Gash iii. Near Blanchard, Peligre, Haiti. May, 2014.
My friend, writer, photographer, traveler and sound recordist, Richard Fleming says that “A Haitian-Cuban houngan living in the Sierra Maestra outside Santiago de Cuba showed me very similar slashes on the trunk of a ceiba (mapou) tree. He said they had done a ceremony for, I believe, the lwa Gran Bwa, during which the spirit (while “riding” a corporeal body) had hacked at the tree with a machete, making one mark for each year until the ceremony would have to be repeated. He called it the mark of the “compromiso,” or “the deal they had struck,” more or less.” (Thanks for this Richard!)
Please add to this if you know more about the deity Lwa Gran Bwa and these slashes. I found a whole grove of them, and I think these are all Mapou (Ceiba pentandra), a tree that is deeply connected with Lwa Gran Bwa.