La Savane des Esclaves

Photo of the Week: La Savane des Esclaves, Martinique


Slave Village of Martinique (La Savane des Esclaves, Martinique)

Growing out of Gilbert Larose’s passion for his people’s history and culture, he recreated a slave village (La Savane des Esclaves ) to represent what it might have been like where escaped slaves settled. These communities were usually up in the forest-clad hills. Martinique’s rough geography and dense forest cover helped to make a permanent hideout from slave holders a reality.

Located on the mountain side above Les Trois Ilets, the recreated houses he built for the slave village are not much different from the one he lived in as a boy. He conceived the idea of a slave village years ago and began inviting groups of school children here to give them a more realistic picture of their history. Some school groups even helped him construct parts of it.

Gilbert has lots of fruit trees, herbs, medicinal plants, vegetable gardens, and animal pens holding chickens, turkeys, goats, and others. The small houses he built are made of wood, twigs, and earth. He also has a little kitchen with a wood burning oven. That’s where he cooked cassava bread (manioc bread) for us. He makes everything the old-fashioned way: first soaking the cassava root, then grinding it, then pressing it for 24 hours to get all the water out. Then he puts it through a sieve and cooks it plain over the wood-fired stove.

Gilbert is a man of many talents. Fortunately, for us, he shares them and gives us a peek into Martinique’s black history.


La Savane des Esclaves Martinique

La Savane des Esclaves Martinique


More Info:   Location:  Quartier La Ferme 97229 Les Trois Ilets mq   Entry fee: € 7 adults,  € 3 children


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