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Chèn sa pap janm kase!: Ezili Dantò Performance ritual ending the Bwa Kayiman celebrations (In Kreyol) | Bwa Kayiman, Part 1 | Beyond 2004 Bwa Kayiman, Part 2 | Join HLLN in celebrating Bwa Kayiman, remembering Marguerite ‘Ezili Dantò’ Laurent’s Red, Black & Moonlight – a call and burnt offering to the Ancestors
Date: 13 August 2006
Recommended Link (In Kreyol):
Video Clip: “…Kote lonbrik mwen ye, kote premye san m antere… (Ale wè
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– Bwa Kayiman Ceremony Monologue, Part 1 (c) 2000 by Marguerite Laurent
– Beyond 2004: Bwa Kayiman Ceremony, Part 2 (c) 2000 by Marguerite Laurent
– Chèn sa pap janm kase!: Ezili Dantò Performance ritual ending the Bwa Kayiman celebrations (in Kreyol)
Special HLLN Bwa Kayiman celebration Recommended Links
So Much Like Here
Papa’s Maroon Lineage
Journeys of the Serpent and the Moon
Breaking Sea Chains
In the Distance
(c) Ezili’s 2000 Special Edition of Red, Black & Moonlight. All Rights Reserved. These pieces may not be used in any form or performed without the author’s written permission.
(To order your copy of Ezili’s 2000 Special Edition of The Red, Black & Moonlight Monologues, write to email@example.com )
CEREMONY BWA KAYIMAN, PART 1
Hundreds of years ago, Africans in the plains and valleys, forced to be passive every second of the day in order to survive the European planter’s lashes, would sneak out in the dead of night, up the rocky maroon’s mountain roads to secret forest caves and hidden clearings, for the Vodun ceremonies, where they would watch their kinfolks practicing the art of war, productively sloughing-off impacted rage to the Vodun drum’s syncopated beats… Haitian children learned in Vodun ceremonies the uses of cutting and slicing a chicken and goat’s throat, early on in life, for the time when the Petwo nations would come and mount them, so they would stop being the sacrificial lambs, the scapegoats whose blood was being lapped up by the white settlers. So, in Vodun, there is the time before the Petwo nations arrived to the war dance to unify the cocktail of multilingual African tribes – and the time after. The more temperate nations that were there before, subduing Petwo were called Rada. Originating like Petwo, from West Africa’s peoples. But the Africans who became Haitians in the land of the Taino/Arawak Amerindians had to pull hard for the psychic energy within themselves that would allow them to kill the current of negative European energies swallowing them whole.
And when these Blacks, on a hilltop at a wood clearing called “Bwa Kayiman,” had reached back, past their divisions, past even the God making impulses that creates dictators. Way back. Past self-gratification. Past giving any one particular element – spirit or thought abstraction – omniscient sovereignty; way past these twilights and a thousand eternities. Then this, this spiritual consensus, this, a new psychic wave, was reached. The differing African groups in Haiti were then so quickened, that together as one PSYCHIC FORCE, they had passed Babylon’s babbling towers, setting a new watercourse beyond forever: transmuting mental spasms and a cacophony of noises into ONE TONGUE, one powerful action – swearing to God and the Devil to be free or die. And when Agaou’s thunder clapped next, the cosmic sea – home of the ancestral deities, of all the lwas who had become abstracted over many generations – that sea opened; Africa’s sacred abstractions had come to life. A new nation called Haitian was formed, where unity lives in veins reaching the cosmic center – that nexus between the spheres of the living and dead, between action and reflection. Then, the Haitian Revolution came, beating back Napoleon’s forces, then the English, Spanish and French again. Twice. This, Petwo’s multination red force and strength, works when Rada is its base. Rada and Petwo, they spewed forth together as one, each making way for the stronger. They are the Lovers-of-Liberty, economic democracy-in-action. And their strongest symbol was Ezili Dantò – the feminine principle who carries a dagger.
