Cilaos is a town and commune of approximately 6000 residents, situated on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. It is located centrally on the island, in a caldera of altitude 1214 m. The caldera (usually known as the ‘Cirque’) is also named for the community.
The first inhabitants of the cirque of Cilaos were thus black-browns who believed themselves to be at the top of the world and completely safe. However, these first runaways were recaptured very quickly, tracked and hunted by well-organized and well-armed slaveholders. In these runaways’ attempts to escape recapture, several were killed. It seems likely that these first runaways created the goat paths that climb most of the mountains on Reunion.