By Philippe R. Girard (auth.)
Read Online or Download Paradise Lost: Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey from Pearl of the Caribbean to Third World Hot Spot PDF
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Additional resources for Paradise Lost: Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey from Pearl of the Caribbean to Third World Hot Spot
Like those planters convinced that antislavery agitators had come from Paris, like those slaves certain that they would soon enjoy three-day weekends, many a historian has fallen victim to Haiti’s prolific rumor mill. But for all its inaccuracies, the Bois Caïman ceremony has become canonical; two hundred years from now, histories of the slave revolt will likely start with a detailed account of this tempestuous night. It certainly is a great story. The Slave Revolt (1791–1792) The slave revolt that had erupted in northern Haiti soon spread to the western part of the island.
To grow sugarcane, one needed to clear the land of its ancient forests, then prepare the soil (originally with an antiquated hoe, later with the more modern plow), plant the seedlings, and weed them. Ambitious irrigation projects were also required in Haiti’s dry interior. Harvest time was the most strenuous season. Armed with machetes, workers made their way through canes taller than they were, razor-sharp leaves, insects, and snakes, cutting the cane as they moved along. Sugarcane sours fast, so workers then rushed to crush the cane and boil the juice, the fire adding to the tropical heat.
Those operating 28 ● Paradise Lost: Haiti’s Tumultuous Journey on the fringes of Voodoo may also traffic with demons, werewolves, and zombies. Some of these supernatural creatures were standard features of peasant life in early modern France, where midwives whose patients lost too many infants were frequently accused of practicing witchcraft. The zombie phenomenon is more distinctively Haitian. Zombies, Haitians believe, are corpses awakened by evil spells to be transformed into brutish servants (when given a taste of salt, they awaken and run to the grave to renew their peaceful slumber).