Monday 13 June 2022

Afro - Cubans of African Ancestry in Cuba

Afro- Cubans are descendants of Africans brought from Africa to Cuba by the Europeans especially the Spanish People, Afro- Cubans came from different parts of Africa such as Mali, Guinea, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Sierra leone, Gambia, some parts of Central and West Africa. Mostly they came from ethnic groups such as Ijaw, Tikar, Bamileke, Mina, Edo, Igbo, Yoruba, Mandinka , Mbundu, Luba, Kikongo, Nganguela, Tchamba, Hausa, Akan Include Asante, Fanti and Ahanta, Fulani, Ayizo, Fon, Aja or Adja, Bakongo, Efik, Kalabari, Kanuri, Mende, Wolof, Djola, Serer, Temne  and Cuba strongly have both Yoruba and Fon Influences.

It is believed the First Enslaved Africans were captured by Europeans especially Spanish and British from Africa to Cuba In 1513. Most of the enslaved Africans were forced to labor on the plantations of Cuba, the first group of Africans worked when they arrived from 1520 onwards .It is said there were high population of Enslaved Africans in Cuba from 1533 at the Jobabo mines a large group of Enslaved Africans arrived in Cuba in the late 1700s after the so called British took Havana from Spain during the 7 years global conflict between 1756 and 1763, It is believed British brought 10,000 of the Africans to Cuba for enslavement and they worked in the sugar plantations under the Spanish In 1763, Slave trade became more restricted by European government which was forced In 1789 and Europeans sold Africans while they bought them in Havana. During the 18th Century more than forty percent (40%) of Enslaved Africans population had an uprising in 1840, Cuba became one of the largest Sugar producer while Havana was considered as the largest market known for enslaving Africans and Importing 10,000 Enslaved African In 1839. According to D.L. Chandler’s historical account on Afro-Cubans, While there exists a division of how Cubans Identify racially, there has been a steady presence of African Country In the Country . One of the more notable movement began early in the 20th Century after Scholars began to recognize Cuban’s Strong connection to West Africa . Many Observers feel the Increased awareness of Cuba’s black culture is similar to America’s harlem renaissance period of the 20’s which black arts and culture to a wider audience. In Afro-Cuban Culture, Music Involve two types of music, religious and non religious music Include chants, rhythms and instruments used rumba, guaguanco, tumba, comparsa carnival music, Guaguanco is rumba style which traced Its roots to Present day Congo brought by Enslaved Africans, Rumba traced Its roots to Congo as well it developed in Cuba by the late 19th Century both have African and Spanish style combined, Comparsa is a festive season which occurs immediately before lent, the main events are usually during February. This typically Involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of mask and public street party. They often wear their masquerade during the celebrations, which mark an overturning of daily activities and carnival has both African and Spanish style and is accompanied with dancing and singing. 

According to Morton Mark’s historical account on Afro- Cubans, Until the last decades of the 18th Century, Cuba was a relatively underdeveloped Island with an economy based mainly on cattle raising and tobacco farms. The Intensive Cultivation of Sugar began at the turn of the 19th Century transformed Cuba into a plantation Society and the demand for Africans sold into Slavery who had been Introduced Into Cuba at the beginning of the 16th Century, Increased dramatically. Slave Trade in Cuba It is estimated that almost 400,000 Africans were brought to Cuba during 1835-1864. As early as 1532, the blacks formed 62.5% of the population while the enslaved Africans made up over 40% flourishing of the Cuban Sugar Industry and the persistence of Slave Trade Into 1860s are two Important reasons for the remarkable density and variety of African Cultural elements in Cuba. Soon after emancipation In 1886, Cabildos were required to adopt the name of a Catholic Patron Saint, to register with local Church authorities and when dissolved, to transfer their property of the Catholic Church. Paradoxically, It was within the Church sponsored Cabildos that Afro- Cuban religions and Identities coalesced. Even after they were officially disbanded at the end of the 19th Century, many were kept up on an Informal basis, and were well known by their Old African names. The Cabildos not only preserved specific African practices, their members also creatively reunited and resynthesized many regional African traditions.

Lucumi and Iyesa  group of Cuba (Yoruba descendants of Cuba.) 

