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Grant number like: FT-52971-04

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Thomas Desch-Obi
CUNY Research Foundation, Bernard Baruch College (New York, NY 10010-5585)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2004 – 7/31/2004

African Martial Arts Traditions and the 19th century Wars of Independence in Haiti and Cuba

This project investigates the legacy of African martial traditions from the Bight of Biafra and Angola in Saint Domingue and Cuba. Significant elements of these traditions were perpetuated in the slave culture of these two colonies, including paramilitary societies, conceptions associating manhood with arme blanche, and the techniques of stick and machete fighting. These elements will be used to provide voice and agency to the liberated Africans and their descendants who took up their culturally valued sticks and machetes, which played a decisive role in the success of the Haitian Revolution and Cuban war of Independence.