From Galeano's Faces and Masks

1896: Port-au-Prince


According to the constitution of Haiti, the republic of free blacks speaks French and professes the Christian religion. The doctors are mortified because, despite laws and punishments, "Creole" continues as the language of nearly all Haitians and nearly all continue believing in the Voodoo gods who wander at large through woods and bodies.

The government demands that peasants publicly swear an oath: "I swear to destroy all fetishes and objects of superstition, if I carry them with me or have them in my house or on my land. I swear never to lower myself to any superstitious practice..."