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Gangá.English from Juan CD on Vimeo.

Gangá


Los cono (referidos también en la literatura antropológica como kondo, kono, konno o koso) se asientan en el norte de Guinea, Liberia y Sierra Leo­na, son hablantes de una de las lenguas mandinga: el mandé-tan. Su población asciende a unos 300 mil habitantes y se encuentran muy relacionados con los vai. En Cuba se reportaron como gangá cono, ganga conó, gangá conú y cozo; es decir, variantes de la transcripción del etnónimo. -- Orígenes de los ganga en cuba 5/2/2012 Ralph Alpizar

Nosotros hemos podido comprobar, en documentos de archivo y en la prensa periódica de la época, la existencia de sólo seis de estos denominadores, a saber: gangá golá o gorá; gangá kisi, quisi o quiri; gangá bay, fay o fag; gangá conú; gangá maní; y gangá longobá o nongobá.-- Los gangá longobá:El nacimiento de los dioses, 5/2001 PDF


Articles/Articulos

Cuban doctors take leading role in fighting Ebola  1/29/2015 The Telegraph: "Either way, it is a change from the dark days of the Cold War, when Cuba sent military advisors to prop up the dictatorship of Sierra Leone’s President Siaka Stevens after a coup attempt in 1971. A Cuban mission trained what was known as Internal Security Unit Two, a feared militia of 500 elite guards. Since the Cold War's end, the two countries have sustained their relationship, boosted by a shared history around the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Last year, in a real life version of Alex Haley's 1976 slave saga book Roots, an academic study into an African community in Cuba known as the Ganga-Longoba traced their origins to a remote Sierra Leonean village."

Los cubanos que hallaron sus raíces en Sierra Leona  4/22/2014 BBC: ""No tenía ni la más mínima idea de que una gran cantidad de canciones Ganga procedían solamente de una comunidad. Esto es muy inusual", agrega. El descubrimiento se produjo cuando un grupo de Liberia vio imágenes de video de una ceremonia cubana y reconoció en ella parte de un ritual local."

Cubans trace roots to remote Sierra Leone village  4/21/2014 BBC: "For decades the Ganga-Longoba of Perico have been singing the same chants, a tradition passed down the generations. But until recently this Afro-Cuban community knew little of the origin of the songs, or of their own ancestors. Now, thanks to the work of an Australian academic, Cuba's Ganga believe their roots lie in a remote village in Sierra Leone from where it is thought their relatives were sold into slavery more than 170 years ago."

A Colorful Reunion among Cubans and Africans in Sierra Leone  11/15/2013 Havana Times: "This past November 2nd, on an invitation from photographer Sergio Leyva Seiglie, I attended an interesting exhibition titled Reencuentro (“Reunion”) which gathered photographs by this artist and sculptures by Alfredo Duquesne. From their respective and unique points of view, the two artists captured a moving episode in the history of relations between Cuba and Sierra Leone, described by one of my colleagues in a previous Havana Times article."

Cubans Speak of Their Journey to Their Past  7/17/2013 Havana Times: "My grandmother was a very close friend of Florinda Diago’s, who was a descendant of Josefa. Other members of the Ganga tribe, the precursors of these traditions in Cuba, were in the same ship that brought her from Africa. These traditions were passed on to me through my grandmother and aunt. I’ve known the dances, the songs and the ritual beating of the drums since I was a kid, because I was raised within the traditions, though I’m not a member of the Ganga Longoba African culture group. My aunt is always singing traditional songs and my grandmother used to tell me many stories from the old country. In Mukpangumba, I played the drums and danced. I don’t know the exact place in Africa my ancestors lived. Orlando Herrera, Perico’s former city historian, used to say we must have come from Nigeria or the Congo, because of our physical features."

Cuba/Africa: An Inspiring Example of Human Survival  7/8/2013 Havana Times: "On my second trip to the village to show them a video of the Cubans from Perico, who had seen them on video and were sending them greetings, they asked me to stay, to be more than just a tourist. I explained that our cameras needed to have their batteries charged and that we were susceptible to malaria. They said that they would buy a generator, buy gasoline and find mosquito nets for us. I couldn’t believe that they would try to give us something. We decided that if all they wanted was for us to be with them in the village, then we would buy the generator and buy the gasoline ourselves."

Cuba/Africa: An Old Slave Trading Place  5/22/2013 Havana Times: "During the filming of ‘They Are We’ —a documentary about the return of four Afro-Cubans to their place of origin in Sierra Leone— along with several of the crew, I travelled down to the remote Gallinas region in the far southeast of Sierra Leone, the place where the Cuban’s ancestor and the famous Amistad slaves once departed from Africa. Standing in this inaccessible spot on a sandbar looking out into the Atlantic Ocean, I realized that I was possibly the first Cuban to be there in about 150 years. The Amistad captives—who later rebelled and took their ship to the USA, leading to a celebrated court case—were sold by slave trader Pedro Blanco who once had a mighty empire at the mouth of the Kerefe River in the Gallinas region."

