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MatanzasThe Cuba Nobody Knows$
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Miguel A. Bretos

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813038100

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813038100.001.0001

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Disguises and Holy Spaces

Disguises and Holy Spaces

(p.120) 9 Disguises and Holy Spaces

MIGUEL A. Bretos

University Press of Florida

The population of nineteenth-century Matanzas was unusually diverse. It was white, black, Asian, and mixed. The white and black groups were quite heterogeneous. The main line of fracture within the white community was that between criollos and peninsulares, but the peninsulares often tended to identify with their region of origin, not with Spain. The population of African origin was either enslaved or free, and either Cuban born or African born. The latter in particular—like the peninsular Spaniards—tended to identify with their native language and place of origin (nation). This chapter deals with the rituals and holy spaces that affirmed and defined identity, in particular the mostly criollo bando festivals, African public performances of the Dia de Reyes, and the recreation of Catalonia's hallowed Monserrate on a hill near Matanzas.

Keywords:   Bandos, festivals, rituals, Dia de Reyes, Monserrate

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