Q . Why were slaves imported into Cub...


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Q . Why were slaves imported into Cub...

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Q . Why were slaves imported into Cub...

  1. 1. Q . Why were slaves imported into Cuba and what were the reasons for this? In 1860 much of Cuban Society was like a caste system. Color and ethnic origin took precedence in ones social standing. Based on a multi racial and ethnic society it sort of went like this Whites, Free people of Color and of course then the slaves. What is interesting is that a lot of times the slaves were put above the indigenous people by the colonizers on the Island of Cuba. This is primarily to the fact that they adapted to the colonial culture easier than the Indians did. Non-the less it was the slave at the bottom of the cast system in actuality. Most of the business controlled in Cuba was by the Spaniards from Spain called the Peninsulares. There were those of Spanish decent as well that were born in Cuba. They were called the Criollos. But the elite were those from Spain. It was the Criollos that involved themselves with agriculture and the plantations. The gentes de color were the free people of color in Cuba. They for the most part were a mixed race of illegitimate children from slave masters and slaves. The free people were also classified as either mulatto (mixed) or black. In 1847 another group the Chinese were brought into Cuba as indentured servants. They were called coolies. After the emancipation of the slaves in 1886 in Cuba, the Chinese became the lowest on the equality totem pole. The slaves were blacks who were owned by white slave masters. There purpose was to provide free labor in exchange for slavery. Although slavery started in 1500 in Cuba, it wasn’t until much later that the Africans were brought in droves to Cuba. In 1860 there were over 370,000 slaves in Cuba. Out of the 370,000 slaves, 218,000 were males and 152,000 were women. They were all primarily African or from African decent. Eighty percent of the slave population worked on the sugar cane plantations.
  2. 2. Of the Africans who were brought as slaves to Cuba, Four main groups maintained their cultural and ethnic identities throughout the slavery period. The first was the Kongo people. This made up the largest Africans of the slave population in Cuba. It was estimated that there were 400,000 Kongo/Bantu slaves imported to Cuba. They were brought to Cuba through out the whole of Cuban slavery to work the sugar cane fields. The next largest groups of slaves from Africa were the Lucumi people. These were Yoruba slaves from Southwestern Nigerian origin. They were brought to Cuba primarily from 1820 to 1860, which correspond to the fall of the Oyo Empire. It was estimated that approximately 275,000 Lucumi were brought to Cuba. It was the free blacks that formed cabildos or houses based on the ethnicity of the free black. These cabildos maintained the African cultures and religions of the various groups that were enslaved in Cuba. This is how the Afro-Cuban cultures and religions survived slavery. RELATED VEDIO