From Tue Jun 3 01:00:11 2003
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2003 22:55:39 -0500 (CDT)
From: Bob Corbett <>
To: Haiti mailing list <>
Subject: 15749: Nlbo: On Toussaint from Desrosiers (fwd)


On Toussaint from Desrosiers

By Paultre P. Desrosiers; part of a book that he is writing, 2 June 2003

Pierre François Dominique Toussaint Breda (1743-1803), later known as L’Ouverture, was said to have been born a slave in Saint Domingue on the Plantation of Pantaléon Guisbert de Bréda near Haut-du-Cap, one of the many plantations owned by Louis-Pantaléon, Comte de Noé son of Louis de Noé and de Marie-Anne Elisabeth de Bréda. He was the eldest of 8 children. His father name was the Gaxu Ginou or Genu, Chief of staff of the armed forces and head of intelligence services in under Detchada, the seventh king of Adanhun’sa of the Dynasty of Alada of the Agasuvi. He was captured probably when Dossou Agadja, fifth king of the kingdom of Danxome conquered the kingdom of Alada/Arada in 1724 and sold as slave along with his wife Assiba (from Savalou, meaning born on a Sunday) and made the journey to Saint Domingue. He arrived in Cap François between 1730-1740.

Toussaint was apparently the direct descendent of Adjahuto or Kokpon, the first king and founder of the Aja/fon dynasty of Alada of the Agasuvi. Since his father the Gaxu Ginou or Genu may have been the son or grandson of Kokpon.

It is believed that the remarkable Toussaint Louverture, precursor of the independence of Haiti was himself a Fá Seer a traditional healer who went under the strong name of Fá tó Gbà tò (He who has the ears of the Fá to conquer a country). The Bokónò the Fá Seer or Diviner, is consulted regularly to predict the future and cure illnesses. Created by Mawu to assist in the governing of his creation, the Fá is said to be the first of the powers and reveal knowledge of the unseen realm to man. This is done through divination, which is practiced by the Bokònò.

To his followers and vodoun faithful he was known as Fá to Gbà tò meaning he who has the ears of the Fa to conquer a country. Toussaint Legba the gatekeeper between the realms of man and gods, the tangled lines of force that make up the cosmic interface, and his sign is the crossroads. A divine mediator of fate and information, a linguist, a crafty metaphysician or sort of African Hermes, a roadmaker who set the affairs of the earth in order. His followers believed he was the human incarnation of one of the most powerful lowas of all, Legba, the Guardian of the gate between heaven and earth. The Great Intervener. He had the ears of the Spirits. He could personally take their prayers directly to the powerful lowas, who controlled their fates. The Fa is the system of divination practiced in the old Benin Empire that enables the individual to renew with the past when misfortune or disease strikes the home. The predominant contemporary method of divination in Fon culture, derived from Yoruba Ifa divination; FA is also, the name of the Fon deity of geomancy. Pamphile de Lacroix believes that Toussaint assumed the epithet of L’Ouverture in order to announce to his people that he was about to open the door to them of a better future. (Mémoires de Saint Dominique. Vol. I. p. 303.) This sentiment found expression in the writings of Abbé Raynal predicting the coming of leader vindicator of Negro wrongs right out of the bosom of the Negro race.