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15749: Nlbo: On Toussaint from Desrosiers (fwd)
Part of a book that I am writing.
Pierre François Dominique Toussaint Breda (1743-1803), later known as
L'Ouverture, was said to have been born a slave in Saint Domingue on the Plantation
of Pantaléon Guisbert de Bréda near Haut-du-Cap, one of the many plantations
owned by Louis-Pantaléon, Comte de Noé son of Louis de Noé and de Marie-Anne
Elisabeth de Bréda. He was the eldest of 8 children. His father name was the Gaxu
Ginou or Genu, Chief of staff of the armed forces and head of intelligence
services in under Detchada, the seventh king of Adanhun'sa of the Dynasty of
Alada of the Agasuvi. He was captured probably when Dossou Agadja, fifth king of
the kingdom of Danxome conquered the kingdom of Alada/Arada in 1724 and sold
as slave along with his wife Assiba (from Savalou, meaning born on a Sunday)
and made the journey to Saint Domingue. He arrived in Cap François between
Toussaint was apparently the direct descendent of Adjahuto or Kokpon, the
first king and founder of the Aja/fon dynasty of Alada of the Agasuvi. Since his
father the Gaxu Ginou or Genu may have been the son or grandson of Kokpon.
It is believed that the remarkable Toussaint Louverture, precursor of the
independence of Haiti was himself a Fá Seer a traditional healer who went under
the strong name of Fá tó Gbà tò (He who has the ears of the Fá to conquer a
country). The Bokónò "the Fá Seer or Diviner", is consulted regularly to predict
the future and cure illnesses. Created by Mawu to assist in the governing of
his creation, the Fá is said to be the first of the powers and reveal knowledge
of the unseen realm to man. This is done through divination, which is
practiced by the Bokònò.
To his followers and vodoun faithful he was known as "Fá to Gbà tò" meaning
he who has the ears of the Fa to conquer a country. Toussaint "Legba" the
gatekeeper between the realms of man and gods, the tangled lines of force that make
up the cosmic interface, and his sign is the crossroads. A divine mediator of
fate and information, a linguist, a crafty metaphysician or sort of African
Hermes, a roadmaker who set the affairs of the earth in order. His followers
believed he was the human incarnation of one of the most powerful lowas of all,
Legba, the Guardian of the gate between heaven and earth. The Great
Intervener. He had the ears of the Spirits. He could personally take their prayers
directly to the powerful lowas, who controlled their fates. The Fa is the system of
divination practiced in the old Benin Empire that enables the individual to
renew with the past when misfortune or disease strikes the home. The
predominant contemporary method of divination in Fon culture, derived from Yoruba Ifa
divination; FA is also, the name of the Fon deity of geomancy. Pamphile de
Lacroix believes that Toussaint assumed the epithet of L'Ouverture in order to
announce to his people that he was about to open the door to them of a better
future. ("Mémoires de Saint Dominique." Vol. I. p. 303.) This sentiment found
expression in the writings of Abbé Raynal predicting the coming of leader
vindicator of Negro wrongs right out of the bosom of the Negro race.
Please forward to the Corbett list.
Paultre P. Desrosiers, MD, MPH, Ph.D. (Anthropology)
10514 Dunn Meadow Rd.
Vienna, VA 22182
Tel: 703-759-5781, Cell 571-212-1502