bréda, free and fervent catholic driver, interfered in the conspiratorial conversation of 2 colonists (catholics by default) : Bayon de Libertat and - in all likelihood - Séraphin Salnave. Toussaint, by his known genius, proposed to these 2 colonists, his long-time close friends, that a false royal proclamation of the cessation of the whip and 3 days of leave per week would be enough to make the captives (slaves) revolt. Such false proclamation was indeed read - by a Mulatto - during the Morne Rouge (Bois Caïman) meeting.
  3. The 2 plotting colonists recommended Toussaint Bréda to the other members of the Counter-Revolutionary Committee of Le Cap. Subsequently, the Committee wrote to Toussaint, who in the meantime designated himself Louverture - the Revolution's door opener - a patent letter (or a passport) which will allow him to recruit leaders from the Black royalists. This recruitment letter of November 6, 1790 was signed by : Bousson, Gatrau, Estève (catholics) and Paul Cairou - or Glairou - (practicing protestant. (147)
  4. Nine months later, on August 14, 1791, a false newspaper was printed and read - by a Mulatto - at the Morne Rouge meeting. Having seen the patent letter issued to Toussaint "Louverture", the 200 coachmen and workshop commanders - therefore not chosen on a religious basis - had no trouble believing that the royalist troops were on their way, and will soon be in the island to support the insurrection that they will begin. Boukman (traditionalist) held his catchy speech. On this, they set the revolt date on August 25, the (catholic/royalist) Saint-Louis-Roi-de-France (Saint-Louis-King-of-France) holiday.
  5. The Black plotters closed this August 14, 1791 meeting with a syncretic traditional prayer through which a male officiant sacrificed a black bull. On Sunday August 21, 1791, not far from Morne Rouge, they held an entirely religious ceremony. And during this traditional ceremony where a woman, this time sacrificed a black pig, the Divinity proposed to attack, not on the night of August 24-25, as previously concluded; but from the immediate next night of August 22-23. And that's exactly what they did. The Haitian Revolution thus took off.
  6. After the Revolution broke out, catholic priests chose the rebel camp where they served as chaplains, secretaries, or advisers. Let us mention Fathers Phillippe, Sulpice, De la Haye and Philemon (who gave his life). They did not object to the traditional rebel ceremonies which took place in the camps in their presence. Likewise, the traditionalist rebels did not object to going to catholic mass every Sunday.
The point here is that the Haitian Revolution is not strictly speaking a religious Revolution. Traditional religion was nonetheless the driving force behind its birth, its development and the strategic decision to advance the initial attack ; which led to its success. But christianity - despite being the origin of Atlantic slavery - also made its contribution through its opposition to the secular French Revolution.
So where was islam in all of that? Nowhere, as an institution, except in the heritage of certain individuals or groups of non-practicing captives (slaves). Because, as we have seen : practicing muslims opposed the revolt; at least those of the Fulani ethnic group


- That there have been ceremonies similar to that of Morne Rouge throughout the French colony of Saint Domingue (and even in the Spanish part, according to the most daring). (False)
There is no doubt that throughout the colony, many traditionalist ceremonies were organized on August 14, 1791. This date was a day off, the Sunday before the Assumption. The preceding years, such ceremonies were held ; and this for strictly spiritual reasons. But the Morne Rouge meeting was unique. It was initially political and royalist, then sealed by a syncretic traditionalist sacrificial prayer.
The proof being that only in Northern Saint Domingue, the general insurrection broke out. Even in the North-East, yet very near, the rebellion took several months to begin. That said, there were tensions with Southern captives (slaves), from February 1791. But the subversive organizations in the West and the South for this year were the work of Free (Mulattoes and Blacks). As Republicans, they aimed for equality with the Whites, but not the improvement of the lot of the captives (slaves) whom, however, they were pushing to join their ranks.
The unrest of Free Republicans Jean-Baptiste Chavanne and Vincent Ogé in the North was of the same nature. It preceded by a few months the Morne Rouge royalist/religious meeting of Sunday August 14, 1791


