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Afro-Cuban CostumbrismoFrom Plantations to the Slums$
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Rafael Ocasio

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813041643

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813041643.001.0001

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Nineteenth-Century Costumbrista Writers on the Slave Trade and on Black Traditions in Cuba

(p.1) Introduction
Afro-Cuban Costumbrismo

Rafael Ocasio

University Press of Florida

The Costumbrista writer was a White intellectual, whose biases reflected not only an upper-level social condition but also his privileged gender position. An underlying trait of Costumbrista essays is, however, the fact that these writers could not escape the allure of Black cultural by-products, some of which, such as music and religious practices, became common themes. With the exception of one case, there is no surviving comparable text of the time authored by a Black Cuban. Costumbrista essays are today the only surviving testimonials of emerging Black traditions as practiced throughout the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   nineteenth-century Cuba, slave trade in Cuba, urban slaves in Cuba, Cuban Costumbrismo themes, Santeria, Regla Ocha, mula(t)to as literary theme

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