Lucumi also known as Lukumi or Ukumi is a group who are descendants of Enslaved Africans who are Yoruba brought to Cuba from Present day Nigeria and Present day Benin, Lucumi language is combined with Spanish and Yoruba language, Lucumi was a term given to Enslaved Yorubas by the Spanish and Portuguese, Others believed Lucumi derived from a phrase known as Olukumi meaning friends. Iyesa is also a subgroup of Lucumi they originated from the Ilesha region of Western Region of Nigeria In the provinces of Havana, Matanzas and Las Villas, there are several councils of Fon, Yoruba and Congolese nation their traditions and Initiation rites are kept in Present day Cuba. 

Carabali and Abakua group of Cuba (Kalabari and Efik descendants of Cuba). 

Carabali and Abakua is a subgroup who are descendants of enslaved Kalabari who originated from the Western Nigeria, some came from Efik and Delta regions of Nigeria sold and brought to Cuba by the Europeans. Kalabari is part of the Ijaw ethnic group which they can be found in Present day Nigeria.

Kongo group of Cuba (Kikongo, Luba and Other Bantus descendants of Cuba).

Kongo in Cuba is used to referred to the enslaved Africans who are Kikongo, Luba and others who came from the Bantu regions of Congo.

Arara group of Cuba (Fon, Mina, Mahi, Ayizo, Aja or Adja and Ewe descendants of Cuba).

Arara is a subgroup of Enslaved Africans who came from ethnic groups such as Fon, Mina, Mahi, Mina, Ayizo, Aja or Adja ethnic groups they came from Present day Togo and Benin sold into Slavery by the Europeans, some Araras can be found in some parts of Haiti, some parts of Brazil and some parts of Saint Vincent and some parts of El Salvador they can be found mostly in Cuba.

African Indigenous Spirituality in Cuba. 

Enslaved Africans brought their Indigenous African Spirituality but It was practiced in Cuba such as Santeria, Palo Mayombe and Cuban Vodu. Orisha Spirituality also known as Santeria is combined with Yoruba Ifa, Santeria is also referred as Lucumi Spirituality which is practiced in Cuba but traced Its roots to Present day Nigeria and Present day Togo and It Includes the honoring of Orishas such as Oshun, Shango, Eleggua also spelled as Elegua, Yemoja which is Yemaya, Ogun, Babalu Aye, Obatala and other Orishas. In Santeria, the people of Lucumi communicate with their Orishas and Ancestors through the rhythmic language of Bata drums and the drummers also greet the Orishas by playing their proper rhythms in a sequence known as Oro while Olodumare is considered as the Creator.

According to Nellie Huang’s historical account on Afro- Cubans. 

According to Nellie Huang’s historical account, Rumba which is a genre of Cuba which has Its roots from Congo the music involves dancing, percussion and singing. Its frenetic and full of energy, It is believed  the music bears strong hints of Its West African and Congolese roots, with percussion music weaved Into up tempo rhythms. During the 19th Century in Present day Cuba, Rumba was traditionally performed by Enslaved Africans on the streets and plantations in Solaris or courtyards using cajones which is a wooden boxes that were eventually replaced by the Conga drums which is known as Tumbadoras.

Palo Mayombe African Indigenous Spirituality of Congolese roots. 

Palo Mayombe is combined with Luba and Kikongo Spirituality, which was practiced by enslaved Kikongo and Luba It traced its roots to Present day Congo, among the Kongo group of Cuba and Kikongo People of the Congos, the Creator is known as Nzambi, other deities Include Nkuyu, Manunga, Lucero, Kalunga, Saraba, Nsai, Chola, Wengue also known as Kengue and other deities, Traditional Priest are known as Nganga.

Afro - Cuban Revolts and Repatriation back to the motherland Africa. 

It is said Enslaved Africans brought from Africa to Cuba began a revolt in 1868, free enslaved Africans and enslaved Africans helped each other and united as one people then rebelled against the Spanish to gain their liberty or freedom. Throughout the 19th- 20th Century some of the Afro- Cubans repatriated back to Africa or returned back to Africa, African countries such as some parts of Nigeria, some parts of Sierra Leone, Angola and some parts of Togo, they were known as Amaros and they Intermarried with the African natives as well. Amaros were considered as Afro- Cuban Soldiers who participated in Angola’s Civil War and Cuban Involvement in the Cold War, Some Afro- Cubans decided to remain in Angola which is believed to be their Ancestral homeland there were considered as the smaller Spanish Speaking Community in Angola.

The Afro Cuban languages are Lucumi, Aara, Kongo, Abakua, Carabali and Spanish which is Cuban Official language, Lucumi annual festivals Include Odun which is weekly rites, Ose which is funeral, Inku which is divinations and installations by Various Yoruba and some Fon names, Ase which is Axe and Ache among them. Cuba was the last Caribbean Country to abolish Slave Trade In 1886 and Son music has roots among the enslaved Yoruba who came from Present day Nigeria and Present day Benin.

