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8400: Re: 8378: Information wanted - Bois Caiman (fwd)

From: LeGrace Benson <legracebenson@clarityconnect.com>
>Bois Caiman is much closer to Cap Haitian than to Milot. In fact, coming
north on the main route you would arrive at the turn-off to B.C. several
kilometres before Cap.  The turn is not well marked.  One passes by
numerous "trophy houses" being built on what used to be agricultural land,
but is fast becoming a suburb for the affluent.  The road is terrible.
(What else is new.) after a few minutes you arrive at a scattered
settlement and a stream to ford.  Some 4WD's can't make it down and back up
as it is both steep and narrow.  We did it but with help once wnen we got
stuck. The site actually is eacy walking distance from the ford, so I'd
advise parking your vehicle this side of the creek.  The locals have
various stories to tell, interesting but not necessarily tied firmly to any
secure facts. The supposed tree will be pointed out, but you will
immediately see that it is not old enough to have been there in 1791.  (The
tree behind Sans Souci in Milot, on the other hand, does appear to be of an
age to match the palais.)  There is a tiny plaque, and at one time a
reproduction of a painting of the event. When I saw the painting repro in
April it was in near-ruin. Milot, site of Christophe's Palais and church,
the former now a ruin but stabilized and protected with run-off
cannalization,the latter still in use as a parish church. If you get as far
as Bois Caiman, Milot is less than 20 km on the other side of Cap.
You may encounter opposition to Vodou in the region: many have. I was told
by more than one Capois that practitioners are wary these days because of
strong antipathy (some say "persecution") from the several fast-growing
sects.  Corbettlanders have noted in the past that the Bwa Kayman site
deserves more effort to preserve it and to make a more prominent and
instructive marker.  Perhaps once you have been there you will want to add
your voice to those calling for more appropriate treatment of this historic