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Bwa Kayiman Haiti 1791

Nicole Jean-Louis

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Bwa Kayiman Haiti 1791 Painting  - Bwa Kayiman Haiti 1791 Fine Art Print





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Coarsegold, Ca - United States

I am glad I followed up on this. This is an important historical piece.

Welcome to my site Jim. I am pleased of your visit. I greatly appreciate your positive comment!

Lake City, FL - United States

What a powerful story-telling image.

Welcome to my site Roy! Thank you very much!

New Holland, PA - United States

Amazing painting!

Welcome to my site Vilas! Thank you very much!!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria

Thank you Petko!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria

Thank you Petko!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria

Thank you Petko!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria

Thank you Petko!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria


Thank you Petko!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria

Great painting!

Thank you Petko!

Razgrad, Ra - Bulgaria

I like!

Thank you Petko!

Whitestone, NY - United States

This is an epic....marvelous....very moving...vf

Thank you so much, Omar!

Campton, NH - United States

An eye awakening story painting, thank you for sharing this with us all. Amazing art Nicole

Thank you so much, Nancy. I greatly value your appreciative comment.

Hyderabad, an - India

great and grandeur painting Nicole F&V

Welcome to my site, Johnson! I greatly appreciate your comment.

Smithfield, VA - United States

Nicole, I am here again to admire this and your other outstanding and meaningful works of art. Thanks for your kind comments. F/V

Thank you very much Anne! I value your comment.

Uptacamp, Ma - United States

Nicole , this is one of those paintings and piece of history I think about often. Both your painting and your description are very informative. Another vote for this work of art. v/f/tweet

Thank you so much, Bob!! I greatly appreciate your visit.

Providence Village, TX - United States

I agree Nicole, you have the ability to paint a town's story like the great Bruegel did..together with your words is superb!! F/V.

Wow! Pieter Bruegel was a classic painter! His gallery is full of folk culture. Thank you so much Clotilde. I greatly appreciate your comment.

Bollebygd - Sweden

Great painting! v

Thank you very much, Gun!

North Bay, ON - Canada

like this a lot so well done ........

Welcome to my site Andrew! Thank you very much!

Willemstad - Netherlands Antilles

Very nice :)

Hi Arlin! Thank you very much!

Fife, Sc - United Kingdom

Wonderful piece Nicole. I have always liked this one. fav/v

Thank you so much, Andrew! Your appreciation is greatly valued!

Zarautz - Spain

Beatiful and very interesting this old ritual you have paint Nicole! Great artwork!

Welcome to my site, JI! Thank you very much!!

Sayre, PA - United States

Hi Nicole, You are wonderful artist, fully of talent. I admire your works. And this is very beautiful painting. F&V

WOW! Thank you so much, Melly, for your wonderful words!!

Storybrooke, ME - United States

Nicole, I think this is one of your most powerful works of art! .. Congratulation I am happy for you.

I thank you, Bob, for your words of appreciation and esteem; They mean so much to me.

Campton, NH - United States

Great Work, congrats!

Thank you so much, Nancy!

Sherbrooke, QC - Canada

Wow, Nicole! I love this one and it reminds me of many classics of the art history! The way you composed the image reminds me of Pieter Brueguel the Old One with his vast compostion (mostly, the Preach on the Mountain) and also of Henry (Le Douanier) Rousseau, with a compostion about the War... fav & v and SU

Wow Ion! I had to Google Pieter Bruegel the Elde, and Henry (Le Douanier) Rousseau in order to make any comparison or judgement, since those artists are unknown to me. Henry (Le Douanier) Rousseau is a humorist. His paintings make me laugh, especially: "Gypsy"; so do some of my paintings. Concerning Pieter Bruegel the Elder's work, I had seen some similarities regarding style, ideas, proportions of his many subjects in his artworks, especially as you mentioned, Ion, in his artwork: "The Sermon of St John the Baptist". Those are very skilled artists, Ion! This is very interesting. Thank you for introducing those classic artists to me, and I thank you, for your very appreciative, and positive comment. You make me very happy!!

