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Indian cemetery

Indicative note on the two cemeteries of
Saint-François including the Indian cemetery

A socio-historical specificity marks the Commune of Saint-François, due to the existence of two cemeteries on its territory.

The first located in the agglomeration bore for a long time the name of “Cemetery of the Whites”.

The second furthest, near the Raisins Clairs beach, is still known today as the “Indian Cemetery”.

At present, no historical research has explained this human phenomenon. Only the collective memory delivers its hypotheses and rumours.


As for the first cemetery, the facts are well established. It accompanies the creation of the City in the 17-18th centuries. Reserved of course for masters and settlers, it was the privileged asset of the eternal rest of the Whites.


The slaves did not have access to it. They were buried here and there, often on the sugar plantations.

He said to himself that at some point, we decided to dedicate a secluded corner covered with tall trees to them. First for suicides. This corner would be the corner where later the second cemetery was built. The sea from time to time delivers skeletal remains.

Anyway, after the abolition of slavery, the Blacks undertook the conquest of the "Cemetery of the Whites" they thus had their cemetery even if the square of the Whites remained untouchable for a long time. They left their lost corner for the benefit of their integration and the recognition of free men that they had become.


From 1854 to 1889, the Indians landed in the country. Guadeloupe land welcomes their first dead. No question of incineration as is their tradition.

Moreover, for the Catholic Church, they are pagans. They have no right to Christian land. And there, was born the first hypothesis that the religious authorities of the time refused to bury these Indians in Christian soil. So exclusion from the first cemetery! They were allocated to solve the problem, the place formerly reserved for slaves.

Mais la mémoire fait état de deux autres explications :         _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_                 _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb5cfb-58d_bad


On the one hand, it is said that some Indians, waiting for their return to India, camped  on the edge of the sea (their Ganges), hoping to take the boat there for Pondicherry. Vain hope! They died on the sand and were buried there. This would be the birth certificate of this second cemetery. On the other hand, it is also reported that, given the conflictual situation maintained by the settlers between blacks and Indians, the blacks opposed the presence of deceased of origin Indian alongside theirs, in the first cemetery.

In this way, struck by exclusion and prohibition, denigrated to death, this Indian community resolved to appropriate the allocated property, which was probably cursed in the eyes of others.

Faure of equality even in front of death, the Indians assumed courageously and with dignity, the respect of their deceased.

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