By Dady Chery
Guinea Fowl (Pintade, or Numida ptilorhyncha) are variously described in a book by Jean-Marie Lamblard as:
“Birds of the mind who embody aspirations to ascend to the stars…. Ones who witnessed the birth of mankind and were partners to the first men on earth…. Ones who have never accepted domestication and look exactly as their ancestors did many thousands of years ago.”
The book guides the reader from Pharaonic Egypt to Alexandria, Greece, Abyssinia, Venice, Africa, and America in reverse order. The story includes the role of “oiseaux negres” in Haitian Vodou, where these birds are a symbol of the runaway slave because they reclaimed their freedom immediately after being introduced to the island in the early 16th century.
In memory of those lost today.
Sources: Haiti Chery | Based on the book: L’Oiseau Nègre: L’Aventure des Pintades Dionysiaques, by Jean-Marie-Lamblard, with a foreword by Ernest Pignon-Ernest. Publisher: Imago (2003) | Pintade, Oiseau Africain, Pintade et Mythologie
Copyright © 2011-2013 by Dady Chery. Dady Chery is a journalist, playwright, essayist and poet, who writes in English, French and her native Creole. She is the Editor of
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