We will conclude that it was impossible for muslims to have performed the Bois Caiman ceremony in August 1791. Because, as we have seen, the Saint Domingue islamized population ritually sacrificed only at the end of the month of Ramadan. Those, like the Mandingos and possibly the Malé, who named this annual sacrifice Tabaski, set Ramadan according to the regular islamic calendar. It was therefore in the month of May for the year 1791. Then, those, like the Fulani, who designated the sacrificial festival Aïd el-kebir, made the sacrifice at the Spring Equinox or the March Equinox, therefore in the month of March of each year, including the year 1791. And their Ramadan fast took place 30 days before.
Some will imagine that this long study was aimed at demolishing the islamic faith. They will be masterfully mistaken. Because they ignore my background, and the context of this study.
They don't know that in high school, before it was "politically correct", I was - to my knowledge - the only one who openly and regularly defended muslim students (of various races) against islamophobic slights.
Neither do they know - and this is not a cliché - my sustained friendship from adolescence to adulthood with muslims of multiple origins ; without ever the slightest conflict having arisen.
They should at least know, at this stage, that islam, in this debate, was an instrument used by the enemies of the Haitian Revolution who, in the very strong majority, do not practice islam of which they ignore everything. And we chose to put them in their place, regardless of the religion they used against Haitian heritage.
This study was imposed on me, not by a sectarian impulse, but by decency and by my spiritual, intellectual and historical responsibility. As early as October 2002, I was exposed firsthand to the islamic revision from a disenchanted christian. I kept quiet, thinking that the Haitians would have rejected the revisionist "Bwa Kay Iman" formulation which is discordant to the speaking ways of the North where the Haitian Revolution started.
In 2015, faced with the meteoric expansion of the islamic revision, I finally decided to act, after realizing the Haitian people's unsuspected level of degeneracy. Because, the "Bwa Kay Iman" formulation was engineered by a native of Northern Haiti, and a Houngan (traditionalist leader) in addition. This person, in 1996, articulated "Bwa Kay Iman", knowing full well that it was grammatically incorrect. Xenophile and inferiority complexed, he who once thought the opposite, opted for the islamic revision only after being interviewed and influenced by a French revisionist Jew, in 1990-1991.
In short, the initial promoters of the islamic thesis were largely non-muslims (foreigners and Haitians) :
1) The foreign islamic revisionists, by embarking on this predatory adventure, have underestimated the extent of Haitian historical memory, and the determination of certain heirs to safeguard their heritage.
2) The Haitian islamic revisionists, for their part, indefatigable and unperturbed in their quest, their presence denotes that if Haiti is poor economically, it is however rich in inferiority complexed, in insane and in traitors.
Definitely, for these 2 types of revisionists, - and we are paraphrasing here the Father of the Haitian Nation, Emperor Jacques I, said Jean-Jacques Dessalines - we would have "made war for others... The Blacks, whose fathers are [spiritually] in Africa, so they will have nothing." Not even the Haitian Revolution for which a third of their population perished


* In colonial times, muslims were called "mohammedans", but this word has completely disappeared from Haitian memory. In Haitian Creole, they rather use "mizilman" which derives from modern French's "musulman". However, in a 2009 article entitled "The Twelve Bwa Kayiman Principles", Pierre Michel Chéry affirmed that in North-Western Haiti, the inhabitants of Mare Rouge (Mawouj) evoke the name "Mawometan" (Mohammedan) in a local legend :
"People from Lavale Jakmèl know the story of Bònsante; People from Mawouj in the North East know the story of Mawometan..." (148)
The legend of "Bonne Santé" as a protective spirit of La Vallée de Jacmel is attested by the locals. (149) But what about "Mawometan" in Mare Rouge? First of all, you have to wonder, what Mare Rouge is Pierre Michel Chéry talking about? Because, 2 localities are called Mare Rouge, in the Haitian Northwest (150) :
  • Mare Rouge, 2nd municipal section of  l'Île de la Tortue (Tortuga Island) ;
  • Mare Rouge, 2nd municipal section of Môle-Saint-Nicolas.
Everything suggests that it is Mare Rouge, the second municipality of Môle Saint Nicolas. This place has remained famous, not in relation to a certain "Mawometan", but as the place of residence of the legendary Docima. Him, whom they affectionately nicknamed D.D., was a prodigious Houngan (or great traditionalist officiant), and it seems, the mystical advisor of President Sténio Vincent (1930-1941) (151) :
"The two most famous oungans were" Antoine nan Gomier "in the South, and D. D. in Mare-rouge, near Jean-Rabel.
The voodooists of the Northwest speak reverently of D. D.
They report that D. D. refused to put his science at the service of malicious people, even the most powerful ; and cared for the humble and the needy free of charge.
The current Vodou patriarch would be CHAM LEGBA." (Transl.)
According to Daniel Louisius, a local Houngan, the people of Marre Rouge serve Lafrik, (Africa) which they also call Lwa, Ginen, Jeni, Mistè. (153) And their traditional religious services are exclusively Congo. Therefore, the inhabitants of Mare Rouge, the second municipality of Môle Saint Nicolas, do not practice a muslim rite ; not even syncretically.
Certainly, "Mawometan", as an adjective, or even as a first name, would have constituted a clue, at least of an old islamic contact in this region. However, improvised - according to its author's own admission - the article by Pierre Michel Chéry does not provide a reference.
Contacted, for this purpose, Pierre Michel Chéry, well-intentioned, advised us to consult the journal Conjunction, from 1985 to 1990. Unfortunately, even a rigorous reading of the Conjunction collection (from 1946 to the present day), did not allow us to trace the slightest mention of the word "Mawometan"

