Mala Lengua  
 
AfroCubaWeb
  Home - Portal | Music - Música | Authors - Autores | Arts - Artes 
  Site Map - Mapa del Sitio | News - Noticias | Search ACW - Buscar en ACW 
 
  Mala Lengua
 

Click on the photos for full page versions. All photos © Gloria Rolando, 2001

fourmambix.jpg (9727 bytes) mambi2x.jpg (13623 bytes)
Four Mambises children Mambises fighters
motherx.jpg (10699 bytes) giantx.jpg (12322 bytes)
Mother & daughter mambisas Mambi fighter cradling his rifle

Click on each photo for a blow-up.

Photos of the Liberation Army ("Los Mambises") from the film
Raíces de mi corazon by Gloria Rolando

The Mambi Army was the National Army of Liberation that defeated the Spanish through two wars: 1868 to 1878 and again, 1895 to 1898.  Mambi is likely a Congo word.  Recent estimates of the participation of Cubans of African descent in the Mambi Army run as high as 92%, but the more widely accepted figure in Cuba is 85%. This encounters resistance in Miami, where they prefer to think of the Mambi army as having a more important ibero spanish component.

Antonio Maceo, "the Bronze Titan," led the Mambi Army. His second in command was Quintín Bandera. In typical Congo fashion, their ritual roles were reversed: Bandera was the Tata Nkisi of the Mambi Army Nganga, the prenda or "magic cauldron" of the Mambises. And Antonio Maceo was the Mayordomo or Bakonfula of the prenda, which today is is said to still be a working prenda in Regla.

Invited by a Cuban plantocracy that was worried about the ascendancy of blacks, the Americans with Teddy Roosevelt intervened in 1898, routing a Spanish force that had already been defeated by the Mambi Army.  And ironically enough, we now know that the 10th Cavalry, the Buffalo Soldiers, played a vital role in Teddy Roosevelt's adventure, providing the critical push that took San Juan Hill.

Links

orestesferrara.com/black_cuban_soldiers_mambi_1898_.htm

 

Contacting AfroCubaWeb

Electronic mail
acw_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]

[AfroCubaWeb] [Site Map] [Music] [Arts] [Authors] [News] [Search this site]

Copyright © 1997 AfroCubaWeb, S.A.