I didn’t know what i was. How i came to be created Kreyòl or much about Vodun until after i had returned from Haiti and started feeling the tones of Red, textures of Black and cold distance of the Moonlight. But, it is the unified Petwo/Rada nations, living within my psychic heritage, that call to me with this vision of a world that’s reached past its divisions, angers, hatreds and envies to where many “nations” coexist. I’m practicing remembering that the amalgamated Africans in Haiti had no money to bribe or amass and wield power with; no gun arsenals for shows of force to control or subjugate the masses and classes with; no laws to shoot hope and dreams, forever deferred. No. The Africans, who became Haitians, in the land of the Taino/Arawak Amerindians expected the tools of combat to crawl from their bodies and mind, and it did. Their veins are the vortexes for a unified African PSYCHIC FORCE: and they surrendered to that.
END OF CEREMONY BWA KAYIMAN, PART 1 MONOLOGUE
BEYOND 2004: CEREMONY BWA KAYIMAN, PART 2
“Ayida Wèdo se bon, se bon. Danbala Wèdo, se bon, se bon. Lè ma monte chwal mwen gen moun ka kriye.”
Grann mwen held my soul, for five hundred years in sanctuaries beyond your reach Prozac-man, in living shrines within her mound, safe from the dark vicissitudes of this protracted nightmare. That’s why i’m strong enough today to make this call. No, that’s why all we Ayisyen have made THE CALL. Before, it took 300 years to reach anba dlo. But now, 2004 approaches. The coming forth of the dead is at hand. I feel lè Marasa, lè Mòr e lè Mystères…We are at the dawn of another Bwa Kayiman Petwo ceremony.
Look, some are wearing straw hats. Carrying loaded up satchels. Their faces covered in white paint, daggers in hand. The Gedes are here, eternally in black, governing life and death dancing away, erasing misery. Their sunglasses are glinting. Lifting our heavy mist, and turning those orbs from pulsating white to purple to black; forcing people off their crosses…
Protectors of our heirs, the Gedes, they are our history. In those satchels they carry the knowledge of the dead and the experience from which the living learn.
Whoah! A Gede lwa just gave me something from his satchel. This old umbilical chord m ap kenbe la a, i’m holding, goes way back to Anacaona and the Ethiopian Kentakes. Now take your new eyes off the rearview mirror. Look high in this land of mountains and even you will see. See. These daggers sting. Stab me. My blood pours. But Ezili Dantò and Manbo Marinette and Grann Guiton are here. I will not be so easily destroyed.
“Ban m sèt kout kouto. Ban m sèt kout ponya. San m ap koule. Men ou pa kab touye m.”
There’s a glimmer beyond this heavy mist embracing my people in Haiti and across the entire African Diaspora. That’s no beggar. That’s Baron Samdi. That’s no mosquito. It’s Makandal. And you already know those Black butterflies…
Those whips slicing this midnight air. Those whistles blowing the cobwebs of despair to smithereens. That cacophony of sound. Music only Lasirèn can hear. Makes no sense to you, right? Well, it’s Kreyol. It’s multiculturalism personified. It’s all that diversity you’ve been thirsting for.
Back at the first Bwa Kayiman ceremony, in 1791 where I’m entering, those who spoke different languages, those who herald from different African cultures and experiences, made themselves understood…with body language, in song, dance, or, by tracing, with coffee grounds and cornflower, ancient diagrams – hieroglyphics in dirt as sacred as strips of DNA. Others spoke by stamping bare feet. Drinking dark rum. Listening to heartbeats beat – wielding justice with a cultivator’s machete.
