Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Data**Received Subject of Interest::Francois Mackandal - Haitian Maroon Leader Begin_Transmission
The United States once named its naval ships after their most famous cities. Civilians often name pets after their favorite foods and television characters. Wakandan Rebels -- The Maroons--named their intergalactic fleet after a well known, legendary Haitian rebel. His name was Francois Mackandal (Macandal). Historians claim that he was from West Africa, and taught himself to read and speak Arabic, as the region had contact with Arabic slave traders. Around the age of twelve, Mackandal was brought to French-colonial Haiti to work the plantations, where he lost part of his arm in an accident while working with the primitive machines. It is debated how he escaped bondage, as the French would be embarrassed to admit a one-armed slave outsmarted them.
Mackandal joined others who escaped bondage. These were the Maroons of Haiti - the Native Tainos who survived massacre and disease, and the Africans who escaped slavery. The Tainos had their knowledge of the terrain, while the Africans had their agricultural skills. Maroons also preserved their cultural roots, channeling spiritual energy by various practices. Mackandal added his own x-factor, as an herbalist himself and a novice, though effective combat strategist. Maroons specialized in guerrilla tactics, sweeping in for swift attacks and retreating as quickly as they came. They raided plantations for goods and weapons, and even used sneakier tactics - giving slaves Mackandal's herbal potions to poison their masters! His name gained notoriety a black magician, and Francois himself claimed he had supernatural abilities. Fear struck the French colonists, leading to a manhunt for the Maroon leader. Mackandal was captured, and sentenced to execution by burning at a stake. Here is where it gets more interesting - during the (first) attempt at execution, Mackandal escaped the binding ropes, which hadn't even burned through. Although he was immediately restrained and executed, his first escape was tribute to his legend. Word of his actions and achievements would spark inspiration for the Haitian Rebellion years later at the turn of the 19th century.
The legacy of Francois Mackandal is parallel with a collection of Maroon leaders who helped free our ancestors. The Wakandan Maroons proudly honor their memory with fleets like The Mackandal...