Hatuey, Vodou and the Haitian Revolution

Peace! Paz! Tau!

Today's mathematics is 'culture'. La matematica de hoy es "cultura".

As I reflect upon 'culture' I think about it in regards to the culture and cultures of Original people. Culture is the medium through which a people's knowledge and wisdom continue through space and time. It has been our culture that has served as the drive behind our struggle against colonialism, racism and the continuance of our people into this day and time. As Amilcar Cabral states in his work "National Liberation and Culture"- "Whatever may be the ideological or idealistic characteristics of cultural expression, culture is an essential element of the history of a people."

It is the elements of culture that serve as the catapult for freedom. For within the Nation of Gods and Earths we understand that we can never expel the devilishment and influence of the oppressor and have freedom in our cipher unless we bring culture into the cipher and continue to add on to that culture with the world we are looking to bring about. Your culture will empower you and will foster the drive and ability to change and control our destinies. As our people understood, it was and never will be our destiny to be subserviant to external forces. As Cabral further states," The value of culture as an element of resistance to foreign domination, lies in the fact that culture is the vigorous manifestation on the ideological or idealist plane of the physical and historical reality of the society that is dominated or to be dominated. Culture is simultaneously the fruit of a people’s history and a determinant of history, by the positive or negative influence which it exerts on the evolution of relationships between man and his environment, among men or groups of men within a society, as well as among different societies."

We have many examples of resistance in our culture. The culture given to us by Allah is in this same vein of resistance because we have and continue to resist the reality that's dictated to us by authority. We resist by taking our lives out of the systems hands and into our own. By not being products of our environment but producers of environment and by redirecting the power of words by redefining them. Indigenous cultures in general provide many examples and inspiration of the resistance that flows through our cellular memory. It is who we are.

Below is an article written by a Taino Elder and my brother, Ni Bon Te Ban. The title is pretty self-explanatory, as it examines the culture of the Taino as it persists in the Haitian people and the power to reclaim the sovereignty over themselves via the Haitian Revolution. For my brothers and sisters within the Nation of Gods and Earths whom may be a little abject to the concept of 'spirit'- you must understand the culture of Native peoples. Indigenous people of the Americas have a lot of natural symbolism in our cultures. Before 1492, we had no concept of religion, spirituality or even 'science'. The aspects of these disciplines were apart and totally inseparable from our way of life. So spirit is not used in the same manner as Western religion. "Spirit" in my understanding, refers to the intelligence and life that animates all living things. "Spirit" can also be used synomously with a energy or 'power' in many Native cultures. To be mindful of this is to be effective in communicating with Indigenous people, without them tuning you out because of your opposition to the terminology many of us use. Learn more about Native culture so you can understand how Indigenous people percieve the world and what parallels with the principles we espose rather than trying to understand their culture on face value, like the Europeans, and overlooking the knowledge, wisdom and understanding to be gained.

With that said, I invite you to 'do the knowledge' to the follwing article and take the best part for yourself. It is a wonderful article and full of information and insight.

Hatuey, Vodou and the Haitian Revolution

The Spirit of Hatuey has continued to make his presence known not only within his homeland of Haiti but across the Caribbean. We call him the Father of the Resurgence or more precisely the Father of the Resistance!

Hatuey was a great Casike, whose name means “Certainty of the Sun”. He had been engaging guerilla warfare in Cuba against the invading Spanish and warning the Taino people of Cuba about the evil nature of the Christian invaders. He warned his people of the cruel and wicked nature of these Christians telling of their loyalty and love for THEIR god, Gold and Jewels (money), making a clear distinction between the object of the Christian’s worship and the Taino understanding of their own “Deities”.