Fife, Sc - United Kingdom

Nicole. I had the pleasure of being asked to be a juror judging a contest where this was the winner. I personally did not put your piece first, however, It was a worthy winner as the narrative is compelling. Good work

I thank you very much, Andrew! I am glad you approve of the narrative.

Cedar Rapids, Ia - United States

Wow,Nicole,Amazing work.Great. Thanks,Hugs,Marsha

Thank you very much, Marsha!

Cedar Rapids, Ia - United States

WONDERFUL Nicole.Late congrats on earlier sale.Well deserved/ Love it You have alot of energy. Hugs,Marsha

My energy comes from my passion for painting. As I usually joke:" I will depart this life with a brush in my hand." LOL! Thanks, Marsha, I greatly enjoy your comment. Best regards.

Smithfield, VA - United States

Hello Nicole, I agee wholeheartedly with your other admirers. Congratulations upon selling this magnificent, meaningful and so detailed done work of art. Blessings to you.

Thank you so very much, Anne!!

Bronx, NY - United States

A special note of thanks to my buyer from Raleigh, NC, USA, who purchased a print, rolled in a tube of my artwork: "Bwa Kayiman"

Storybrooke, ME - United States

Nicole captivating! Such a brilliant historical work of art. The description is equally captivating. It is amazing all the events that came together for right. May we learn from history. v/f/tweet

Bob... "May we learn from history." You are right! I greatly appreciate your opinion. I thank you very much, Bob!

Canton, MI - United States

Wonderful work Nicole.

Thank you very much, Alga.

Pueblo, CO - United States

Nicole~Have to return and give this epic work another fabulous!!!

Hi, Lenore! You are so welcome! Thank you so much!

Montreal, QC - Canada

Congratulations, Nicole, on the sale of this rich and beautiful masterpiece! Well done!!

Thank you so much, Mars.

Miami - United States

Gorgeous painting, congratulations on your sale!

Thank you so much, E Giupponi.

Boquete, Ch - Panama

Congratulations, Nicole! What a beautiful art work. It impressed me deeply as did also your description. Heiko

Welcome to my site, Heiko! Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate your comment.

LA, Ma - United States

Congratulations Nicole!

Thank you so much, Bob.

London, mi - United Kingdom

brilliant work Nicole congratulations on your sale

Thank you so much, Gloria.

Santa Clara, CA - United States

Congratulations on your sale, Nicole! What a wonderful news and I am so happy for you! You are so well deserved:-)! Hope more coming soon! Happy Holidays!!

Thank you so much, Xueling.

Cedar Rapids, Ia - United States

Nicole,Congrats on your sale of a contest winner. Hugs,Marsha

Thank you so much, Marsha.

Fife, Sc - United Kingdom

Nicole. Congratulations my friend. It is a winner!!!

Thank you very much, Andrew.

Randallstown, MD - United States

Congrats on this wonderful piece . . . God Bless!

Thank you so much, Reggie.

Fife, Sc - United Kingdom

Nicole. This is a wonderful piece full of wondrous delight that depicts a cultural statement of love and hope!

Very well said, Andrew! Thank you very much for your great comment!

Miami - United States

Stunning epic painting, very powerful, and I absolutely love all the elements in this composition. The information related to the subject is very informative, well-done. Congrats, F/V

Thank you so much, E Giupponi. I greatly appreciate your nice comment.

Kamloops, BC - Canada

Wow, a very deep and meaningful painting. I read the description and appreciate knowing the historical aspects of it as well their significance. I learned a great deal while visiting this piece and liked being brought further into the work by looking for and at the aspects mentioned in the description. It is very thought provoking; very well thought out and painted very well. Fave :)

Welcome to my site, Jeanne! I am so happy that my historic painting has pleased you. I greatly appreciate your expression of praise,of approval.

Toronto - Canada

Bonjour Nicole - Merci pour votre commentaire genre. J'aime cette peinture et l'histoire. Très intéressant. Johny.

Bienvenu a mon "site", mon cher Johny! Le plaisir est a moi. Je suis tres contente que ma peiture historique et mon texte narratif vous aient plu. Je vous remercie infiniment de votre visite et agreable commentaire.

- Sudan

congratulations ... WOW

Thank you very much, Negoud. That is a surprise for me too!

