The abolition of slavery was declared in 1835 by the British. The 01st February is declared as a public holiday in Mauritius in commemoration of the fight of slaves for freedom. The history of slaves holds a great importance in our cultural heritage since the ancestors of a major part of the population of our tropical island are slaves.
Research has shown that Mauritius has been a significant slave trading centre in the Indian Ocean in the 18th and 19th centuries in respect of the great number of slaves and the consequences of that trade. The resistance to slavery in our island was in many forms and the most significant on was maroonage that is the escape of slaves from their masters. Maroon slaves lived in harsh conditions including lack of food, shelter and the fear of being discovered. The punishment for maroonage was very harsh including whipping, torture and even death. The population of maroon slaves was concentrated on Le Morne Brabant, where they hide in small settlements. Findings and the traditional stories have transformed the site of Le Morne into a monument symbolizing the fight of slaves for freedom and their sacrifice. Le Morne was inscribed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage List on 10th July 2008. Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund was established on 28th May 2004 whose objects include the promotion, preservation and inform people about the global importance of Le Morne. The site has been preserved and is maintained in view of preserving our heritage and also sharing it with people all around the world. The Slave Route monument is found at the foot of the impressive Le Morne mountain.
Grab the opportunity to discover the preserved refuge of the maroons slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. Concerts and other activities are organized all around the island and at Le Morne to commemorate this day. Join us in our celebration and commemoration for the fight of slaves against oppression and for their freedom. Apart from its unique location, biodiversity and panoramic view, Le Morne is a unique symbol of resistance and freedom.