The Christians captured Hatuey (possibly it is said through a betrayal from one of his own), tied him to a stake and prepared to burn him alive. A monk attempted to convert Hatuey to Christianity, and told him that if he believed in Christianity he (Hatuey) would go to “heaven” where there would be glory and eternal rest or if he did not believe in Christianity he (Hatuey) would go to hell, where he would suffer torments and punishment. Hatuey was silent for a short time, then he asked the monk if the Christians went to heaven, and the monk said that the good Christians went to heaven. Hatuey immediately answered that he did not want to go to heaven, but would rather go to hell so as to not be in the same place as the cruel Christians. Hatuey was subsequently burnt at the stake and it is said that his Soul flew immediately to the Sun.

Hatuey refused to submit to entrapment by the Christians, he maintained the integrity of his Soul and Spirit by refusing at a moment of intense torture to compromise with the Christian god whom he knew to be evil based on the actions of this god’s followers. Remember Hatuey had been witness to mass murder, genocide, rape, murder of unborn children and the total desecration of the sacredness of his Yukayekes by these Christians who said that they came in the name of God and Christ. He understood the true deity that these people were worshiping and refused any deals with this evil entity (the beast).

After Hatuey’s death, the war between the Taino and the Spaniards continued. When the Spaniards began to import Africans in the chains of slavery they began with Black Muslims from Spain itself. These Muslims immediately rebelled escaping to the mountains and hills joining with the Taino and forming the first Maroon People. After this the Spainards became afraid to import more Muslims and began bringing Africans directly from Africa, most of whom were following various African Spiritual Traditions, these people also rebelled, many finding their ways to Maroon communities and also developing the tradition of Vodou within the communities and in secret upon the plantations.

As the French gained control of Haiti they launched a massive exploitation of the Land itself and the people of the land, Haiti is still recovering from this exploitation, as well as more modern exploitations of the elite.

Within the tradition of Vodou the Rada Cult is Dahomeyan in nature, more peaceful and sedate due to the influence from the nations of Africa which had solid social structures, cities, centralized authority and stable, peaceful (for the most part) kingdoms. However, the more violent and explosive Petro Cult is born from the synthesis of the tradition of the Taino-Arawak people and the traditions of the Congo and other African peoples. It was the Petro cult that was more rebellious and gave rise directly to the Haitian Revolution that put Fear in the heart of every slave-owner across the planet!

Maya Derens a woman who in her researches into Haitian Vodou becomes an initiate and directly experienced the tradition, writes in her book “Divine Horsemen, the living gods of Haiti” concerning the Petro Cult:

It led me, further, to sense, for instance, that the Petro dance and drumming were not merely another ritual- not merely a more violent canvas by the same painter- but that they were of a different character- a canvas by another painter altogether. This distinction arrested my attention and I began to observe the difference in major forms, which eventually led me to look for the possible interpolation of another culture, to investigate the history of the Spanish and Indian period of the islands, and finally, to the determination of the Indian influence as elaborated in the Appendix to this book. What emerges from this research is the fact that the African culture in Haiti was saved by the Indian culture which, in the Petro cult, provided the Negroes with divinities sufficiently aggressive (as was not true of the divinities of the generally stabilized African Kingdoms) to be the moral force behind the revolution. In a sense the Indians took their revenge on the white man through the Negro.”

The photo above shows Negre Marron a statue of the African who broke free from Slavery, armed with a Machete, and calling forth rebellion and revolution with a Conch shell (not only a musical instrument but an important Spiritual instrument and Symbol to the Taino).

We can continue to trace the footsteps of the Spirit of Hatuey as he makes his way through history, inciting rebellion and revolution, calling forth for the abandonment of Christianity and the building of independence from colonial powers.

Francis Macandal (a Guinea born man) was a slave on the Lenormand plantation, through an accident he lost his arm in a sugar press, and some time subsequently he escaped and became a Maroon. In 1757 he organized a conspiracy to poison all the whites across St.Dominique (the colonial name for Haiti at that time). Some 6,000 deaths were attributed to him (perhaps exaggerated) before he was captured in 1758 through a betrayal from within (by one of his own). Francis Macandal was a muslim Marabout, meaning he was a medicine man in his own right, he could predict the future and have revelations and had skill at making amulets. He was called the Old man from the Mountains.