** See our article
: "Macandal wasn't muslim".

*** There is no doubt that by "spring solstice" Descourtilz referred to the Spring Equinox. Because for the year 1791, date of the Bois Caïman ceremony and the beginning of the Haitian Revolution, the first day of spring (March 20) was designated "March Equinox" or "Spring Equinox". See : Académie Royale des sciences. De l'influence de l'Équinoxe du printemps et du solstice d'été, sur la déclinaison et les variations de l'aiguille aimantée. Paris, 1791. p.46.
**** Metempsychosis reflection similar to that of our immediate neighbor in Sainte Philomène (quarter at Cap Haitien's Southern entrance). When an individual hit his dog, he would yell at the abuser if he was beaten that much, when he (the abuser) was himself a dog (in a previous life). The metempsychosis is here reversed compared to the warning of future punishment Descourtilz received. Still, the 2 reflections hail very likely from traditional Congo mindset.
***** We are reluctant to tackle purely epidermal questions that we've always considered reductive and reactionary. For, in our opinion, the reactionary mind is a sick, atrophied mind which only exists in the gaze of others. But the world being what it is... We will say : Ironically, those whose sacred books associate the Cham character with the Black race, refuse the idea that Blacks can descend from Km, Kam, Kamit or Kemit, namely ancient Egypt. As though, one can stick the supposed contempt placed on Cham unto Blacks, but not the wonder linked to ancient Egypt (Kamit or Kemit).
+ From the independence of Haiti (1804), the freedmen (former captives (slaves)) adopted the first name of their patriarch as their family name, replacing the names of the colonists or that of the dwellings to which they were subject. The reason why Haitians generally use male first names as surnames; unless there are old or recent crossbreeds

++ General Annibal Béliard's father of, the Knight /Colonel Joseph de Béliard (son of King Henry I aka Henry Christophe) as well as General César Dessalines (son of Emperor Jacques I aka Jean-Jacques Dessalines) were executed in Ouanaminthe on January 12, 1856 by Emperor Faustin I aka Faustin Soulouque, suspicious of their ancestry. (154)
Following their executions in connection with the rout of the 2nd Eastern Campaign (against the Dominican Republic), Soulouque, in an imperial proclamation, slandered the only 2 blamed as follows :

"They did not understand, these unworthy descendants of the founders of our independence, that repudiating the heritage of our fathers, they delivered abroad the soil of the country still lukewarm with the blood of their ancestors!" (Transl.) (155)
Also, General Annibal Béliard was the cousin in law of Célestina "Cécé" Pierrot, Cécile Fatiman's granddaughter. Because his first cousin, General and President Pierre Nord Alexis, also natural grandson of Henry I, was Clestina Pierrot's husband. And as we know, Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid, Henry I's wife, was Cécile Fatiman's younger sister and the great-aunt of Célestina Pierrot aka Cécé.
Similarly, several traditional songs evoke Cécé including this one which seems to deal with an act of treason suffered by Cécé from Sylvain Salnave (my paternal ancestor) 

Sese, adje Sese, Palmannan gade sa yo fè mwen.
Pwason ki genyen dlo lakonfyans dòmi lakay li...
Translation :
Cécé, alas Cécé, Palmannan see what they did to me.
The fish trusted the water and slept in its house...