Today, look, we are making ourselves heard in just as many diverse manners. Some within the system. Some outside. Some within the periphery of both. But Lasirèn, the mistress of the sea and music, she hears all our different tongues. She will carry these tears into the Abyss like she did before to make the oceans change their course, inner ears hear, eyelids open. And then a mountain carpeted in clay red earth will again part her forest legs. Haiti will again be full of avocado green hills – peppered with yellow roses, cherry blossom trees and pearly stone edges. Her living hills abroad will spill their inner cave’s messages into the stony night sky. A silvery moon will transport these calls to clear lakes, entering it anba dlo – beneath primordial waters, into that cosmological space occupied by the unseen: my granpapa’s Jamais Vu.
Oh, oh, he’s here: Rwa Wangol.
Rwa Wangol was a Maroon man who was never auctioned at your papa’s Kwa Bosal market. He’s back with Cecile Fatiman, Defile, Toya and today’s Haitian women. Look, that rainbow lining the sky is him, Danbala my father. He’s entwined see, him and my mama. He never left my mama’s mama, no matter what history says. Her life ain’t been no crystal stairs. But still she carries that Kannari high on her head – that clay water vessel holding my soul safe since before this New World’s time began. She’s Ibo; our safe haven and refuge. I feel myself returning, looking for father’s straw hat, Papa’s straw satchel, singing: “All violins and chuckles aside, this earth is my element. This culture, my sword. I’m a wild Kreyòl seed. Haiti’s children are my libation and they’re expanding, reparenting themselves.”…in these new caves and hills of Haiti, living in Brooklyn tenements, in Manhattan’s high riser, in Montreal apartments, in these sacred living trusts all over the Diaspora and in Haiti, there is a place Ayisyen know, where no statistics, clocks or calendars can enter. Where grace lives, dancing Yanvalou; swinging between time; cutting Petwo’s rhymes; doing Rada’s parigol, its fast-paced Zepol; fireballing like a burning comet – buck wild in Banda’s life and death falls; coursing beneath La-La-Land’s realms – leading from source.
In that place the second Bwa Kayiman that’s coming has come. We looked outwards together. That motion carried a sound so pure, it broke through time. Waking up the dead in corporate-land, in La-La-Land, in academia and at the State Department. It woke the dead in Haiti’s dirt streets and palmed beaches and resorts. Once again, all Africa that had lived and was yet to live, responded; rising up as one thunderous wave, way up, a rainbow touching the sky. A voice beyond the ozone, forcing mind activity back to earth; arching the human tribes’ technicolored rainbow back into the sky; tearing that ol’ boy’s WORLD WAVE apart.
In that place, Ibo Lele chatters on. Making jazz out of pain, sewing Catherine Fon’s cloth, suturing up our 200 years of containment in poverty, lifting it as a cleansed mirror where Zèb Ginen can come to behold and validate each other. In that place, we-connected-to-our-umbilical-chords Ayisyens know, no dollar diplomacy or new Cold War politics or European semantics will ever put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Chèn Sa Pap Janm Kase!: An Ezili Dantò performance ritual ending the Bwa Kayiman celebration by Marguerite Laurent, (c) August 2006 Marguerite Laurent
“…Boukmann ohh nan Bwa Kayiman. Nou nome non ohh, nou (sa) pa detounen w. Nou pa fè Bwa Kayiman pou te sevi etranje…Papa Boukmann ohh, nou soufri ase. Lafami divise. Lafami do a do…(chèn linyon an kase?). Nou pral mete Lwa yo devan. Devan, devan. Latibonit ohh, fò nou mete Lwa yo devan…Nou gen fòs. Nou gen pouvwa. Nou gen lynon pou nou kapab fè tout travay Ginen mache lan lapè ak kè kontan…
The three powers lifted up at “Bwa Kayiman: Fòs, Pouvwa, Linyon”
Ezili Dantòs Bwa Kayiman ending ritual done in the month of August for the HLLN/Free Haiti Movement, after Ezili Dantò’s performance readings of Red, Black, Moonlight performance pieces such as Bwa Kayiman, Beyond 2004 or the Bwa Kayiman Play used to commemorate the Ancestors who began the Great Haitian Revolution at Bwa Kayiman, August 14, 1791.
