Boukman's prayer

This prayer, from the ceremony at Bwa Kayiman, has been traditionally been ascribed to Boukman:

"The god who created the earth; who created the sun that gives us light.The god who holds up the ocean; who makes the thunder roar. Our God who has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds; who watch us from where you are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man's god asks him to commit crimes. But the god within us wants to do good. Our god, who is so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It's He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It's He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white men's god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that sings in all our hearts."
Boukman's prayer in Kréyol

Bon Dje ki fè la tè. Ki fè soley ki klere nou enro. Bon Dje ki soulve lanmè. Ki fè gronde loray. Bon Dje nou ki gen zorey pou tande. Ou ki kache nan niaj. Kap gade nou kote ou ye la. Ou we tout sa blan fè nou sibi. Dje blan yo mande krim. Bon Dje ki nan nou an vle byen fè. Bon Dje nou an ki si bon, ki si jis, li ordone vanjans. Se li kap kondui branou pou nou ranpote la viktwa. Se li kap ba nou asistans. Nou tout fet pou nou jete potre dje Blan yo ki swaf dlo lan zye. Koute vwa la libète kap chante lan kè nou.

Bois Caïman (lit. Cayman Woods; Kreyòl: Bwa Kayiman ) is the site of the vodou ceremony presided over by Boukman Dutty and Cecile Fatiman on August 14, 1791. It is widely accepted as the starting point for the Haitian Revolution. Participants at Bois Caïman were also Georges Biassou, Jeannot Bullet and Jean François Papillon, all of which were leaders of the early Haitian Revolution.

Bois Caïman is located in the northern Morne Rouge region of Haiti, southwest of Cap Haïtien.

Most of the trees of Bois Caïman have long since been felled -- gone, like so much of the other magnificent timber in Haiti, to meet the immediate fuel, housing and trading needs of the often-desperate Haitians. Protestants have also been alleged to remove trees in their zeal to combat vodou and there have been frequent attempts to hinder the annual remembrance of the event.

Eh! Eh! Bomba! Heu! Heu!
Canga, bafio té!
Canga, mouné de lé!
Canga, do ki la!
Canga, do ki la!
Canga, li!

We swear to destroy the whites
and all they possess.
Let us die rather than fail
to keep this vow.
(Parkinson, p. 40)

Peace be upon you
Haitian Vodun (Voodoo)

Bois Caïman - TLP

Boukman - TLP

The Boukman Rebellion - TLP

National Library of Jamaica | Boukman Dutty

tags: boukman,dutty,prayer,spark,haitan,revolution,

Boukman Dutty: The prayer that sparked the Haitan Revolution