I cannot testify to the truth of this story. It’s certainly a possibility.
It goes that in Mauritius there was a slave population taken from different African countries. They were put to work cutting sugar cane, which is brutal work. At some point they were given freedom and they asked, what do we do to earn a living to survive?
They were told that they were to continue cutting sugar cane.
The story ends with the slaves en masse, going to the highest mountain and jumping to their death.
The sugar cane people had nobody to harvest the crop. They worked out a deal where they would bring indentured servants from India who were bound to a 7-year contract.
Which probably explains why, as I walked off the plane in Mauritius, I felt like I was in India. Beautiful women in saris, light caramel colored people everywhere, Indian shopkeepers, temples, and a general feeling that I was on the wrong continent.
Although at that time I’d never been to India.
Mauritius is an island nation located off the east coast of Africa and I got a chance to shoot it from the air. One of the images you’ll see is of vast patterns of different patches of land, each with a giant pile of rocks in the center. I was told that this evolved from farmers trying to get rid of the rocks and having no way to transport them. Not wanting to build walls with them, the farmers simply placed all the rocks in the center of the lots so they would have most of the farmland to cultivate.
As always, the people held the greatest fascination for me.