President Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite and his Panama Hat

President Louis Mondestin Florvil Hyppolite and his Panama Hat

There is a Haitian folk song dated back to President Louis Mondéstin Florvil Hyppolite and we are still singing it. The famous story of his Panama Hat

To be a Haitian President, one needed, especially in the 1800's, to be well dressed. Few could imagine a better dressed man than one who was donning the very stylish and increasingly essential Panama hats that were all the rage. Hyppolite, already considered a well-dressed man with his glasses tinted blue and white suits was immortalized as the man in the Panama hat when, upon his death, a song that would live on through generations was born. In typical Haitian satire, the circumstances of his death, having fallen off a horse under what some called mysterious circumstances (though some say it was a simple heart attack), made for a catchy tune that seemed to reference an incidence five years before when his Panama hat had, indeed, fallen off his head.

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