Edited By Flocel Sabaté
The Rule of Osha in Cuba. A Hybrid Identity?
← 170 | 171 → The Rule of Osha in Cuba. A Hybrid Identity?
Ndèye Anna GAYE FALL
Université Cheikh Anta Diop
The terrible slave trade and its consequences of the enslavement of millions of black Africans in the South American and Caribbean colonies had, and still has, effects on the cultural profile of these areas of the world. The case studied here is that of the African presence in the Caribbean and, more precisely, in Cuba. There were two African presences that especially influenced Cuban cultural heritage. These were the Bantu, from Ghana or the Congo and the Yoruba, originally from present-day Nigeria. The forced movement to unknown and hostile lands from the 16th century on to, first defend the Cuban fortifications against English corsairs, then evolved into a process of slave labour to work on the plantations and the estates of the owners as servants.
The black bozales, the recent arrivals on the island, clung to, and passed on, their ancestors’ cultural tradition to keep their memory alive and to cover gaps in this provoked by the proximity of various black cultural groups on the island who had their own cultures. This struggle, was not with the Spanish owners, but between the slaves who attempted to preserve what was their own. A notable element in this fight to conserve or impose their heritage, depending on the balance of power, was the Rule of Osha or Santeria that finally was imposed by the presence of the Orishas. Simultaneously, ← 171 | 172 → corresponding to the same process of...
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