Afro Cuban


Nead to know about Afro Cuban

Afro Cuban dance

- Afro Cuban style originated on the basis of culture, music and religion of the slaves from West Africa, brought by Spanish settlers to work on the cotton or sugar cane plantations on Cuba.

- Africans brought to Cuba generally came from Congo basin, Nigeria, Cameron and Benin.

- Culturally speaking, a lot of impact on afro cuban legacy had tribes of Joruba from Nigeria, known on Cuba as the Luca. Their religion and culture is known as Luca - Santaria or Regle de Ocha.

- Santaria is based on the Orihas (deities) cult, where each of the Orihas has its own characteristic rhythms, steps and singing.

- Dance mimics characteristic gestures for each and every Orish. It is accompanied with adequate rhythms, always played on Bata drums - a set of three double drums (Iya, itotele, Okonkolo), Archere (bottleneck rattle). Also, conga drums can be used. The drums and the dance is accompanied by the singing, which present characteristic feature of each and every deity.

Oggun - Orisha of war, iron and work. Its warring tendencies manifests with quick steps, wavy moves of the chest and simultaneous machete swings. Danced on large areas.

Oya - Orisha (woman) representing winds and hurricanes, shaking hands, raising it up and lowering, has periodical energy outbursts performing quick turns and shaking hands over her head, or stands still, motionless. Needs large area of space to dance.

Oshum - Orisha of love, wealth and art, personifies rivers. Its moves in dance are fluid as water, graceful and seductive. She holds a mirror in one hand which she constantly looks into.

Yamaya - Orisha of the oceans. Is adored by the sailors and fishermen. Personifies mother and thus her moves in dance are slow and dignified.

Chango - Orisha of thunders, fire, mascilinity and passion. He is very masculine, loves women and music. Uses double-bladed axe.

- There is many more Orisha deities and each and every of them has its characteristic rhythms and dance rituals, mimicking their characteristic gestures.

- Afro Cuban dances offer the opportunity to meet th afro cuban culture.

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