Friday, October 18, 2013

VIDEO: Haíti in Cuba - Los Gagá de Barranca y Thompsón

This video is the result of a research trip to the eastern part of Cuba. Amidst endless sugar cane fields, far off the beaten track are some communities with people of Haitian descendance. They settled here at the beginning of the 20th century as contract laborers on the sugar plantations, under conditions reminiscent of the times of slavery. In post-revolutionary Cuba, the Haítians got much more rights, but living conditions in these isolated parts didn't change that much. This video shows two village bands performing the traditional music of Haíti. Gagá is a vodún-related genre, and it gives its name to both bands (Other song and dance genres being congó and merengue). The groups enjoy the patronship of the Casa del Caribe, a Santiago-based institute devoted to the promotion of the cultural legacy of Cuba's Oriente province. Fundación Interchange has allied itself to this institution - and to these music and folklore bands - in order to uncover the Haítian legacy in Cuba, and study its social history and cultural traditions.

No comments:

Post a Comment