When Francis Macandal was captured he was tied to the pole and prepared to be burned January 20th, 1758. However the pole snapped tossing him out of the flames of the fire. This was seen as a sign of immortality by the onlookers. He told the onlookers at his death as he was dying that he was going to turn into a fly and fly away. Eventually the colonists tied him to a plank and threw him into the fire.

In Macandal’s story we can see the trail of Hatuey in the whole incident with the fire, the statement of flying away and the fact that Macandal was a muslim, in opposition to Christianity and that he had the skills of a Bohitu (Marabout in his culture). We see the threads of FIRE, FLIGHT, IMMORTALITY, understanding of the nature of Christianity and the skills of the BOHITU.

Now we come to perhaps the most critical turning point for Haiti, the Vodou ceremony conducted by the Houngan Boukmann at the very same Lenormand plantation, which is historically agreed upon as the moment that began the Haitian Revolution.Boukmann Dutty was a field slave imported from Jamaica. He was conducting a Vodou ceremony on August 14, 1971. During the ceremony “a great storm arose, and there appeared a Negress whose body was trembling violently and who danced a wild dance holding a large knife over her head. As a climax of the dance she sacrificed a black pig. All the participants drank of the blood of the pig, and swore to follow Boukman. A week later the revolution was in swing…. The description of the ceremony makes it clear that it was a Petro ceremony since those are distinguished by pig sacrifices. It is possible that the woman was Marinette, or was possessed by Marinette, the major and violent female of the Petro Nation.” (Quote from Maya Derens book “Divine Horsemen”).

Remember that the Taino had a very intimate relationship with the “Deities” powers and forces of the storm, and a very powerful feminine deity, Guabancex, connected with snakes, the storm and embodying all feminine attributes.

Boukmann stated in Kreyole during the ceremony:“The god who created the Sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us. He sees all that the white man does. The god of the white man inspires him with crime, but our god calls upon us to do good works. Our god who is good to us orders us to revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of the god of the whites who has so often caused us to weep and listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.”

The symbol that Boukmann was referring to was the crosses that slaves would wear around their necks. Here we can hear Hatuey’s voice echoing in Boukmann’s words; The reference to Sun, and the clear distinction between the Deity and Divine Concepts of the African, African-Taino, and the white man. Both men, hundreds of years apart in time were speaking of the same thing, both knowing the manipulation and evil inherent within the Christianity of the colonizers. We also see that the Spirit itself (a female deity of the Petro Cult) performed the sacrifice herself, making it clear that the impulse that brought about the Haitian Revolution came directly from the Spirit itself! And not only the Spirit itself but the Taino Spirit who found an ally and Guaitiou in the African Spirit and together they became the Spirits of retribution that not only eradicated slavery from Haiti but opened the door for the abolishing of slavery over the entire continent and the development of a movement of solidarity across the Caribbean and South, Central America.

A week after this on August 22, 1791 100,000 field hands revolted burning plantations and killing the owners and overseers. Led by the houngans and mambos (female vodou priestess) the field hands were armed by nothing more than machetes and other tools and began what was ultimately a very successful revolution. Boukmann was killed a few months later and his head was placed on a pole in a square in order to intimidate the population. However his spirit, joined with Hatuey continued the struggle.

This revolution lasted until its successful outcome in 1804. A towering figure within the revolution was an African man called Louverture Toussaint Breda. He was the descendent of Arada kings, his father Gaou Guinou through power struggles in Africa was enslaved and shipped to the Caribbean. His father’s name “Gaou Guinou” means minister of war who is always on the battle field, for his father was also a powerful warrior. Toussaint was born on all souls day (November 1) in the Caribbean, and grew up to be a skilled medical practitioner, herbalist, horse rider and African healer. His Vodou name was “Fatara Bato” meaning “he who leads well the ceremonies”, clearly indicating that he was a houngan of some skill. Toussaint became the leading African general inside of the revolution and developed a plan to destroy the slave trade at its roots in Africa and abolish slavery world wide. Through trickery he was captured by the French and died in a French prison in April 1803 but not before he told his captors:

In overthrowing me, you have cut down in Haiti only the tree of Liberty. It will spring up again by the roots for they are numerous and deep.”

