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Le Morne Cultural Landscape
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 18th century
Date of Inscription: 2008
Location: Africa, Mauritius, south-western tip of Mauritius
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Description: The rugged mountain of Le Morne Cultural Landscape that protrudes out into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius was utilized by runaway slaves and maroons as a shelter, throughout the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. The escaped slaves having gained the protection of the mountain’s isolated, wooded and just about inaccessible cliffs, shaped tiny settlements within the caves as well as on the summit of Le Morne. Le Morne has become a symbol of the slaves’ battle for freedom, their pain, and their sacrifice through the oral traditions coupled with the maroons, all of which bear significance to the slaves’ origins - the African mainland, Madagascar, India, and South-east Asia. If truth be told, Mauritius, which was also a key stopover in the eastern slave trade, came to be recognized as the Maroon republic due to the vast amount of escaped slaves who resided in Le Morne. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Le Morne Brabant is a peninsula at the extreme south-western tip of Mauritius and the most windward side on this island. It is highlighted by an eponymous single standing basaltic rock with a summit of 556 metres above sea level which belongs to the most imposing sights on Mauritius. The summit covers an area of more than 12 hectares. There are many overhang caves at the steep slopes. It is surrounded by a lagoon and is a famous tourist attraction. Here is also one of the last three refuges of one of the rarest plants in the world, the Mandrinette. Another rare plant which grows only on the sides of the mountain is Trochetia boutoniana. This hill became well-known in the 19th century when runaway slaves used Le Morne Brabant as a hideaway. After the abolishment of slavery on Mauritius, a police expedition traveled to the rock on 1 February 1835 to tell the slaves that they are free people. However, the slaves misunderstood the expedition and jumped to death. Since then, this day is celebrated by Mauritian creoles as Annual Commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery.The peninsula of Le Morne benefits from a micro-climate.Le Morne Brabant Mountain was submitted to the candidate list of the World Heritage sites in 2003. In 2008, the nomination process concluded when UNESCO inscribed the site on the World Heritage List. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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