Ezili Dantò’s Performance ritual for remembering Boukman, Dantò, Lwa yo, tout Zanset e Ti Moun yo in August for Bwa Kayiman:
PERFORMANCE RITUAL: Chèn Sa Pap Janm Kase!
(Direktyon) Kanpe. Fè yon rond. Mete men nou ansanm. Mix li. Gason ak fanm kenbe men n ansanm lan yon rond. Tout moun ki ap tande vwa mwen, ki ap gade mwen – tout moun lan Kanada, Mayami, Ayiti, tout moun lakou New York, Lan Karayib la, Europe, Afrik…Tout kretyen ki ap tande mwen oubyen k ap gade mwen kelkeswa, pa radyo, sou entenèt, oubyen sou konferans vidiyo, – tout moun, tout piti Bondye toupatou dimond. Nou pral fè yon chèn linyon, tet ansanm. Nou pral fè yon sèl kò.
Kanpe. Kanpe. Fè yon rond. Mete men nou ansanm. Mix li. Gason ak fanm kenbe men n ansanm lan yon rond.
Fè yon ti balanse. Ok, balanse, (a dwat, a goch, a dwat a goch). Men an men. Balanse.
Aksyon sa li senbolik. Men, lè nou retounen lakay nou. Lè nou pa ansanm konsa, fòk nou toujou kenbe chèn inyon sa a lan tèt nou toutan. Pa kite’l kase ditou. Men an men. Tèt ansanm. N’ap fè yon sèl kò. Nou se Ayisyen! Men an men nap rive fè tout travay Ginen mache lan lapè ak kè kontan. OK. Kounye a, leve tèt nou, gade enwo. Alamèmtan, leve men nou anwo. Kenbe rond la solid. Pa kite chèn sa kase. Yo di lòt Nachon-yo ap sevi ak nou paske nou pa gen linyon. Pa kite chèn sa kase. Lè l kase, se nou tout l ap detounen. Se nou tout k ap pran lan pelen Kolon an. Tande lapriyè Zanset nou yo. Balanse. Tande lapriye Boukman. Kontinye balanse.
Ok, kounye a, ann chante ansanm (””…Boukmann ohh nan Bwa Kayiman. Nou nonme non ou ohh, sa pa detounen w. Nou pa fè Bwa Kayiman pou te sevi etranje…). Aprè chanson sa a, map fè yon ti lapriyè Zanset nou yo…Aprè lapriyè sa, nap mete chèn-men nou desan ak gran fò. Chak fwa nou desan men nou. Nap di: “Fòs,” “Pouvwa,” “Lynon!” Moun ki ka wè m. Gade jan mwen fè l. “Fòs,” “Pouvwa,” “Lynon!” Anvan nou fè sa pou fini, fòk nou salu Dantò, salu Ginen yo. Fòk nou mete Lwa-yo devan, devan, devan. Nou kwè lan limye Ginen yo – limyè Ginen Fran. Djab la di l ap manje nou se pa vre. Se pa vre Timoun yo, se pa vre. Gen Bondye. Gen lè sen yo. Gen noumenm. Gen Lwa racine yo. Nou se Ayisyen Arada, nou pakapab neye. Lamou pa nou an, li pli fò ke lanmò. Si nou pakapab pase isit, nap pase lòt bò. Nou se Ginen. Nou pa mele ak Djab yo, san konsyans yo, kriminel yo ki ap van peyi a bay Kolon. Ginen Fran yo ap toujou jwen yon chemen. Nou se Ayisyen, kè nou pa sote. Nou se pitit Papa Desalin, kè nou pa sote lan jou malè (2006-sa a, 2006-sa a…)
(Direktyon:) Lè mwen di “Nou fè yon sel kò.” Nou tout ap repon: “Chèn sa pap janm kase!”
