What is Mawoule in Haitian Culture?

Carole Demesmin, a Haitian artist, made the name Mawoule popular through his song titled 'Maroule'. Maroule reflects the resilience and endurance of Haitian people. Maroules actually refer to people who are known for traveling from countryside to Dominican Republic and Haitian border and sometimes to Port-au-Prince with their cows. They travel by foot and they cover long distances anywhere between 70 and 160 miles to reach the destination. Maroules are people who come from different places of south Haiti.


As the story goes, one group of Maroules consisted of 2 to 3 people who traveled with around 20 to 30 cows. They traveled from one place to another in an attempt to sell these cows. This extraordinary travel by foot generally takes place during the night so that day traffic can be avoided. The travel beings somewhere at 9:00 P.M. and ends at around 5 P.M.

Two people in the group lead the herd of cows. These cows spread all over the road during the travel. The two persons leading the cows walk on the opposite sides of the road with gas lamps. These gas lamps have two functions. First, they light up the road ahead because the roads are completely dark with no street lights. Second, the lights also work as warning for any approaching vehicle.

During the day when the roads are ruled by traffic, these people rest and let their cows feed on nearby plantations. Some people believe that the Maroules have supernatural power that can be seen only during the night. Whether supernatural or not, Maroules are examples of fighting against all odds. They reflect the fight for survival. They fight to stay alive.

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Read more: Worker, Work, Mawoule, Carole Demesmin, Maroule, Culture

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