This song was most likely composed in the years surrounding the imprisonment of Célestina aka Cécé by President Sylvain Salnave, once an ally of Cécé and her husband General Pierre Nord Alexis. General Alexis had taken up arms against Sylvain Salnave who had previously exiled him to Jamaica. And after 5 months in prison, Cécé escaped and also went into exile. (156)
Sylvain Salnave's grandfather, Séraphin Salnave, former member of the Counter-Revolutionary Committee of Le Cap, Toussaint Louverture's secretary and accomplice, was hanged on February 5, 1802 - date that Leclerc's troops landed in Le Cap - by General Henry Christophe, (157) Cécile Fatiman's brother-in-law, Célestina "Cécé" Pierrot's great-uncle-in-law.
Thus, Cécile Attiman Coidavid aka Cécile Fatiman, as much as her family, are part of Haiti's living history. They are real people whose experiences have left palpable traces, and not fictional characters whose history any demagogue can with impunity distort under the pretext that they were heroes and heroines
+++ Revisionist authors, see :
Gérard Barthélémy. "Propos sur le Caïman : Incertitudes et hypothèses nouvelles". In : Chemins Critiques, Vol.2, No.3. Port-au-Prince, Mai 1992. pp.33-58.
Léon-François Hoffman. "Un mythe national : la cérémonie du Bois-Caïman". In : La République haïtienne : État des lieux et perspectives. Paris, 1993. pp.434-448.
Charlie Najman. Haïti, Dieu seul me voit: récit. Paris, 1995. pp.157-160.
LeGrace Benson. "How Houngans Use the Light from Distant Stars". In : Journal of Haitian Studies, Vol7, No.1, 2001. pp.106-135. ; In : Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture~Invisible Powers, 2006. pp.155-179.
Ulrick Fleischmann, Alex-Louise Tessoneau. "African Fundamentalism in the New World : The Case of the Haitian Mandingo." In : A Pepper-Pot Of Cultures: Aspects Of Creolization In The Caribbean. Amsterdam, New York, 2003. pp.137-150.
Jean Rénald Clérismé. "Captifs islamisés et leur héritage". In : Genèse de l'État haïtien (1804-1859). Paris, 2009. pp.203-206.

++++ The sedimentary stones, called thunder stones, that garnish Haitian traditionalist altars find their meaning in the Bambara-Mandingo tradition. They are linked to Faro, and to the blood of the primordial Ram which flowed for life to be reborn :

"The Bambara's sacrificial practices are organized around Faro and the ancestors. Men no longer exhaust themselves giving blood to the Pemba tree, in exchange for immortality. But the so-called pembele stumps represent it. in each family, these venerable objects welcome the vital force (nyama) of the deceased while awaiting new births. Sacrifice places have multiplied and diversified. The blood of domestic animals is spilled there to maintain the life of men who have become mortal. Emptied of his spiritual principles, the victim "feeds" the altar. Roughly cut stones all date back to a mythical stone associated with the place where Faro gave birth to the first twins. Boli objects, made up of "an amalgam of elements representing the parts of the universe", come from "globules" released into space by Faro during her descent to earth. By the relay of the blood spilled on these various altars, an energy circuit is established between the sacrifying and propitiated power.
The question becomes more complicated if we examine another version of the myth exposed by Youssouf Cissé (1980). A supreme heavenly god stands against Pemba and Musokoroni. This primordial pair of earthly twins aroused the wrath of God when the male mated with a donkey and his twin with a dog. (This episode reflects the state of confusion of nature and human order, which the previous version expresses in another way by asserting that the tree united with women to generate in disorder all kinds of animal species. and plants.) To put an end to the taint of the earth caused by the "animality" of Pemba and Musokoroni, God had recourse to a sacrifice. He created in heaven a ram with a white fleece. The ends of the legs, however, were black, like the neck and head; but the forehead was marked with a white star. God slaughtered the primordial ram using lightning as a knife and cut it up, without skinning it. The blood of the animal purified the universe, literally "leached" it; it rid it of the foul odor caused by sexual perversion. The body was thrown upside down into space, the legs directed towards the four cardinal points." (Transl.) (158)
The Taino revisionists give these "thunder stones" an Amerindian origin. Indeed, Saint Domingue captives (slaves) gathered Amerindian flints here and there, during agrarian work, and placed them on their altars. But, that does not mean that these captives (slaves) had encountered these Amerindians that were exterminated more than 150 years before their forced arrival on the island
+++++ The word Sokoto precedes islam, knowing that the Sokoto Empire was founded 1 month after Haiti's independence, but yet, we find Sokoto Sofigbadè as the name of a Lwa/Jany or Divinity of the traditional Haitian religion. Is it a Fulani (Foula) or Hausa heritage? This remains to be determined.