Culleoka, TN - United States

Congratulations on your First Place win in the contest. Please feel free to join the new group, Contest Winners First Place on FineArt and upload this image to the group. Ties for first place are considered first place wins in the group.

Thank you so much, Kristin. Also thanks for your invitation; I will surely join the new group.

Pueblo, CO - United States

CONGRATULATIONS on your FIRST PLACE win in the "Narrative Art" contest sponsored by Our World Gallery. It was a hard-fought contest juried by seven members of FAA from among 221 entries. This is superior work and gets a vote and fave today.

I was completely unaware of the ongoing contest result. I didn't return to my site since Monday. I was thrilled and surprised after reading my E-mail. My painting "Bwa Kayiman Haiti 1791" was a 1st place winner! No one knows the impact this has on me. I had that historic painting in mind since I was an adolescent. Being able to execute it on canvas and narrate about it was a challenge. Receiving the Gallery's approval is a great satisfaction and honor for me. I sincerely thank everyone who voted for me!

Superior work...I like that! Thank you so much, Lenore!

WICHITA, KS - United States

oh my, Nicole...this is stunning work...and a powerful of your very best! fav/vote

Thank you so much, Tyler! I greatly appreciate your expression of approval.

Randallstown, MD - United States

Overwhelming exhaustive in both execution of work and the blessing through a vicarious empathetic experience. Thanks!

Beautifully said, Reggie! Thank you very much.

Newtown,, PA - United States

Thank you so much for your painting and history in description. I have so much to learn about Haiti and all peoples. I will be back again to view and reread as I need to know these past struggles and your work is so expressive.

I greatly enjoy your encouraging feedback, john! I thank you very much!

Bucharest, Ro - Romania

This is a truly masterpiece and a great work of art...... fav, vote..... Ana

Welcome to my site,Ana! Thank you very much!

Nassau, Ba - Bahamas

I have red the history behind this piece...excellent work...this truly is a piece of visual history.

Thank you very much, Hilton.

- Sudan

its great ...

Welcome to my site, Negoud! Thank you very much!

Dubai, DE - United Arab Emirates

Dear Nicole, you simply did marvelous painting by all mean returned me to the 18th century paintings style, huge efforts to come up with such perfect details, wonderful colors and for this work is 10 on 10, bravo. Thank you very much for your nice comment on (strands of gold and silver).

Haaa...Issam, to understand the present we have to look backward sometimes. Your score: "10 on 10, bravo" brings a big smile on my face. Thank you so much, Issam, and you are welcome.

Montreal, QC - Canada

Outstanding work! Brilliant and beautiful in substance and realism; very thorough and scholarly description. Most impressive!

Thank you very much, Mars.

Woodbridge, VA - United States

D'une importance capitale. O.

Grand merci, mon cher O.

Silicon Valley, CA - United States

Wow, what a wonderful piece you created with a nice historical story! I do appreciate your nice feedback on my "Landscape - Carson Pass 2", thank you!!

You are welcome, Xueling.Thank you so much!

Hampshire, IL - United States

Nicole, you weave a tapestry of descriptions and images that rival any of the epic tapestries commissioned to commemorate other important events...your inclusion of the history of this period takes the painting from a flat, two dimensional work to a living, breathing chorus of images that have passed through the last few hundred years...wonderful work...

Wow, David! "tapestry of descriptions and images...", " my painting went from 2-D to..." Those are great compliments, David! I could have created a blog. I choose to put this extended narrative description on the site because of easy access. Thank you so much, David, for your extremely great compliment!!!

Pueblo, CO - United States

Nicole~Indeed this is an epic narrative work and a treasure. Fave.

Thank you so much, Lenore. Epic narrative, indeed! My painting will not be appreciated without the epic.

Encampment, WY - United States

What an epic painting, magnificent in its passion and honor of the heroes who inspire us down to this day! This incredible work of art speaks eloquently of your deep love and knowledge, which we are so lucky to see. Thank you, also, for your detailed description, from which I learned so much! I appreciate all the time you took to provide us with this level of insight. World-class work in all ways!