According to Plaza Cuba’s historical account, It is believed Spanish invaded Cuba in the late 1400s, aboriginal groups the Guanahatebe also known as Guanahatabey, Ciboney and Taino Inhabited the Island, but were quickly eliminated or died as a result of disease and trauma and Spanish demanded Africans should be sold Into Slavery and brought to Cuba from Africa. The Strong Yoruba and Fon Cultures of Cuba  can be traced back to West Africa and Cabildos are grouped into subgroups such as Lucumi, Aara, Carabali, Iyesa, Abakua and Kongo. Each group has Its language, music, family and traditions are African Practice preserved in Cuba and their traditional dance are of Yoruba, Fon, some Ijaw  and of the Congos, Instruments Include rumba, chancletas and congas as well as folk dance.  

Afro- Cuban Historical Centres Include San Francisco , Plaza de Armas and Plaza de la Cathedral. The waterfront Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Regla, was built In 1810, It was known as La Virgen de Regla and The Black Madonna who cradles a white Infant Identified with Yemaya which is Yemoja. According to Michael Atwood Manson’s account, In 1992 Smithsonian Anthropologist known as Michael Atwood Mason travelled to Cuba for Initiation as a traditional Priest of Santeria. Since then he has created an active Orisha also referred as Oricha house and has Initiated 5 others as a traditional priests. He is a rare combination a Scholar Practitioner  who is equally fluent in his profession and his religion. Interweaving his roles as researcher and priest, Mason explores Santeria as a contemporary phenomenon and offers an understanding of Its complexity through his own experiences and those of Its many practitioners. Balancing defies between a devotees account of participation and an anthropologist’s theoretical analysis, living Santeria offers an Original and Insightful understanding of this growing tradition.

The Historical account of Natalia Klimczak’s account on Afro Cubans.  

According to Natalia Klimczak’s account, It is said The first known reference to Santeria comes from 1515, when the ambitions and needs of Colonists had changed the Americas. The name Santeria came from a term used to refer to enslave Yorubas, they follow deities both with African Spirituality mixed with Catholic Saints. For Babalu Aye became St. Lazarus the patron of the sick, Shango became St. Barbara who is the controller of thunder, lighting, fire ,Eleggua also known as Elegua or Elegba became St. Anthony the one who control the gates and roads, Obatala became the resurrected Christ who was referred as the father of Creation, source of Spirituality and Ogun became St. Peter the patron of War . Santeria Priests are known as Babalochas, Santeros or Babalawo while priestesses is known as Santeras or Iyalochas also the bata drums are used to honor Eleggua. They honor San Larro also referred as St. Lazarus with dancing and singing during the 19th Century the songs in some of the Temne language of Sierra leone were kept in Cuba. According to Sebastian Zaberca account, Afro- Cuban ensemble techniques and rhythms of Afro Cuban folkloric and well known music, born of enslaved Africans transported to Cuba in the 17th and 18th Centuries, is rich in West Africa history and culture, rumba folkloric styles in addition ChaCha and Mambo which is of Mozambique roots.  

Afro- Cuban Jazz of Cuba.

Afro- Cuban Jazz is a musical style that developed in the 1940s and 1950s based on Jazz harmonies, African and Cuban rhythms are different techniques, Afro Cuban Jazz uses a combination of traditional Jazz and percussion Instruments, commonly found in Other Caribbean styles and these Include timbales, bongos, congas, piano, trumpet, trombone, bass, guitar, saxophone and clarinet. The Origins of Afro- Cubans Jazz date from the early 20th Century. The abolition of Slavery in Cuba In 1886 gave origin to a large migration from the Island into New Orleans. A process of Cultural exchange began that led to a mixture of musical instruments and styles . During those days, a ferry used to run from New Orleans to Havana, so many bands from one place would regularly go to play in the Other. According to Yagbe Onilu’s account, Afro Cuban dance occupies the central place in Cultures throughout the world, embodying energy and a graceful beauty flowing with rhythm. Afro Cuban dance is connected to Africa’s rich musical traditions. Afro Cuban dance has a unity of aesthetic and logic that is evident even in the dances within the African diaspora. To Understand this logic, It is essential to look deeper Into the elements that are common to the dances in various cultures. Traditional Afro Cuban dances, cleansing ritual dance which is connected to what is said to be the divine ceremonial dance, dance has always been an Indispensable element of life in Afro- Cuban Society, binding together communities and helping Individuals to understand their roles in relation to the Community. In Spiritual cleansing, the dance helps people to understand and remember their role in relation to the divine and dance in social ceremonies has helped keep community life vibrant, contributing to a sense of Security, Safety and Continuity.