(1) According to the total estimates of captives (slaves) introduced by colonies (1501-1866) ;
(2-3) M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Méry. Description topographique, physique, civile, politique et historique de la partie française de l'isle Saint-Domingue. tome 1. Philadelphie, 1797. p.28.
(4) Ibid. p.33.
(5-6) Dominique Harcourt Lamiral. L'Affrique et le peuple affriquain considérés sous tous leurs rapports avec notre Commerce & nos Colonies, Paris 1789. pp.231-232 ; 98-100.
(7) Prof. Iba Der Thiam. Quoted by Boubacar Boris Diop : "Faidherbe ou la fascination du bourreau". SenePlus : éditorial du 28 juillet 2020. [online] URL :
(8) S.J. Ducoeurjoly. Manuel des habitans de Saint-Domingue… Tome 2. Paris, 1802. p.306.
(9) Pierre Anglade. Inventaire étymologique de termes créoles des Caraïbes d'origine africaines. Paris, 1998. p.78.
(10) Aurélie Troy. "Les pagnes des circoncis : séparation et émotions dans les rites d'initiation seereer (Hireena, Sénégal)". In : Systèmes de pensée en Afrique Noire. 18/2008. (p.63). [online] posted on June 5, 2003.
(11) Les Affiches Américaines du mardi 18 mai 1779. Parution no.20. p.0.
(12) Les Affiches Américaines du samedi 3 janvier 1789. Parution no.1. p.717.
(13) Sammuel Adjai Crowther. Vocabulary of the Yoruba Language : Part I. English and Yoruba. Part II. Yoruba - English. London, 1852. p.84.
(14) João José Reis. Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia. (Transl. Arthur Brakel). Baltimore, 1993. p.120. ; João José Reis, Flávio dos Santos Gomes, Marcus J. M. de Carvalho. The Story of Rufino Slavery, Freedom, and Islam in the Black Atlantic. (Transl. H. Sabrina Gledhill). New York, 2020. p.230.
(15) João José Reis. Slave Rebellion in Brazil. Op. Cit. p.108.
(18) Sammuel Adjai Crowther. Op. Cit. p.31.
(19) Pierre Anglade. Op. Cit. p.47.
(20) Jean Targète, Raphael Urciolo. Haitian Creole English Dictionary. Kensington, 1993. p.6.
(21) João José Reis. Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia. (Transl. Arthur Brakel). Baltimore, 1993. p.48.
(22) Les Affiches Américaines du samedi 24 avril 1784. Parution no.17. p.270.
(23) James Frederick Schön. Dictionary of the Hausa Language. London, 1876. p.154.
(24) Jean Targète, Raphael Urciolo. Op. Cit. p.15.
(25-27) Michel Etienne Descourtilz. Voyages d'un naturaliste, et ses observations…, Volume 3. Paris, 1809. pp.164, 165, 171.
(28-30) Ibid. pp.212, 178, 161.
(31) M. E. Descourtilz. Voyages..., Vol.1. Paris, 1809. lvj.
(32) M. E. Descourtilz. Voyages…, Vol.3. Op. Cit. p.166.
(33) M. E. Descourtilz. Voyages..., Vol.1, Op. Cit. lvj.
(34-36) M. E. Descourtilz. Voyages…, Vol.3. Op. Cit. pp.164, 165, 171-172.
(37) Ibid. pp-178-179.
(38) Gaspard-Théodore Mollien. Voyage dans l'intérieur de l'Afrique, aux sources de Sénégal et de la Gambie, fait en 1818. Tome 1. Paris, 1820. p.293.
(39-41) Ibid. pp.165-166, 167-169, 169.
(42-44) Ibid. pp.169-170, 171, 170.
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Rodney Salnave. "Saint Domingue's islamized were submissive". September 29, 2020 ; Updated Dec. 21, 2020. [online] URL : ; Retrieved on [enter date]

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