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Chapter 21 - Translating the Revolution from Haiti to Louisiana

from Part III - The Caribbean Region in Transition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2020

Evelyn O'Callaghan
Affiliation:
University of the West Indies
Tim Watson
Affiliation:
University of Miami
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Summary

This essay explores the legacy and afterlife of François Macandal, a man who escaped enslavement on an eighteenth-century plantation in the French colony of Saint-Domingue. His fame as a poisoner and immortal rebel persist over time and space, reflecting transcaribbean associations of fetish making with spiritual and physical resistance on the plantation. Stories of Macandal and the fetish objects he crafted, also called macandals, continued to circulate in nineteenth-century Louisiana as one of many narratives of slave uprising and Revolution in the Americas. One example of the reach of Macandal’s story is the 1892 novel, Le Macandal: Épisode de l’Insurrection des Noirs à St. Domingue, published in New Orleans, Louisiana, by Marie-Joséphine Augustin. This work is part of a larger archive of how Macandal and his macandals shaped the literary realm. His story moves across genres arguing that Macandal is simultaneously the man, the fetish object, and the story in its many forms.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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