By Amos Cincir
Omega World News | Haiti Chery
English | French
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
Historian and career journalist Ady Jean-Gardy, who signs his name Adyjeangardy, was awarded the French Academy Institute of Arts and Letters International History Prize during the weekend of May 2-3, 2015 for his work, Histoires des Indiens Arawaks d’Haiti (History of Haiti’s Arawak Indians). He is officially invited to receive his decorations and prize before an assembled international group of writers and the French Academy in June 2015 in Angoulême, France.
Adyjeangardy took the International History Prize in the 47th annual history contest conducted in Bordeaux. The competition was limited to unpublished works: in particular, historical research not yet unveiled. The International Cultural Association of French Arts and Letters (129, rue Malbec, Bordeaux) believes that this work sheds new light on the lives of Haiti’s Arawak Indians, at least 1000 years before Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, and it provides information about the struggles of the indigenous people of the island during the Spanish colonial period until 1550.
This research by historian Adyjeangardy, in 20 chapters and 500 pages, traces Haiti’s history back to Mesopotamia, in Ancient Egyptian times, and the arrival of the first Arawaks from the region of Mesopotamia around 1500 BC alongside the Carais people, who settled the Amazon and Caribbean around the same time. The book also describes the establishment of Haiti’s first chiefdoms.
One learns from this volume about the ancestors of Anacaona and her brother Bohechio who, in their time, controlled the entire island, from Kenscoff outward. The Incas and Arawaks, who shared a common vision of the world, are presented with countless historical details that bring them closer to the other people of the region, such as the Ciguayens of Guadeloupe or Ciboneys of Florida.
Adyjeangardy stresses the geographical aspects of the five Indian chiefdoms that encompassed the island, specifically: Caïzcimu, Caïbaho, Baïnoa, Gaucayarina, and Huabo, and also the words that have survived in Haitian Creole, starting with “Moun”, which means human being.
The Indian names are reclaimed for some Haitian cities such as Gonaibo (Gonaives), Attiboni (Artibonite), Azzuei (lac Azzuei), Yaquimo (Aquin), Cahal (Cazal), Cayo (les Cayes), Acahaï (Arcahaie), Gonava (Ile de la Gonave), Cahouana (la Cayouane), Atiguaya (St Louis du Sud), Manabaxo (Port à Piment), Gwa-Habba (Gros Morne), Yatici (L’Estère), Anuivici (Hinche), Guarico (Fort Liberté), Araguey (Trois Rivieres), Yaguana (Leogane), Dahabonici ( Grand’Anse), etc.
The names of Arawak gods resurface, such as Hurican (spirit of the cyclone), Loko (god who protects from storms, adopted by Vodou), Mabouya (spirit who saves crops), Baal (god of medicine, also in the Bible), Mammon (god of justice), Bayacou (god of excrement), Telipinu (gods of plants), Yocahu (supreme God), Nili (or Nil, goddess of water), Taino (angel of peace) and Inera (goddess of all women).
Finally, in Adyjeangady’s Histoires des Indiens Arawaks d’Haiti, the discovery of Haiti by Europe is bared under the gaze of a Haitian who showcases the Indian guerilla war against slavery and barbarity, and for the defense of human rights. Entire chapters are devoted to a succession of Indian revolutionaries who fought the war against Spain, including Caonabo, Manicatex, Guarionex, Ines of Cayacoa and her assistant Cambanama, Bohecio, Queen Anacaona, Guarocuya, Cotubanama, Hattuey Yaguano assisted by his wife Aramoca, Gwa-Amanex, Galvanex, and finally, Chief Henry Gwakimina.
In Bordeaux, the jury of the International History Contest declared itself “impressed” by the work of our colleague Adyjeangardy, which it recognized as being a major document of great significance.