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Indigenous Passages to Cuba, 1515-1900$
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Jason M. Yaremko

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062808

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062808.001.0001

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Mayas and the Mesoamerican Presence in Cuba

Mayas and the Mesoamerican Presence in Cuba

(p.92) 4 Mayas and the Mesoamerican Presence in Cuba
Indigenous Passages to Cuba, 1515-1900

Jason M. Yaremko

University Press of Florida

In their passages to Cuba, the Mayas of Yucatan traveled as slaves and then indentured laborers; but Mayas also came of their own volition. In either case, they adapted in degrees through journeys involuntary and voluntary to colonial Cuba. Whether enslaved or free, the Mayas of Yucatan helped build what became one of the greatest cities in the Americas, and played various roles through the centuries as they continued to come collectively and as individuals. At the same time, Yucatec Mayas were not the only indigenous Mesoamerican peoples to arrive in Cuba. The Mesoamerican presence in late colonial Cuba contributed its own diversity, as indígenas from central and south Mexico, transported as forzados or forced labor, arrived in Havana destined for hard labor in the fortifications of the colony. Maya longevity, however, appears to have prevailed: Maya migration predominated in continuity and duration; Mayas represented the most enduring Mesoamerican presence in Cuba

Keywords:   Cuba, Yucatan, Mayas, Mesoamerican, migration, forced labor

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