Polish Descendants in Haiti: The Lost Tribe Nov 15, 2017 5:58:09 GMT -7
Post by JustJohn or JJ on Nov 15, 2017 5:58:09 GMT -7
Polish Descendants in Haiti: The Lost Tribe
Haiti, the western part of the former Spanish island of Hispaniola, was one of the largest mix of African slave colonies in the Caribbean. Of a population of nearly 519,000 in 1791, 87 percent were African slaves and due to harsh living and working conditions, many slaves died, and new slaves were imported which created a nation of mixed racial origin. Aside from the African slave, Haiti has a diverse group of diaspora from many countries around the world including Germany, Italy, China, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, and Poland. Those people often times left their country of origin due to political instabilities or wars. Today we want to highlight the Haitian-Polish community. Haitian-Polish are people of Polish ethnic origin living in Haiti. They are a significantly small population but largely contributed to the success of the Haitian Revolution against the French Army of Napoleon.
Haitian of Polish Descent: How the Polish came to be in Haiti?
The Polish soldiers were led by Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, a former high-ranking officer in the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were also under French rule, due to complicated politics, at the time.
The Poles had been told that they were there to liberate people – not restore them to slavery. After a short time of being there, the Polish realized that they had been deceived, and they stopped fighting, became deserters; and in most cases, joined Jean-Jacques Dessalines and his slave army.
The Polish people formed communities over the next two centuries. In Cazales, ~45 miles North of Port-au-Prince, Haitians of Polish descent now live in a community often referred to as blanc polone (White Polish). They are Haitians; but due to the fact that the bulk of the Polish Legionnaires settled there, the community has forever been referred to as ‘Polish’; and there is a high proportion of very light-skinned, blue-eyed Haitians in that area.