The Bwa Kayiman Play
Dat la se 14 Aout 1791. Li lanuit.
Esklavaj tou pa tou. Blan ap tiye Afriken. Blan ap tiye Afriken. Blan
ap tiye Afriken.
Men kòman blan yo te pran plezi yo: yo antere nou vivan lan solèy cho
a pou foumi devore tèt nou; m pa ka pale. Se swa yo bat nou jis nou
wouj ak san. Oubyen pou jis nou endispoze. Yo te gen abitid foure kouto
bayonèt yo lan vant ou fanm Ayisyen ki ansent pou tiye-l ak tout pitit
li. Sa, se te plezi blan yo.
Moun yo pa kapab ankò. Se kè Neg e Neges Arada Ayisyen k ap bat
tabou ou tande la a. Tout fèy lan Bwa Kayiman kanpe. Tout Ayisyen
kanpe devan Gran Chemen an ap rele Zanset yo pou yo vini ede yo soti
It's night. August 14, 1791. Slavery is everywhere. Whites are killing
Africans. Whites are killing Africans. Whites are killing Africans.
This is how they entertained themselves: they bury us alive in the hot
sun so the ants will slowly devour our heads. Either they beat us until
we're red in blood or until we faint. They are in the habit of driving
the knife of their bayonet into the belly of a pregnant Haitian woman,
disemboweling her - killing both mother and child. These, are their
pleasures, ordained by their God, they say.
It's the heart of every African that's beating the rhythm you hear the
drummers playing, calling the Ancestors to come help them get rid of
the Europeans and their slavery.
Everybody, the drummers today, like the drummers at Bwa Kayiman, stand.
Covering the four corners of the earth - the Great Crossroads where
the earth meets sky. The visible meets the invisible.
We stand at the four cardinal points calling on all creation - Zanset
e Ti Moun yo - to come help us remember what happened, on that
faithful night, at that sacred and secret wood clearing in the mountain
forest called, Bwa Kayiman.
Koute. Listen to the drums calling the African captives to leave behind
their plantation worries; calling on the runaways, the maroons to leave
their hiding places; calling on the Mulatto, the Affranchi... To all,
to come and gather.
Koute vwa la libète k ap pale lan kè nou.
Fey Kayiman, respond:
Koute vwa la libète k ap pale lan kè nou.
2nd DRUM CALL WITH BOUKMANN
Lenglensou, oohhh, Lenglensou,
oohhh. ..(Boukmann pours libation at four cardinal points, sings Lenglensou)
-12 chime gong for midnight.)
E Boukmann komanse lapriye pou nou tout.
Bon Dje ki fè la tè. Ki fè soley
ki klere nou anwo. Bon Dje ki soulve lanmè. Ki fè gronde loray. Bon
Dje nou ki gen zorey pou tande. Ou ki kache nan nyaj. Kap gade nou kote
ou ye la. Ou wè 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 òdone vanjans (jistis). Se li kap kondwi bra nou pou nou ranpòte
la viktwa. Se li kap ba nou asistans. Nou tout fèt pou nou jete
pòtre dje Blan yo ki swaf dlo lan zye. Koute
vwa la libète k ap chante lan kè nou.
- 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, orders us to
avenge our wrongs. It's our good God who will direct our arms and bring
us victory. It's our good God who will assist us. We all should throw
away the image of the White man's god who is so pitiless. Listen
to the voice for liberty that speaks in all our hearts.
Prayer at the Bwa Kayiman Vodun ceremony, the call to
action that launched the Haitian Revolution, on August 14, 1791.
Fey Kayiman, respond:)
Koute vwa la libète k ap pale lan kè nou!
And so, they all came. By the tens and
thousands. E anfin lapel la te tande. The call was heard and
the rebirth started with the dance of creation. Haiti's famous Yanvalou......
(Voiced over a muted Petwo drumming)
....Kote lombrik mwen ye. Kote premye
san-m antere. Where my umbilical chord is. Where my first blood
is buried, a spirit runs through the people that won't let them enter
the suburbs of denial. It's the spirit of union. The "Force"
Haitians talk about when they say "inyon fè la fos."
- union is power. It's the Vodun spirit nation that was unified in Ayiti
by the differing African nations brought there as slaves. It's hot.
Red. The color of freedom, redemption and resurrection..
(Conch blows - Slew of unknown captives appear from every shadow,
from every direction blowing conch in the classic unknown-slave-blowing-conch-position
dancing the Nago. Rhythm eventually transmutes to a festival Rara.)
..... Now we don't have to ask anyone's permission to dance. We can
dance the Rara all day long.