Origin of slavery in Cuba
African slavery in Cuba
After long hours of conversation with my great-grandmother of 95 years and after reading several books on the history of Cuba, I finally have an idea of its origins and culture.
In this blog I share with you a little of that magical ancestrality, of the heritage of my African ancestors and the story of how they arrived in Cuba.
Origin of African slavery in Cuba
The colonization of the New World brought a serious labor problem and the importation of African slaves began in 1501.
African slaves were used in construction, mines, the countryside, domestic service and in general for all types of work that the colonizer considered excessively rude or unpleasant. Slavery in Africa already existed a long time ago.
The development of the sugar industry served to transform the Cuban slavery regime, more or less patriarchy, slavery trade.
Under conditions of abundance of land, typical of the New World, slavery was the only way owners were guaranteed that their workers did not abandon their plantations to become independent small farmers.
In Cuba, the plantation economy did not develop until the middle of the 18th century. The plantation, with its intensive exploitation of slaves, depleted the slave’s life in just 7 years.
The rise of the sugar plantation and the need for slave labor increased the importation of African slaves to Cuba. During the years 1821 to 1860, more than 350 thousand African slaves entered Cuba.
This group of slaves brought definitive social characteristics to the island and imposed cultural patterns that still exist today.
How did the Afro-Cuban religion or culture arise in Cuba and what is it?
Numerous ethnicities were introduced to our country all from Africa. Influence among us Cubans, no ethnic group more important than that of the Yorubas from Nigeria.
Yoruba, is the term that identifies all the tribes that spoke the same language, although it was not United or politically centralized. The tribes and caterpillars were essentially agricultural and cultivated pumpkin, sesame, cotton, and palm.
The Yoruba had known the most important urban development in tropical Africa and an artistic development without parallel in the continent.
Its fundamental cultural influence on Cubans was exercised through its dazzling religion, imagination, vitality, and colors. Its pantheon of Orishas or deities is still alive and influential in our culture.
In this blog, you will learn the most significant aspects for a better understanding of the “Regla of Ocha”, Santeria or Afro-Cuban culture.
In Africa, each orisha was originally linked to a village or region. The Orishas appeared as protectors. In almost all cases they have deified men after death.
On the other hand, the Yoruba religion is closely linked to a family concept that is the set of living and dead that arise from a common ancestor. These ancestors were attributed control over certain forces of nature, the possibility of exercising certain activities or knowledge of the properties of plants, the only form of an existing medicine.
Those ancestors with Ashe (power) became Orishas, divinized.
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