Trailer: Afro-Cubans and Sierra Leoneans Bridge The Gap in Doc 'They Are We'  4/22/2013 Shadow and Act: "How mind-blowing and fascinating is this upcoming documentary? Talk about bridging the gap! I came across an article from The Atlantic (recommended reading), written beautifully by Emma Christopher, director of They Are We, a film which documents how a family of Afro-Cubans in a remote village of Perico, Cuba learn of and become acquainted with their ancestors in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and vice-versa."

How Cuban Villagers Learned They Descended From Sierra Leone Slaves  4/22/2013 Atlantic: by Emma Christopher, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. The Cubans are from Perico, Matanzas. -- "Now Pokawa and his people are ready to celebrate the return of those believed long lost. The villagers are busy preparing. Huts are being vacated for the visitors and empty rice bags are being stuffed with leaves to make mattresses. They have dug a rudimentary pit toilet and collected battered spoons for eating, aware that the visitors are accustomed to such luxuries. Insisting that they themselves contribute to the celebration for the Cubans' arrival, the village elders have given half of the fish needed for a feast for 800 people. A collection of grubby bills of tiny value has been taken to pay for half of the palm oil and peppers necessary. They were adamant about going all out. People who sing the village's songs--melodies and rhythms that tie them to this inaccessible chiefdom -- are considered family. "Our grandparents who told us the stories about our people going as slaves, we know now that they didn't lie," says Joe Allie, an elder of the village and Pokawa's uncle. "These must be our people," says Solomon Musa, a young man who works as a teacher in the village, "when we saw the people who practice the same things we used to do, we were so happy, we are full of joy."

They are we  3/23/2013 Vimeo: video - "Can a family separated for 170 years by the transatlantic slave trade sing and dance its way back together again? THEY ARE WE tells a story of survival against the odds, and how determination and shared humanity can triumph over the bleakest of histories."

Ganga´  3/23/2013 Vimeo: video - "Los Gangá son una etnia de afrodescendientes que viven en Perico, Matanzas, Cuba. Fueron llevados a la isla caribeña, como esclavos, desde lo que hoy es Sierra Leona, dentro de la región del Dahomey. En dicha región, el santo más venerado era el que los Yorubas llaman Babalu Ayé y los Gangá llaman Yebbé."

Los Gangá Longobá, retadores del tiempo  10/10/2012 Televisión Camagüey: "La afrocubanía que hoy reverbera en el cabildo de la calle Pedro Arrieta, en el municipio de Perico, provincia de Matanzas, proviene de las tradiciones de Josefa Diago, nombre que según la historiadora Alessandra Basso, dieron los esclavistas, en el ingenio Santa Elena, a una mujer del llamado continente sin frío. Aunque desde 1816 los ritos de esa etnia se conocen en el territorio ubicado a cerca de 180 kilómetros al este de La Habana, desde junio de 1983, por iniciativa de Linda Diago -bisnieta de Josefa- el grupo folklórico Gangá Longobá muestra a toda la Isla la riqueza musical de las costumbres que defiende."

Orígenes de los ganga en cuba  5/2/2012 Ralph Alpizar: "De los componentes étnicos africanos que en condición de esclavos poblaron la Isla de Cuba, los que aparecen registrados con la denominación genérica gangá han sido de los menos estudiados. Esta situación resulta paradójica, pues su presencia en los registros parroquiales es abundante, así como tam­bién fue común la constitución de cabildos en las áreas urbanas."

LA RUMBA, ¿GÉNERO DE ORIGEN GANGÁ?  8/1/2002 Jiribilla: “[...] es muy común entre los morenos viejos la opinión de que el verdadero baile de rumba es de origen gangá” nos dice Fernando Ortiz en Los Instrumentos de la Música Afrocubana. (1) En Los Bailes y el Teatro de los Negros en Cuba (2) expresa: “[...] la muy difundida tradición de que la rumba es etnográficamente de origen gangá, tanto como lo es el baile–juego de maní”. 

Links/Enlaces top

Perico, Cuba on Facebook with pics from trip to Sierra Leone
www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.260767147389153.66282.260730000726201&type=3

Los gangá longobá:El nacimiento de los dioses, 5/2001 PDF
Alessandra Basso Ortiz
Centro de Investigaciones y Desarrollo de la Música Cubana (CIDMUC), La Habana, Cuba

Resumen

El artículo se inicia con un breve recuento sobre a quiénes se les dio el nombre de gangá en Cuba, su lugar de procedencia e importancia numérica durante la trata esclavista, para adentrarse luego en algunos elementos fundamentales del culto religioso de los gangá longobá de Perico (único núcleo de practicantes que conserva en Cuba, como sistema, las prácticas religiosas de sus antepasados). Se verá como a pesar de las múltiples transformaciones que ha sufrido el culto religioso, éste ha permitido la cohesión del núcleo de Perico, que se reconoce como descendiente de gangá, y la subsistencia de su propia identidad.

 

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