Not long after this the Haitian revolutionaries completely defeated Napoleon’s army, sending only 4,000 out of an initial 30,000 men running back to France. Napoleon had planned to wipe out all the African Haitian men, women and children over the age of 12 and restock with new slaves imported from Africa, because he knew that the revolutionary Spirit was so powerful in Haiti. Along with the remaining 4,000 French soldiers, 4,000 remaining French colonials also evacuated in a hurry to Jamaica. Dessalines the Haitian leader at this point returned the Indigenous Taino name of HAITI to the country, acknowledging (consciously or unconsciously) the Taino roots of the Revolution! Haiti is the FIRST BLACK INDEPENDENT NATION post-colonialism in the world.

The Haitian revolution spread Terror throughout slaveholders across the Americas. The country itself continues to war against the powers of colonialism which continue to attack it on every level. It is also very important to note that Simon Bolivar came to Haiti to seek financial support for his Bolivarian revolution of independence for Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru at a point when Bolivar himself was very low on resources. The then leader of Haiti, Alexandre Petion gave Bolivar weapons, ammunition, money and Haitian volunteers for his fight for liberty for Venezuela and asked only in return for the abolition of slavery in all countries that Bolivar would liberate.

The Spirit of Hatuey and his refusal to bow to the god of the Christian conquistadors has rippled through this whole continent continually throughout the last 500 years. We can see that at the root of this story is a profound understanding and knowledge of Spirituality and Medicine! We continue to honor the Spirit of Hatuey and his Spirit of Resistance and we continue to look for his trail among the events, wars, battles that have occurred since his time right up to the present.

May the power and blessing of Hatuey continue to expand, influence and speak within our Present! And may we continue to recognize the Spirit of Hatuey in our Brothers and Sisters wherever we may find it! And may the blessings and power of the Cemis, Ancestors, Nkisi, Mpungo continue to be manifest in our lives! Blessings and gratitude for all that they have brought about!

Suggested Reading: Maya Derens “Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti”


The Internal Struggle for Outward Acceptance

Peace! Tau!

As we move forward we continue to struggle against the condition and brainwashing that has been perpetrated against us in the name of colonialism. As we struggle for freedom, justice and equality, our people still continue the struggle against the internal chains of bondage that we clapped on our brains throughout this journey for cultural liberation. Our mindstate still bears the scars of the internal slavery we ignore because we have become accustomed to. We still struggle to be excepting in a white man's world (society) despite how much we make others believe otherwise. In the strategy of 'divide and conquer' the issue of racial and ethnic identity still presents itself as a sufficient tool to keep our people blind to themselves and from uniting with those more like them than not. We can not move forward and extend our hands to the oppressor and his agents, in an effort to mend the sacred hoop of life, if we do not mend it within us first. And embracing our roots, our ancestral trees, especially as Afro-Indigenous people, as a extension of Pan-Indigenous solidarity, is a path in the right direction.

Black Denial: Latins And Their African Heritage

Why do so many Latin people deny their African ancestry which is so obvious ? That is a question that many people wonder about. It’s pretty much a no-brainer and very sad. Black people are the most hated people on this earth because of the images that have been associated with being black over the years. People come to this country from many different nations day in and day out and they all have one thing in common, a feeling of dislike towards and superiority over blacks. An insider who worked for the Census bureau in Florida during the last one conducted several years ago found that not one out of hundreds of thousands of Cuban Americans the insider and his staff handled checked black as their race. The Census asks you specifically what your ethinicity is and hispanics have a second choice of being white or black. Did any of you guys see the Cuban Olympic team ??? I guess all of those players were white right ??? The Miami Herald did a very in depth investigation into why latins are so much in denial. This is part one of the article:

Nearly all Dominican women straighten their hair, which experts say is a direct result of a historical learned rejection of all things black

SANTO DOMINGO — Yara Matos sat still while long, shiny locks from China were fastened, bit by bit, to her coarse hair.

