Black Ancestors : Joseph Chatoyer (Garifuna)

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by cherryblossom, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://hairoun.blogspot.com/2004/10/joseph-chatoyer.html
    Joseph Chatoyer

    Someone once said that the key to immortality is first living a life worth living. On that note I salute SVG's national hero Paramount Carib Chief Joseph Chatoyer. Chatoyer loved this land so much that he paid the ultimate price. In recognition of this great man we honour him every March 14th, the day the of his death.

    The Caribs taking advantage of the densely forested mountainous interior were able to resist European settlement for nearly 200 years, longer than any other Caribbean island. Joseph Chatoyer led his island in the Carib Wars against the French and the British starting in 1772/73. during the first Carib war the British were forced to sign a treaty which was the first time an indigenous people had forced them so to do. In 1795 a second Garifuna/British war broke out in response to British failure to honour the treaties. This time the French joined the Garifunas to fight the British. Sadly Chatoyer was killed during this war in 1797 at Dorsetshire Hill.

    Following his death the Caribs surrendered and were imprisoned for eight months on the island of Balliceaux (Grenadine Island). They were later shipped from their homeland to Honduras where they would later make their way to Belize and other Central American countries.

    The Garifuna people forced to migrate have never forgotten their homeland St Vincent. Indeed there is linking of villages in Belize with Carib villages here.Oral history has many stories of the homeland and today many Garifuna people travel back to SVG to pay homage to the land of their origi
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Herded aboard slave ships in West Africa, a group of Garífuna forebears were likely destined for New World mines and plantations when they wrecked off St. Vincent in 1635. They found refuge with the island’s Carib Indians, immigrants from South America.

    The two peoples blended through marriage, creating the Garífuna culture—Caribbean fishing and farming traditions with a mixture of South American and African music, dance, and spirituality.

    The Garífuna prospered and coexisted peacefully with French settlers who came later in the 17th century. Tensions arose when English colonists began to arrive and demand land. Those tensions eventually turned to war. Hopelessly outnumbered by British troops, the Garífuna and their French supporters surrendered in 1796. The victors exiled the Garífuna to the island of Baliceaux.

    Imprisoned there in appalling conditions, more than half died. The following year survivors were shipped to Roatán Island off the coast of Honduras. According to legend, the Garífuna hid cassava, a mainstay of their diet, inside their clothes, where it stayed alive watered by the sweat of the tightly packed captives. They planted the cassava on Roatán, where it grew abundantly. Soon the Garífuna established fishing villages in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Belize. Each year in Belize, when locals reenact the arrival in that land, they slip out to sea in boats, then ride the surf onto shore, waving palm fronds and banana leaves to symbolize the cassava that sustained their ancestors. This ritual, rich in music and dance, helps sustain Garífuna culture.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/data/2001/09/01/html/ft_20010901.6.html
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    http://svgblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/chatoyer.html

    Chatoyer

    A Tribute to Joseph Chatoyer
    By Karielle Richards

    ....Mystery surrounds the life of Joseph Chatoyer. No one knows for certain the date of his birth, exactly how he lived, details of his family or the true nature of his death. There is a lot untold and unknown about this historical figure but from the findings gathered one cannot refute this: Two hundred and eleven years ago, in the year 1795, Joseph Chatoyer led a revolt against the British influence in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He was killed as he bravely defied Britain, defending his people's territory. Because of this patriotic, courageous act he is considered the National Hero of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

    Thank you Joseph Chatoyer! The blood you shed is a symbol of the contribution you have made to the freedom we have to day. Indeed you paid the ultimate price. Again, thank you.
     
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