Monday, September 8, 2008

Haiti in Cuba

Haiti has a strong presence in Cuba, dating back to the late 1790's after the Haitian revolution, when many French moved to Cuba and took the kidnapped Africans with them.  From this wave we get the Tumba Francesa and the Haitian roots music in Cuba.   Haitian tradition contains a strong strain of Dahomey and Congo, both of which are present in Cuba.  Haitian Rada is Cuban Arara, the Dahomey tradition.

More recently, Cuba is perhaps the only country to have welcomed so many Haitians fleeing the persecution of the Generals and their savage regime.  There are reportedly over 300,000 recent arrivals in Cuba.  And Creole, which is still spoken by descendants of the earlier waves, is Cuba's second language, with a Creole radio station in Havana.  There are a number of Haitian roots groups playing in Cuba, including Ban Rrarra and Desandann.

Today, Cuba has several viable Haitian cultural organizations, including Bannzil Kreyol Kiba described in the article below by Susana Hurlich.

Cuba y Haití: Aún más próximas Portal Cultural Principe, 03-04-2004

Source: AfroCubaWeb.Com

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