Not that Matos has anything against her natural curls, even though Dominicans call that pelo malo — bad hair.

But a professional Dominican woman just should not have bad hair, she said. “If you’re working in a bank, you don’t want some barrio-looking hair. Straight hair looks elegant,” the bank teller said. “It’s not that as a person of color I want to look white. I want to look pretty.”
And to many in the Dominican Republic, to look pretty is to look less black.

Dominican hairdressers are internationally known for the best hair-straightening techniques. Store shelves are lined with rows of skin whiteners, hair relaxers and extensions.

Racial identification here is thorny and complex, defined not so much by skin color but by the texture of your hair, the width of your nose and even the depth of your pocket. The richer, the “whiter.” And, experts say, it is fueled by a rejection of anything black.

“I always associated black with ugly. I was too dark and didn’t have nice hair,” said Catherine de la Rosa, a dark-skinned Dominican-American college student spending a semester here. “With time passing, I see I’m not black. I’m Latina.

“At home in New York everyone speaks of color of skin. Here, it’s not about skin color. It’s culture.”

The only country in the Americas to be freed from black colonial rule — neighboring Haiti — the Dominican Republic still shows signs of racial wounds more than 200 years later. Presidents historically encouraged Dominicans to embrace Spanish Catholic roots rather than African ancestry.

Here, as in much of Latin America — the “one drop rule” works in reverse: One drop of white blood allows even very dark-skinned people to be considered white.


As black intellectuals here try to muster a movement to embrace the nation’s African roots, they acknowledge that it has been a mostly fruitless cause. Black pride organizations such as Black Woman’s Identity fizzled for lack of widespread interest. There was outcry in the media when the Brotherhood of the Congos of the Holy Spirit — a community with roots in Africa — was declared an oral patrimony of humanity by UNESCO. “There are many times that I think of just leaving this country because it’s too hard,” said Juan Rodríguez Acosta, curator of the Museum of the Dominican Man. Acosta, who is black, has pushed for the museum to include controversial exhibits that reflect many Dominicans’ African background. “But then I think: Well if I don’t stay here to change things, how will things ever change?”

A walk down city streets shows a country where blacks and dark-skinned people vastly outnumber whites, and most estimates say that 90 percent of Dominicans are black or of mixed race. Yet census figures say only 11 percent of the country’s nine million people are black.
To many Dominicans, to be black is to be Haitian. So dark-skinned Dominicans tend to describe themselves as any of the dozen or so racial categories that date back hundreds of years — Indian, burned Indian, dirty Indian, washed Indian, dark Indian, cinnamon, moreno or mulatto, but rarely negro.

The Dominican Republic is not the only nation with so many words to describe skin color. Asked in a 1976 census survey to describe their own complexions, Brazilians came up with 136 different terms, including café au lait, sunburned, morena, Malaysian woman, singed and “toasted.”
“The Cuban black was told he was black. The Dominican black was told he was Indian,” said Dominican historian Celsa Albert, who is black. “I am not Indian. That color does not exist. People used to tell me, ‘You are not black.’ If I am not black, then I guess there are no blacks anywhere, because I have curly hair and dark skin.”


Using the word Indian to describe dark-skinned people is an attempt to distance Dominicans from any African roots, Albert and other experts said. She noted that it’s not even historically accurate: The country’s Taino Indians were virtually annihilated in the 1500s, shortly after Spanish colonizers arrived.

Researchers say the de-emphasizing of race in the Dominican Republic dates to the 1700s, when the sugar plantation economy collapsed and many slaves were freed and rose up in society.
Later came the rocky history with Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Haiti’s slaves revolted against the French and in 1804 established their own nation. In 1822, Haitians took over the entire island, ruling the predominantly Hispanic Dominican Republic for 22 years.

