Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sierra Leone - The Cotton Tree

The Cotton Tree - Freetown, Sierra Leone.

One of the four postcards sent by Abdulah from Freetown in Sierra Leone.

This is from Wikipedia : The Cotton Tree is an historic symbol of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. According to legend, the "Cotton Tree" gained importance in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled the site of modern Freetown. These Black Loyalist settlers, called "Nova Scotians" in Sierra Leone, founded Freetown on March 11 1792. According to tradition, they landed on the shoreline and walked up to a giant tree just above the bay and held a thanksgiving service there, gathering around the tree in a large group and praying and singing hymns to thank God for their deliverance to a free land. Today, a huge Cotton Tree stands in the oldest part of Freetown near the Supreme Court building and the National Museum. Sierra Leoneans believe that this is very tree was where the "Nova Scotian settlers prayed more than two hundreds years ago, and they regard it as the symbol of their capital city. Sierra Leoneans still pray and make offerings to the ancestors for peace and prosperity beneath the great Cotton Tree. This was especially true during the Sierra Leone civil war (1991-2002).

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