Traditional Afro- Cuban dance is an essential element of Africa’s Cultural heritage, providing a vital expression of the region’s philosophy, and the living memory of Its Cultural wealth and Its evolution over the Centuries. Because It has more power than gesture, It is the expression of life and of Its permanent emotions of joy, sadness and hope furthermore, ceremonial dance give them Confidence, building a sense of pride among the dancers. According to Jouni Filip Maho and Armin Schwegler’s account, Habla Kongo or Habla bantu is an Afro- Cuban Kongo based language combined with some Spanish language It came along with Palo Mayombe in Cuba, a Palero is also referred as Palo Priest the phrase originated from a Palo Priest who hailed from Congo , the phrases such as “ habla Congo”, ”habla en Congo or “habla Palero.

The Bata Rumba of Cuba  and La Mora of Cuba.

Bata Rumba is a hybrid form of Cuban rumba combining bata drums with guaguanco it was created by the group Afrocuba de Matanzas and Aaras are also in some parts of Haiti, Brazil and El Salvador. La Mora is a form of Afro- Cuban folkloric dance from Santiago de Cuba and the master of La Mora Perez and AfroCuba de Matanzas is one of Cuba’s top folkloric group, with an Impressive Knowledge of many of the African traditions. A Lot of the members of Villami , their family counts on both Yoruba ancestor from Nigeria  and Congo ancestor. On their Yoruba line , they are descendants of two Oyo Musicians sold into Slavery by the Spanish to Matanzas, Cuba In the 1880s, It is believed some Afro- Cuban music can be traced back to Sierra Leone Including the Initiation rites and the Ganga Ceremony in Cuba which takes place in December  which they honor San Larro also referred as St. Lazarus with dancing and singing.

The Mandinga of Cuba and Its Origins among the Mandinka People of Senegal. 

Mandinga also known as La Negra Tomasa and Bilongo is a song which was believed to have originated from the Mandinka or Mandingo People of Senegal, West Africa. Mandinga song is mixed with some Mandina, bantu and some Spanish language.

The Yoruba Traditional Priest known as Adeshina Obara Meyi who came from Present day Nigeria brought Ifa to Cuba.

Adeshina Obara Meyi also known as Remigio Herrera was from the Yoruba ethnic group and he was Ifa Priest  or Babalawo sold into Slavery by the Spanish , the name Adeshina in Yoruba language means “Crowns opens the way “. Adeshina was born either around 1811 or 1816 in Ijesha Osun State of Nigeria . He was sold Into Slavery by the Spanish was to convert to Catholicism through baptism in Nueva Paz he was given the name Remigio Herrera, when he was captured and brought to the Slave Ship he swallowed replica of Orunmila Orisha and taught it is the great Idea to Introduce Ifa to Cuba and being able to master the divination tool. It is said Adeshina labored on the Herrera Plantation another Yoruba Babalawo known as Carlos Addebi was also believed to have came from Nigeria to Cuba and help Adeshina achieved his freedom in Camaguey. Adeshina was brought from Nigeria to Cuba In the late 1830s. It is believed Legends has It that he swallowed the Ifa divination tool to guide him across his journey, he was described as a leader and brilliant man, he fought for his freedom and later became a Powerful Owner in Havana. It is believed he was Influential and set up the Ifa Institution, the Cabildo of the Virgin of regla which is considered as Cabildo Yemaya around 1860, which later became a Spiritual Centre of Orisha Worship. His daughter was a Orisha Priestess known as Echu Bi, Adeshina established and organized the annual street procession on the feast day of the Virgin of Regla, every 7th September each year there are seminal Afro-Cuban drummers like Palo Roche Okilakpa sound Ilu bata in honor of Yemaya later he returned back to Nigeria, In order to acquire the sacred materials needed to Initiate babalawos and he returned again to Cuba under the authority of Orunmila to build Ifa in Cuba. According to Adrian Castro’s historical account, he believed Adeshina was rather known as Ifarola. Although he was credited being in one of the first babalawo in Cuba It seems ludicrous to think he could keep his Ifa ikin in his belly through the long and torturous middle passage . According to Omi Ofe Ada’s account, Adeshina was one of the first Yoruba babalawo from Nigeria he arrived in Cuba and he requested authorization to his people to go back to distribute his fortune among the Inhabitants of his Owners or those who had enslaved him.

