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An agricultural mutual aid system
After the abolition of slavery in 1848, the peasantry of the North Caribbean in Martinique was made up of people of color with limited financial means. Their farms, generally located on the mountainside in the steepest areas (mornes), did not allow the use of plows for plowing. They, therefore, grouped together in sosiety, intending to help each other so that everyone could have their land plowed. From difficulty, the free slaves of the hills managed to bring out a resilient model of society with strong cultural practices and to create a way of life of solidarity as well as a sustainable mode of production. The lasotè was born from this community necessary for the survival of these peasants and their families. Due to a lack of interest in hard crops, this practice of mutual aid, although a true tradition of the mornes, withered with the rural exodus in the 1960s and 1970s, even though a fair number of inhabitants continued to live in the Pitons of northern Martinique.
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