Yanga (Nyanga) was the stolen Prince from the royal family of Gabon Africa. Leader of a slave rebellion during the Spanish colonial rule of Mexico. The port city of Veracruz brought slaves to Mexico. Yanga's revolt freed men, women and children from Nuestra Senora de la concepcion in 1570. From there Yanga moved his people into the rugged mountains and set up a maroon colony there. Building houses, a church and a school there on Star Mountain. for more than 30 years the multicultural colony grew and prospered, partially operating on captured goods from caravans bringing in trade to Veracruz. Yang's raiders were devastating caravan cargo's so efficiently that the word from the Spanish crown was to eliminate the colony and retake control of the territory.
Spanish troops confronted Yanga's warriors in and around 1609 near Rio Blanco. Yanga at this time was an older statesman warrior who had Francisco de la Matosa as his military field commander. Francisco and his escaped men had joined Yanga around 1600. They faced 550 Spanish troops led by Pedro Gonzalez. The maroon warriors had only 100 men with some type of firearm. The rest of the Yanguicas were fighting with machete, bow and arrows and rocks. There were severe losses on both sides. The Spaniards burned the settlement but couldn't beat or subdue Yanga's forces. The warriors of Yanga simply disappeared into the terrain that had helped them defeat the enemy for years. Yanga's warriors and people took refuge inside Citlaltepetl volcano and fought the Spanish to a stalemate.
Gaspar's plan was to pain the ranks of the Spanish so bad that it would bring the Spaniards to the negotiating table. Yanga had already sent demands to the enemy from a captured Spanish soldier. The demands were rejected. At this point Gaspar challenged the Spaniards to come and meet death. Fighting relentlessly and using the superior tactics of Yanga, the maroon bloodied the Spanish troops to such a degree that by 1618 the viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) began negotiations with Gaspar resistance.
This monumental accomplishment is a milestone of African American history. Gaspar Yanga and his people forced a new social order in the mist of an institutional vacuum. Every year Aug.10th a carnival is held to celebrate Gaspar Yanga. The American Liberator, founder of the first free city in American history.
The inscription under Yanga's statue reads
African Black Liberator and precursor
of the black slaves who founded the town of
San Lorenzo de Cerralvo (now Yanga) by agreement of the viceroy of
New Spain, Rodrigo Pacheco,
on the third day of October 1631 by order of the viceroy's pen. Village Captain Hernando of Castro Espinosa
H. Ayuntamento Constl.