Nou fè yon sel kò. Chèn sa pap janm kase. Nou fè yon sel kò…
Nou se yon sèl kò. Desalin pap janm mouri. Nou sè yon sel kò. Boukman pap janm mouri. Cecil Fatiman, Katerin Fon, Marijann, Toya, Defile, yo pakapab janm mouri. Nou se yon sèl kò, san Lwa yo se san nou. Dantò pakapab janm mouri. San Lwa yo, se san nou. Gede-yo pakapab mouri. Yo pakapab tuye Rwa Wangol ak katouch Loni. Yo pakapab achte l, ni van li.
Nou fè yon sel kò. “Chèn sa pap janm kase!” …
San yo se san nou. Nou fè yon sel kò. “Chèn sa pap janm kase!”
San yo se san nou. Nou fè yon sel kò. “Chèn sa pap janm kase!”
(Di Aprè mwen:) Lamou pa nou an, li pli fò ke lanmò. Si nou pakapab pase isit, nap pase lòt bò. Nou se Ginen. Nou pa mele ak Djab yo, san konsyans yo, kriminel yo ki ap van peyi a bay Kolon. Ginen Fran yo ap toujou jwen yon chemen.
Nou se Ayisyen. Nou fè yon sel kò. “Chèn sa pap janm kase!”
Wi, se konsa. Balanse. Balanse.
Nou se pitit Papa Desalin. Nou fè yon sel kò ak li e tout lòt zanset yo. Yo pakapab refize Desalin azil. Yo pakapab mete Boukman lan prizon. Yo pakapab detwi Neges e Neg Ginen.
Nou fè yon sel kò. “Chèn sa pap janm kase!”
OK. Tande yon ti priye/chanson ke Zanset yo montre-m pou mwen pòte pou nou jodi jounen sa…
Salu Dantò Prayer:
2. “Se Ibo Evida Nayide.”
3. “Danbala viyè, viyè, n ap salu Dantò.”
4. “Egiye se Ago Ouse.”
5. “Se Ago Ouse.”
6. “Ago Lisagondè.”
7. “Se Ibo Evida Nayide.”
Then say (epi kounye a di): “FOS”, “Pouvwa,” “Linyon!”
(Direktyon) Kenbe chè linyon an. Leve men nou an lè, dit “Fòs” pandan nap desan men nou tout ansanm.
Leve men nou an lè, dit “Pouvwa” pandan nap desan li.
Leve men nou an lè, dit “Lynon!”” – pandan nap desan li.
Nou fè yon sel kò.
(repons:) “Chèn sa pap janm kase!”
BWA KAYIMAN PERFORMANCE RITUAL
Remembering Bwa Kayiman August 14, 1791
“…Kote lonbrik mwen ye, kote premye san m antere… (Ale wè
“…Li 14 Aout 2006, tout Ayisyen kanpe devan Gran Chemen a ap rele Zanset e Timoun yo pou yo vini ede yo, soti anba esklavaj Loni ki la pou enterè Etazini, pa pou pitit Dessalines…”
Join Ezili’s HLLN in celebrating over 500 centuries of Haitian survival, struggles, fortitude and determination to live free, An August 12, 2006 Event | For photos and 2006 flyer, go to –
International Destabalization of Preval government and destruction of the Feb. 7th vote continues | Coup d’etat massacres (summary executions in Bel Air on Feb. 7 and 25, 2005, April 27, 2005, Nov. 10, 2004) | Haiti’s coup d’etat continues under Preval with Alexi asking for summary execution of “gangs” (mainly referring to the poor and outgunned Site Soley Four) and DDR used to entrap and imprisoned Lavalas political dissenters, reward Group 184 assassins | Ti Blan interview | Remembering (”…kote lombrik mwen ye, kote premye san m antere…”) Bwa Kayiman on August 14, 2006 – the epic struggle for Haitian freedom continues in 2006| Don’t Trust Technocrats | Aid is not the answer, job creation and investment in your own people/own resources is the key