Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vodou and the Haitian Revolution
Garvey E Lundy
The events of 1791 to 1804 on the western third of the island of Hispaniola have been demarcated as the Haitian Revolution, the most dramatic revolutionary transformation to occur in modern history. Fundamental to understanding this historical transformation of a slave-based plantation colony, dedicated solely to the profit of European capitalist investors, is the role of Vodou. Vodou, the religion that Africans brought with them to the French colonial territory of Saint Domingue, became the driving force of resistance in the daily lives of the enslaved Africans. Indeed, Vodou served to bind more closely the various groups of Africans who shared a common plantation experience, eventually leading to the development of a collective consciousness. Vodou was the vital spiritual force that provided respite from the daily torture and degradation of slavery because it allowed Africans on the territory of Saint Domingue, despite the cruel and methodical efforts of the colonists, ...