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Indians in Cuba - Native Cuba

Today in Cuba there are few native Cubans, perhaps several hundred families in Oriente.   But they give the lie to the common expressions concerning assertions of extinction.  In any part of Cuba, people will point out to you "see this person, he/she has indian blood." And it is said that Guajiro culture, Cuban peasant culture, has a strong Indian component, even though many guajiros themselves are Canary Islanders.

Over the past 20 years, Cuban historians have discovered that Native Cubans survived in far greater numbers than thought previously, well into the 18th century.

Articles/Artículostop

CUBA Y LA LARGA DURACIÓN HISTÓRICA DE SU POBLAMIENTO Y CULTURA INDÍGENA  8/15/2014 UNEAC: "¡Estamos vivos, bien planta´os y sembra´os! Fue esta exclamación, afirmativa y jubilosa, el mensaje que nos entregó Idalis Ramírez Rojas, una de las descendientes de los indocubanos originarios, que actualmente reside junto a su familia y comunidad campesina en La Ranchería de Caridad de los Indios, esta última perteneciente al municipio Manuel Tames, en la provincia de Guantánamo, Cuba."

And the Camagüeyan Indo-Cubans, how was their language?  5/29/2014 Adelante 

En Camaguey, "cacique" de descendientes de aborígenes  12/18/2009 Adelante: "Francisco Ramírez Rojas, considerado como el "cacique" de una comunidad guantanamera de descendientes de aborígenes, expresó satisfacción por su visita a Camagüey, invitado a participar en un foro cultural. Residente en La Ranchería, de Caridad de los Indios, Ramírez asistirá hoy por la noche a la apertura de una muestra de obras de la plástica que insertan elementos de arte primitivo, como pictografías e ideografías. Los autores son el canadiense James K-M y los camagüeyanos Joel Jover y Osmany Soler. En su primera estancia en Camagüey, el campesino guantanamero, de 74 años de edad, añadió en el diálogo el orgullo por provenir de primitivos habitantes de la Isla. El interlocutor destacó también su adhesión a las ideas de Martí, de la Revolución, y reiteró el agradecimiento a todas las personas e instituciones que han divulgado la existencia de descendientes de indocubanos y los han apoyado."

The Puerto Rican Experience - The Puzzle of Race and Politics  6/4/2008 CounterPunch: [closely parallels Cuba] - "Governor Rossello himself made the decision to use the entire U.S. census survey instrument without any modification in tune with the social, economic and political reality of Puerto Rico. The outcome, in an island with a strong African and Taino cultural and phenotypical influence, resulted in 80.5% of the population self-identifying as white. Therefore, Puerto Rico is “whiter” than the United States. The bureaucratic decision of former Governor Rossello basically enabled a “whitening” process that was accelerated by Puerto Rico’s colonial status. Since the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico, while it has not experienced a dramatically large black emigration (or received white immigrants to the island in large numbers) Puerto Rico’s “white” population has grown from 48.5% (1802) to 80.5% in 2000."

Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World: Reviewed  7/18/2006 Journal of the American Academy of Religion: "Roberto Nodal and Miguel "Willie" Ramos (167-186) employ phenomenological approaches to the study of sacrifice (ebÛ) in LukumÌ Orisha worship (a.k.a. SanterÌa). They explain the concept of ritual sacrifice and ashÈ (energy or power) insofar as both are integral to achieving healing. Nodal and Ramos also discuss the view that spirits both protect and punish devotees based on behavior and veneration.Nodal and Ramos also note that LukumÌ worship has experienced vigorous growth since the 1960s to have numerous adherents not only in the Caribbean and the United States but also globally. They are right to identify it as a "universal faith" (171) that functions independently of ethnicity or nationalism. These authors consciously avoid equating LukumÌ with the African religion of Yoruba (thus their use of the term LukumÌ). LukumÌ is far more widely known as "Yoruba," however, throughout the United States and abroad. The taxonomic preference of Nodal and Ramos sharpens the conundrum that is raised in Bellegarde-Smith's introduction. One might ask, for instance, whether these authors would classify putative Catholicism in Cuba as veritably Catholic, given the influences of African and indigenous forces over the centuries on Cuban Christianity."

The eagle’s feather  8/29/2003 Granma: "THE North American Indigenous Movement had already been founded in the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota when Daniel Yang was born. He’s currently in Cuba as an ambassador for U.S. native peoples and is the godson of Leonard Peltier, that indefatigable warrior unjustly imprisoned for defending the ancestral hopes and rights of his people."

Smithsonian returns Taino Indian remains to descendants in Cuba  1/13/2003 Sun Sentinel, South Florida: "Members of Native American tribes from the Mohawk, Navajo and Kaw nations who came to Cuba for the bones' repatriation stood in a circle around Ramírez Rojas and his relatives as they sang to the benevolent spirit they call Chiriwa, asking him to protect the remains."

La cultura aborigen y sus credos religiosos  1/22/2002 La Jiribilla, Cuba: profoundly flawed but interesting article - far too many deprecatory comments on the "primitive" Taino religion, etc

Indígenas entregan cargado pliego de peticiones y exigen respuestas  10/14/1998 La Prensa, Honduras: "La Confederación de Pueblos Autóctonos de Honduras, Conpah, en el documento, señala que desde 1994 en negociaciones sostenidas con el gobierno han suscrito siete compromisos en las áreas de tierra y territorios, educación, salud, infraestructura y legislación sin que se hayan cumplido."
 

Past Conferences

Indigenous Knowledge of the Caribbean: Music, Plants and Healing
12/13/99 - 12/20/99

CUBA - INDIGENOUS LEGACIES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Interdisciplinary Conference and Intensive Field Study
November 16 to 23, 1997 in Baracoa, Cuba

 

Links/Enlaces

We are not extinct: Indians in Cuba
http://www.pathcom.com/~cancuba/articles2.htm#Extinct
by Dr. José Barreiro, American Indian Program
Cornell University, Ithaca

 

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