To this day, the Dominican Republic celebrates its independence not from centuries-long colonizer Spain, but from Haiti.

“The problem is Haitians developed a policy of black-centrism and . . . Dominicans don’t respond to that,” said scholar Manuel Núñez, who is black. “Dominican is not a color of skin, like the Haitian.”

Dictator Rafael Trujillo, who ruled from 1930 to 1961, strongly promoted anti-Haitian sentiments, and is blamed for creating the many racial categories that avoided the use of the word “black.”

The practice continued under President Joaquín Balaguer, who often complained that Haitians were “darkening” the country. In the 1990s, he was blamed for thwarting the presidential aspirations of leading black candidate José Francisco Peña Gómez by spreading rumors that he was actually Haitian.

“Under Trujillo, being black was the worst thing you could be,” said Afro-Dominican poet Blas Jiménez. “Now we are Dominican, because we are not Haitian. We are something, because we are not that.”

Jiménez remembers when he got his first passport, the clerk labeled him “Indian.” He protested to the director of the agency.

“I remember the man saying, ‘If he wants to be black, let him be black!’ ” Jiménez said.
Resentment toward anything Haitian continues, as an estimated one million Haitians live in the Dominican Republic, most working in the sugar and construction industries. Mass deportations often mistakenly include black Dominicans, and Haitians have been periodically lynched in mob violence. The government has been trying to deny citizenship and public education to the Dominican-born children of illegal Haitian migrants.

When migrant-rights activist Sonia Pierre won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2006, the government responded by trying to revoke her citizenship, saying she is actually Haitian.

“There’s tremendous resistance to blackness — black is something bad,” said black feminist Sergia Galván. ‘‘Black is associated with dark, illegal, ugly, clandestine things. There is a prototype of beauty here and a lot of social pressure. There are schools where braids and natural hair are prohibited.”

Galván and a loosely knit group of women have protested European canons of beauty, once going so far as to rally outside a beauty pageant. She and other experts say it is now more common to see darker-skinned women in the contests — but they never win.


Several women said the cultural rejection of African looking hair is so strong that people often shout insults at women with natural curls.

“I cannot take the bus because people pull my hair and stick combs in it,” said wavy haired performance artist Xiomara Fortuna. “They ask me if I just got out of prison. People just don’t want that image to be seen.”

The hours spent on hair extensions and painful chemical straightening treatments are actually an expression of nationalism, said Ginetta Candelario, who studies the complexities of Dominican race and beauty at Smith College in Massachusetts. And to some of the women who relax their hair, it’s simply a way to have soft manageable hair in the Dominican Republic’s stifling humidity.

“It’s not self-hate,” Candelario said. “Going through that is to love yourself a lot. That’s someone saying, ‘I am going to take care of me.’ It’s nationalist, it’s affirmative and celebrating self.”
Money, education, class — and of course straight hair — can make dark-skinned Dominicans be perceived as more “white,” she said. Many black Dominicans here say they never knew they were black — until they visited the United States.

“During the Trujillo regime, people who were dark skinned were rejected, so they created their own mechanism to fight it,” said Ramona Hernández, Director of the Dominican Studies Institute at City College in New York. “When you ask, ‘What are you?’ they don’t give you the answer you want . . . saying we don’t want to deal with our blackness is simply what you want to hear.”

Hernández, who has olive-toned skin and a long mane of hair she blows out straight, acknowledges she would “never, never, never” go to a university meeting with her natural curls.

“That’s a woman trying to look cute; I’m a sociologist,” she said.

Asked if a black Dominican woman can be considered beautiful in her country, Hernández leapt to her feet.

“You should see how they come in here with their big asses!” she said, shuffling across her office with her arms extended behind her back, simulating an enormous rear-end. “They come in here thinking they are all that, and I think, ‘doesn’t she know she’s not really pretty?’ “

Maria Elena Polanca is a black woman with the striking good looks. She said most Dominicans look at her with curiosity, as if a black woman being beautiful were something strange.