Thank you so much, Dawn. The details are very important to the Haitian Nation who took Bois Caiman very seriously. The oral epic had survived because it was written down. It really celebrates the feats of our traditional Heroes. I am happy that you learn so much.

Sequim, WA - United States

No problem Nicole....I figured that is what you meant. :-)

Thank you, Linda.

Colombo, we - Sri Lanka

Nicole..what a grateful paint is this?..You always give us lovely description for your arts..and I agree with dear LInda.yes! you so much love to can't forget ever i think.I honor to you Nicole...........:-)

Yes, Nalini, I love Haiti. Thank you so much, Nalini, for your word of appreciation.

Sequim, WA - United States

Nicole....I so respect you as an artist and a woman full of knowledge and passion for what she believes in. You put so much into this piece ...very reflective of your love for Haiti. Yes, I agree God created us all's a shame so many humans can't see it that way. Great masterful work dear Nicole!

What a perfert world it would be! Thank you so much, Linda, for your expression of approval, and estime.

Sorry, Linda I meant to say: esteem, instead of estime ( French).

London, mi - United Kingdom

very interesting detail on the piece almost like time encapsulated by the piece so well narrated and the piece literally came alive with the prose so insightful and important for us in this generation to assess and appreciate love the wonderfully created piece that is a great mirror of time fave and vote

"Mirror of time"... I like that. Thank you so much, Gloria, for your appreciation.

Lakeland, FL - United States

Wow Nicole, this is a very ambitious painting, I won,t attempt even one figure. You did a splendid job, and your commentary is so informative.

Sharon, my ardent desire was to put on cancas parts of Haitian History. Among others, I had that painting in mind since I was an adolescent. That is the way I use to remember my History lessons. Some pupils will memorize their lesson by rote, after many repetitions. I instead will read the lesson once, and later I will recite my lesson to the teacher using the image stored in my memory. Thank you so much, Sharon for your kind appreciation.