It is believed The Yoruba Prince and Babalawo known as Adeshina participated in the consecration of the first bata drums that Atanda and Ana Bi made in Cuba. Although he entered Cuba and he had Yoruba tribal marks on his cheek although he entered Cuba through Matanzas, where he lived for number of years, Adeshina also spent last 35 years on the Island and started the Yemaya Cabildo. His godchild was known as Oyubogna also known as Oluguere. He later defecated the kola or ekin nuts he ingested which he would later keep on his person for divine readings and work , Adeshina being enslaved for 30 years and was enslaved by Don Miguel Antonio Herrera he saw Adeshina as a hardworking and brilliant man. 

Adeshina established a Yoruba Village of Regala and he also owned real estate property at Calle Morales which is known as Street Perdomo . Adeshina traveled to Havana and trained Others in Ifa and he was honored as a brilliant ancestor and he passed away in 1905 in Havana, Cuba who had performed in many religious functions and he was honored with a kiss on the hand and his admirers lowered their body on one leg as a Catholic Priest would do in a Church he was sick and passed away in 1905 in Havana, Cuba and Adeshina descendants can still be found in modern day Cuba.

According to Babafemi Odeyemi Mcfamodez historical account, The Legendary Adechina (Adeshina) Remigio Herrera 1811–1905 The Santería High Priest "Known universally by his African name, Adechina was an African-born Cuban who established the fundamentals of Yoruba religious practice in the Americas. Born around 1811 and enslaved as a young man in his native Yorubaland (now Nigeria), he was brought to Matanzas, Cuba, around 1830 to labor in the sugar industry. Little is known of his early life, but he was able to achieve freedom and join a growing Afro-Cuban working class. He worked as a mason and before his death in 1905 had become a prosperous property owner in the town of Regla across the harbor from Havana. Adechina’s fame rests upon his becoming one of the most influential figures in the development of Yoruba religious traditions in diaspora. Known as Lucumi, the many thousands of Yoruba men and women who had been taken to Cuba established themselves as an important force in the island’s ethnic mosaic. Their religious practices achieved wide recognition by the Spanish term Santería (Way of the Saints). Adechina was a leader of the Lucumi community and a high priest of Santería. Among his other achievements, Adechina is credited with carving the first set of sacred batá drums in Cuba. The rhythms of the batá are used to praise the orisha spirits of the Lucumi, and the preparation of the drums requires extensive sacred knowledge as well as carving skills. Adechina’s drums were said to call the orishas so beautifully that they were called, in Spanish, la voz de oro (the voice of gold). Adechina was also a founder of one of the most famous of Lucumi religious organizations, El Cabildo Yemaya (Yemaja AKA Mermaid) de Regla (The Yemaya Association of Regla).Yemaya, protector of the seas, one of the most prominent of the orisha spirits, corresponded to the Catholic Virgin of Regla. On her feast day, the Cabildo would honor both the Catholic saint and the African spirit in public processions. Adechina passed on the leadership of the Cabildo to his daughter Josefa “Pepa” Herrara, who built the processions into a national institution famous throughout the island in the 1930s and 1940s. Perhaps Adechina’s greatest contribution to African spirituality was his development of the Ifá priesthood in Cuba. Ifá is a Yoruba oracular system of great subtlety that organizes and makes available the medical and spiritual knowledge of the Yoruba ancestors. Ordination as an Ifá priest takes many years of arduous training.

Adechina set a standard of excellence that is recognized today by every practitioner. He trained the majority of the most influential Ifá priests of the next generation, and nearly every practitioner today will claim Adechina as part of his priestly lineage.

Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolution and his contribution to the African Continent narrated by Ngoc Bich Nguyen and Max Bearak.

Fidel Castro was born Fidel Castro Ruz on the 13th August,1926 in Mayari, Province of Oriente. Fidel attended Catholic Schools in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. In 1945, he was enrolled in University of Havana, he graduated with a law degree in 1950 and In 1948, he graduated and married Mirta Diaz-Balarta furthermore, Fidel and his ex wife divorced . In 1952, after Fulgencio Batista y Zald’Var seized control of the Cuban government, Castro became the leader. He took control of Cuba in 1959 and established a Communist dictatorship. Cuba exiles tried to overthrow Castro in 1961, now known as The Bay of Pigs . In early 1960s Castro openly embraced Communism and formed Socialist Republics relying increasingly on Soviet economic and military aid.

