Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti

PETRO WAS BORN OUT OF THIS RAGE. It is not evil; it is the rage against the evil fate which the African suffered, the brutality of his displacement and his enslavement. It is the violence that rose of that rage, to protest against it. It is the crack of the slave-whip sounding constantly, a never-to-be-forgotten ghost, in the Petro rites. It is the raging revolt of the slaves against the Napoleonic forces. And it is the delirium of their triumph. For it was the Petro cult, born in the hills, nurtured in secret, which gave both the moral force and the actual organization to the escaped slaves who plotted and trained swooped down upon the plantations and led the rest of the slaves in revolt that, by 1804, had made of Haiti the second free colony in the western hemisphere, following the United States.

+Maya Deren