The Neg Mawon Emancipation Monument was constructed as a memorial to liberated slaves’ efforts to bring about the Dominican Republic’s independence and their eventual release in 1838. According to Slavery Monuments, Neg Mawon, which is literally translated as an escaped slave, is portrayed as a strong figure of a shirtless free man who is no longer restrained by chains.
The bronze sculpture, which honors the memories of emancipated slaves who were able to free themselves from the chains of slavery and French colonialism, is located in the middle of a traffic circle. On August 1, 2013, Franklyn Zamore created the monument to commemorate the island nation of Dominica’s 175th anniversary of freedom from slavery.
The maroons resisted the cruel treatment they were receiving from their owners and fled to the bushes to free themselves from servitude. According to the Commonwealth Walkway, this was not their only contribution to the fight for independence; they also fought and lost their lives in the World Wars of the 20th century.
The memorial is intended to honor the efforts of the enslaved Africans who were persecuted and slaughtered in order for the state to achieve freedom, according to the Dominican Republic government. The fact that the emancipated slaves risked their lives to free future generations as well as themselves is another historical milestone.
One such group included individuals who were brutally executed after being sold at the Old Roseau Market and those who were imprisoned at the Roseau Barracoon Building before being transported on slave ships to work on plantations.
The memorial also pays homage to the memory of African ancestors and the inventiveness they contributed to the construction of the agricultural and economic infrastructure of the Dominican Republic. The Neg Mawon monument also honors the cultural contributions made by the enslaved people to Dominica’s present-day music, language, cuisine, and attire. However, it serves as a reminder to respect the values and traditions that Africans who were held in slavery promoted.
According to historian Dr. Lennox Honychurch, the monument honors indigenous chiefs like Bala, Jacko, Pharcel, and Qwashi who defied colonial rule and fled into the bushes to avoid being put in chains as much as it symbolizes the sufferings of runaway slaves.
He said that because slaves were punished and died at the Roseau Old Market, the placement of the memorial is crucial. It is highly meaningful to create a memorial there to signify that they are free, and it provides solace for the souls of those who suffered brutality there.
Ambrose George, the information minister, said the memorial should be viewed as more than just a historical artifact and as a tribute to the forefathers who made it possible for people to enjoy the liberties they do today. He claimed that because of the memorial, the maroons’ ideals became institutionalized, and their memory will endure long after they are no longer with us.
However, he emphasized that the populace should draw strength from the tenacity of their predecessors and focus their efforts on creating a culture that exhibits maturity. He noted that only when the populace defended what the maroons stood for and entered the fray with the principles they advocated would history be rewritten.