She spends her days promoting a hair straightener at La Sirena, a Santo Domingo department store that features an astonishing array of hair straightening products.

“Look, we have bad hair, bad. Nobody says ‘curly.’ It’s bad,” she said. “You can’t go out like that. People will say, ‘Look at that nest! Someone light a match!’ ”


Purdue University professor Dawn Stinchcomb, who is African American, said that when she came here in 1999 to study African influences in literature, people insulted her in the street.
Waiters refused to serve her. People wouldn’t help Stinchcomb with her research, saying if she wanted to study Africans, she’d have to go to Haiti.

“I had people on the streets . . . yell at me to get out of the sun because I was already black enough,” she said. “It was hurtful. . . . I was raised in the South and thought I could handle any racial comment. I never before experienced anything like I did in the Dominican Republic.

“I don’t have a problem when people who don’t look like me say hurtful things. But when it’s people who look just like me?”

African Prescence in the Americas?



Escorted by
May 2 - 16, 2009
Special Feature: The Ivan Van Sertima Symposium
Prices beginning at $2689.00 double occupancy


It is accurate to say of the Americas that, not only did Columbus come late, but that African people had a profound presence long before the beginning of the trans-Atlantic trade in captured Africans.

The first civilization of ancient America is called the Olmec. It was located along the Mexican Gulf Coast and began almost four thousand years ago. The most significant artistic representations reflecting the presence of Africans in the ancient Americas are to be found among the Olmec. At least seventeen enormous stone heads, weighing from ten to forty tons each, have been revealed in Olmec sites along the Mexican Gulf Coast. Many of them can be viewed today in Mexico's many museums. One of the first European-American scientists to comment on the Olmec heads, archaeologist Mathew Stirling, described their facial features as "amazingly Negroid."

There has also been demonstrated an African presence in ancient Mexico's other great civilizations, particularly among the Maya but also the Aztec and the Totonac. And, of course, we have those African communities in Mexico as the result of enslavement itself.
In early May 2009, I am returning to Mexico to see the Olmec and I want you to come with me. The US dollar is strong in Mexico, you don't need a visa to enter the country, you don't have to take any shots, and the flight from Houston to Mexico City is less than five hours.
We will visit many of Mexico's most important archaeological sites, view a lot of artifacts (particularly the colossal Olmec heads), see some beautiful countryside, meet some friendly people, visit some African named towns, partake in some cultural activities, and do a little shopping.

And to cap off the trip we plan to have a bit of a symposium to discuss the African presence in Mexico from the most remotes times and summarize the highlights of the trip. We will call it the Ivan Van Sertima Symposium.

If this sounds exciting to you, if you always wanted to go to Mexico but did not want to go alone, if you are in search of the African presence in the Americas before slavery, if you like museums and ancient ruins, if you enjoy traveling the world with like-minded people, if you want a unique travel experience, then I request that you block out the time, save your money, and make your plans. I promise you a unique travel experience and a trip that you will absolutely cherish.

Tour Features Include:
Roundtrip Economy Airfare (from Houston)Roundtrip Airport Transfers Accommodation 4-, 5-Star hotels Breakfast & Dinner Daily (Pre-selected)Welcome Dinner / Reception Farewell Dinner / Reception"Meet-the-People" Activity Cultural & Educational Activities Visiting the Cities of:Vera Cruz, Xalapa, Villahermosa, Bonampak, Palenque Visit Numerous Ancient Ruins Museums Markets for Shopping Luggage TagsTravel Bag Information Kit and much more.....

Payment Plan available
Travel arrangements: R.G. Gainey & Associates International Tours(Tel: 410-433-0774)E-mail: http://us.mc525.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=rggainey1217@%20aol.com
Space is limited so don't delay!
Runoko Rashidi(210) 337-4405email: mailto:Runoko@yahoo.%20com

*Prices subject to change until paid in full for air and land.Rate is based on double occupancy, per person
From the Global African Prescence website