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Bwa Kayiman Haiti 1791


Nicole Jean-Louis


Painting - Oil On Canvas


Bwa Kayiman derives his name from the French "Bois Caiman". Others suggest a Creole derived name, "Bois Kay Iman" or "Woods by the House of Iman". Bwa Kayiman is a revolt against Racial Slavery.
Before narrating this very important part of the Haitian History, I will first identify and describe the historical characters performing the ceremony of Bois Caiman in the painting:
1. Boukman-He is on the left of the painting; he is the only one with a shirt and long pants; unlike the field slaves who wore only the bare minimum to cover their bodies. He is the one holding the book in his left hand. His name is Dutty Boukman, for English, Dirty Bookman. He is a national Hero, a giant man, very powerful, fierce and fearsome, with an imposing appearance. He exercised an inexplicable influence on the maroons; he was an important, inspiring leader. Boukman was brought from Africa to the island of Jamaica; he was a self educated slave. After attempting to teach other Jamaican slaves to read, Boukman was sold by his British master in Jamaica to a French plantation owner in Haiti. Boukman was never a field slave; instead he supervised other slaves as the headman for his owner. He escaped to the mountains and became a maroon( neg mawon, a fugitive slave)
2. Mambo Marinette- She is in the center of the painting. She is the old, dark skin, white hair woman, with reddish eyes. She is a mambo or Voodoo priestess. She was the one who presided over the ceremony with Boukman. She was the one who sacrificed the black Creole pig. She was later captured by the French and burned alive.
3. Cecile Fatima- She is on the right of the painting. She is the woman singing behind the three drummers. She was a revolutionary leader. She was a green eyes woman with black hair. She was of mixed European and African heritage. She was the daughter of a Corsican and an African woman, (Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea located west of Italy and southwest of France).She was sold into slavery with her mother and two brothers whom she never saw again. According to the historian Etienne Charlier, Cecile Fatima later became the wife of the Haitian President, Louis Michel Pierrot (1761-1857). He became President on April 16, 1845. Cecile Fatima lived in Cap-Haitian until the age of 112.
4. Finally, on the middle lower portion of the painting, I have the conch shell blower maroon who helped assemble the 300 maroons for the ceremony. Those 300 maroons or fugitive slaves represent TWENTY-ONE displayed African Nations who vowed to revolt against the powers that had unleashed against their people such a relentless campaign of terror; a genocide that was expertly conceived and implemented, state sponsored and finally justified with numerous literary works and blessed by the most powerful and influential religious institution of the day. In 1452, Pope Nicholas V invited the Christians to attack an enslave non-Christians. To the year of 1791, 25millions of human beings had already been kidnapped, terrorized, thrown to sharks in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
I will render the Historical Voodoo version, involving drumming, and spirit dancing, not the legendary version promoted by the Fundamentalist Christian Missionaries, involving 200 years pact with Satan; because there was no black magic ritual. The same God that Christians pray to is the same God that the maroons believed in and prayed to. The devil does not exist in most African Religions. Most of the adults at Bois Caiman had been born in Africa, not in Saint Domingue (Haiti). They came with many different ethnic groups and religious traditions. They use what they are accustomed to, what we called today: "Voodoo". According to the official "HISTORY of HAITI and the HAITIAN REVOLUTION", the following event occurred 219+ years ago with our forefathers:
Bois Caiman is the site of a Voodoo ceremony which occurred in the mountains on the North of the small Caribbean island of Haiti, near Morne-Rouge, Southwest of Cap-Haitian. This Voodoo ceremony and the pact concluded were of a secret nature because of planned pending uprisings. On the evening of August 14, 1791, Boukman conducted the ceremony. He assembled about 300 maroons (fugitive slaves). They gathered in the mountain under a very large Mapou tree. It was a rainy night, raging with clouds and thunderstorms. Torn branches were flying everywhere. During that meeting, the slaves acknowledged their resentment for the inhuman conditions in the plantations, in which they have been flogged and driven to exhaustion by working from sun up until sun down or death, 10-18 hours a day. Boukman declared to the participants: "Your God is a good God. He is against slavery!" The drums were beating. A woman named Cecile Fatima was singing. Another old, dark skin, white hair woman with red eyes, named Mambo Marinette, got up and dance. She was possessed by the spirit, loa, Ezili Danto. Everyone was transfixed, spellbind. The woman was jumping and turning with a long knife overhead. She cut the throat of the black Creole pig and a blood mixture was distributed to all the participants who swore to kill all the whites on the island..."Be Free or Die!"
In the African Dahomey culture, there is a well tested tradition of such a "blood oath". They drink "Vodun" which is a mixture of blood, water, and other ingredients to secure their loyalty. This practice was known from Dahomey to Kenya. Many slaves assembled there would have been familiar with it. The blood oath would have encourage solidarity, spiritual strength, and acted as an oath of fidelity to Boukman and to the greater cause of liberty.
On August 22, 1791, Toussaint Louverture leads a black army against the French of the North, killing all the whites they met and set the plantations on fire.
Although Boukman was eventually captured by the French and beheaded, this ceremony of Bois Caiman started the Haitian Revolution which later gave birth to a new Nation, Haiti, on January 1, 1804, 13 years later under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte who was ruling France at that time. He became Emperor Napoleon I, in 1804; not "Napoleon III" as wrongly mentioned by Pat Robertson, the televangelist, on January 13, 2010, after Haiti's earthquake of January 12, 2010. Napoleon III was a French ruler from 1848 to 1870. Haiti occupied the western 1/3 of the island, not "1/2" as wrongly mentioned the televangelist, Pat Robertson. The Haitians freed themselves from slavery, not "because they were under the heels of the French" as Pat Robertson mentioned on January 13, 2010. The Africans of Haiti fought not only against the "armies of France", but also against the army of Britain, and Spain which they eventually defeated thanks to the military savvy of the maroons, and the leadership of generals: Toussaint Louverture, Jean Jacques Dessalines, Alexandre Petion and Henry Christophe. Haitians freed themselves from enslavement because they believe that God created all of us equal. The 1791 uprising to uproot racial slavery was taken in Haiti by regular men and women.
References: Antoine Dalmas:" History of the Saint Domingue Revolution, 1814"
Jean Fouchard :" Les Marrons de la Liberte' " Jean Saint-Vil :" Bwa Kay Iman uprising against slavery" August 11, 2009


October 15th, 2011


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