Koupe Tet, Boule Kay

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

By: Dashna Compere

10 things you should know about Haiti’s History.

How well do you know the History of Haiti? Some may say “very well” and others “not so well”.  It’s no secret that the Haitian history has been suppressed and undermined. It’s almost fair to say that its representation has not been portrayed in the deserved way. The history of Haiti is epic.  Beyond the decades of being overlooked, the people never fail to exercise strength. This is the same emotion that was carried out in 1803 by the slogan “koupe tet, boule kay” which means, “Cut off the head, burn down the house”. This same slogan has led Haitians to defeat the greatest army at the time : The Napoleon Grande Armée. The Haitian revolution is History. There are hundreds of reasons why that claim is true. However, the fact that Haiti was the only successful slave rebellion in HISTORY is enough to support that statement. As we celebrate Haitian flag day this month, May 18, let’s ponder on ten facts that sets the Haitian history apart:


  1. Before Christopher Columbus- Did you know that the “Tainos” were the primary dominants of the island long before Christopher Columbus set foot on the Island in 1492?

  2. Names of Haiti– The beautiful Island had three different names: Quisqueya, Bohio, and Ayiti. It was best known as Ayiti which means sacred highland.

  3. Important dates- Haiti was in slavery from 1503 to 1804 a total of 300 years.

  4. Slavery in Haiti- Slaves were imported from different parts of Africa to Haiti. Most of the tribes came from West Africa, Congo, and Angola.

  5. The Trinity– Haiti conquered three European powers: Spanish, Portugues and French to gain their independence.

  6. A helping hand– Haiti Helped the USA fight against France for The Louisiana Purchase.

  7. Strength of a Woman- Women were very involved in the Haitian revolution. Adbaroya Toya, one of the reputable African amazon leaders fought in war against the french in Haiti. She also trained Jean-Jacques Dessaline how to fight.

  8. Vodun Not voodoo– Vodun is a vital part of the Haitian History. The first Vodun ceremony took place at Bois Caïman (bwa kayiman) on August 14, 1791. The Haitian revolution started at that spiritual gathering. 13 years later, Haiti was free.

  9. Sweeter than Honey- La Perle Des Antilles was a name given to Haiti by the French Colony due to the great deal of sugar cane it produced.

  10. The Father of Chicago– Born in 1745 in Saint-Marc, Haiti, Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable founded the city of Chicago; one of the greatest cities of the United States.

The History of Haiti is unique and must be recognized. Every year during the month of May, Haitians all around the world bring awareness to the flag as a way to acknowledge the great leaders such as, François Mackandal, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, Henry Christophe ( just to name a few) who fought for liberty and dignity of the country. Happy Haitian Flag Day!