5 CD SET
In Cuban culture we can determine three main strands: the indigenous one, the Spanish one and the African one. We should also bear in mind that in a process commonly known as creolization a new, truly local culture emerged that can no longer be analysed as just the sum of the parts that created it. Also we cannot ignore the fact that the above mentioned cultures were not monolithic. There were important cultural differences between, for instance, the Caribes and the Tainos, the Andaluzes and the Canarios, the Mandingos and the Ewe. During the first century of Spanish rule the indigenous inhabitants were annihilated, or perished due to disease and the hardships of forced labour. We should not underestimate, however, the influence they have had on Cuban culture. In language, agricultural and fishing techniques, eating habits, tools and so on, their presence can still be felt. For nearly 400 years of Spanish rule, Cuba was saturated with Spanish culture. In the early days of colonisation, most of the colonisers came from Andalucía and Extremadura, followed in later centuries by immigrants from the Islas Canarias and Galicia. The African immigration, mainly Yoruba and Bantu speaking peoples, took place in two waves that coincided with the setting up of the labour-intensive sugar industry. The first wave started directly after the establishment of Spanish rule and came to a halt when the economy stagnated at the beginning of the 17th century. The revolution in the important sugar-producing French colony Saint-Domingue (which in 1804 led to the foundation of the first independent Caribbean republic, Haiti) destroyed plantation economy there and led to the second, much bigger wave of immigration. Unlike the Spanish immigrants who came to Cuba as free men or became free after one generation, the Africans came as slaves and stayed that way until deep into the 19th century.