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Neg Mawon

February 21, 2016

 
In Haiti during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the French encountered a variation of slave rebellions. One of them was the Haitian slaves who fled to remote mountainous areas up north on the island. They were called marron in French or mawon in Haitian Creole, both meaning escaped slave. The maroons formed exclusive communities that had their own structure for living. They continued to cultivate agriculture and hunting but they didn't completely turn their backs on the plantation. Many came back secretively to free family members and friends. Many united with the Taíno settlements, who escaped the Spanish invasion during in the seventeenth century. Certain maroon became treacherous and made certain treaties with local colonial authorities that allowed them to settle their own independence in exchange for turning in other escaped slaves.
 
One particular slave resistance against the French plantation system was a maroon leader named François Mackandal. He led what is known as The Mackandal Revolution, the movement was formed to poison the beverages and food of the plantation owners in the 1750s causing more than 6,000 Whites to die. François also lead groups of Haitian slaves to burn property, take goods, and murder Whites. Another maroon named Boukman Dutty declared revolution in 1791 and to end White Supremacy in the country Haiti that kickstarted the Haitian Revolution. A statue called Le Negre Marron or Neg Mawon is an iconic and historic figure that stands in the capital of Port-au-Prince in close proximity to the White House. The figure is to honor the first attacks for the fight of freedom against France. The symbolism Neg (man) (Mawon) (maroon) man is a man kneeling on one leg and stretching his other with one hand holding a conch shell to his mouth to sound off the sound of freedom while the other hand is planted with a machete. The chain on his stretched leg is broken once he makes that call for justice. 
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