Biografía de
un cimarrón

Biography of a     
Runaway Slave    

Plants of the Afrotropical Realm

Sesame / Ajonjolí

Latin name: Sesamum orientale
Number of times mentioned: 4
Region of origin: India and Subsaharan Africa

"También me acuerdo que se vendían unos dulces que les llamaban "capricho", de harina de castilla y ajonjolí y maní." (20)

"I also remember that they sold some candy called capricho, made of white flour, sesame seeds and peanuts." (29)


"Ahora, esto del ajonjolí era cosa de chinos, porque había vendedores ambulantes que recorrían los ingenios vendiéndolos." (20)

"Sesame seeds, you know, were a Chinese thing because their salesmen went around the plantations selling them." (29)


"Tampoco comía ajonjolí, porque me salían verdugones y granitos." (60)

"I didn't eat sesame seeds either because I got spots and pimples all over me." (77)


"Mientras haya un granito de ajonjolí en el suelo, ellas no se pueden mover." (93)

"While there's a single sesame seed on the ground, witches can't move." (117)

Botanical Reference:
Alison Weisskopf and Dorian Q. Fuller, “Sesame: Origins and Development,” in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, ed. Claire Smith (New York, NY: Springer New York, 2014), 6587–90, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2327.

Image credits:

Tomás Sánchez, Autorretrato En Tarde Rosa, 1994, Acrylic on linen, 1994,

Tomás Sánchez, Orilla y Cielo Gris, 1995, Acrylic on canvas, 1995,

Text editions:

Esteban Montejo and Miguel Barnet, Biografía de Un Cimarrón, 223 p. (La Habana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1980), catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/005222640.

Esteban Montejo, Biography of a Runaway Slave, ed. Miguel Barnet, trans. W. Nick Hill (Connecticut: Curbstone Press, 1994).