In 1953, Fidel Castro was jailed for having led 26th July uprising against Batista. He was released in 1955, he went into exile In the USA and Mexico. In 1956, he returned to Cuba and led a rebellion from the Sierra Maestra region of Oriente Province. Fidel’s rebel forces, known as the 26th July movement, won steadily increasing support. It is said Batista fled from the Country on 1st January, 1959 and Castro held power since 1959, President since 1976, formerly prime minister, first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, and the Commander of Armed forces. The Cuban revolution Fidel Castro was described as a Young Lawyer in Cuba when General Fulgencio Batista had overthrew the government. According to Max Bearak, Castro and his African allies saw fertile ground for the spread of Communist revolution in these wars for Independence. In turn, the Soviets provided arms and raid turning parts of Africa into a stage for Cold War proxy battles . In 1988, for instance, a development of 36,000 troops played a decisive role in beating back U.S. Support South African apartheid era. Those battles precipitated neighboring Namibia’s Independence from South African and reinvigorated anti-apartheid fighters at home. At least 4,300 troops died in fighting in Angola and the troops, It is said some of the troops were technicians, teacher and doctors, would end up staying in Angola for years, to defend against the possibility of another Incursion and to build the beginnings of the post colonial Angolan State. There was a movement for the liberation of Angola, which fought alongside the Cubans and has been in power since Independence.

It is said in 60s and 70s, troops were trained also prevailed against the Portuguese in their former Colonies of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde also Castro  is an Icon who contributed to black africa's struggle In 1998, Castro had flew to the City of durban and was given a hero’s welcome on the streets. Fidel delivered a speech to a packed meeting of the African National Congress, Mandela’s Party and It is said Castro was a true hero for Ethiopia and Africa as a whole In 1977, Castro also sent as many as 15,000 troops back to Mengistu and Castro was believed to be a longstanding supporter and a friend of the ANC and the people of South Africa.

The Hidden Truth of an Afro Cuban and Yoruba Woman who fought in Cuba.

Carlota  Lukumí/Yoruba Woman Fighter for African  Liberation.

Carlotta  (Afro- Cuban woman) leader of the 1843 slave rebellion and a Yoruba woman In Triumvirato, Matanzas and Carlota was  an enslaved woman, who took up the machete in 1843 to lead a slave uprising at the Triumvirato sugar mill in Matanzas Province and was killed. She was one of the 3 leaders of the rebellion. Her name was later given to Cuba's 1980's operation Black Carlota in Southern Africa, which culminated in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the defeat of the South African army in pitch battle. This lead to the negotiations that removed Apartheid, much as the Boers or the Americans hate to admit it.

Today, people can visit the remains of the Triumvirato sugar mill and see the monument to Carlota's rebellion In order to understand liberation processes in the Caribbean we have to take into account all occurrences which preceded our days and contributed to the formation of our collective consciousness. Cuba, in this sense, possesses an impressive historical legacy of which needs more discussion.

Women in Cuba, generally speaking, played a very important role in the construction of that society since the beginning of European colonialism in 1492. Carlota fulfilled a noble task by offering great teachings even with her own life. Neither studying nor talking about the contribution made in that Caribbean society by the African women, in particular, implies a silent falsification of the truth. We use the denomination lukumi/yoruba when referring to Carlota and others based on an explanation we received from Nigerian linguist and Yoruba expert,  Dr. Wande Abimbola, who teaches us the following lesson. The western Yoruba land in Nigeria and in east Benin know the terminology 'oluikumi' to indicate 'my very good friend of confidence'. It is understandable that the transatlantic voyage as it reached Cuba transformed this into 'lukumi'. Carlota was captured during an unequal battle. The repressive forces tied her to horses sent to run in opposite direction in order to destroy her body completely so that she would be unrecognizable forever. Fermina was shot and killed in March 1844 along with four other lukumíes/yorubas and three ganga colleagues. The year 1844 became known as the 'year of the lashes', because of the many cases of bloody repression against descendants of Africans both enslaved and freed men and women. Another notorious case of that time was the so called 'Ladder Conspiracy': infamous acts of tortures and and killings under the command of General O'Donnell. During these bloody actions an end was put to the life of the great poet whose father was of African descent a Nigerian and Yoruba man captured from Present day Nigeria.

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