Afrocuban Dance


Rumba

Born from the African slaves deported in Matanzas by the Spanish colonizers, rumba is one of the most famous dances of the Cuban tradition. It finds in Matanzas his spiritual house: it’s here, in fact, properly in the quartier of Marina and Pueblo Nuevo,that slaves began to create this whole of musical rhythms and dance, for their need of pouring out the negativity of life. Amongst the barrios of the city in which this dance was the protagonist, we can count also Versalles, the quartier in which our hostal arises and long time ago location of the Matanzas port. There are three different genres of rumba: the oldest and most slow style is the Yambu, in which the couple has mouvements that represent the old ageand the obstacles in moving.



In this style the vacunau is not present. The mouvement of possession that the man does towards his woman through pelvic mouvemets is otherwise of first importance in the most popular style of rumba, the Guaguancò. Characterized by complex and fast mouvements, the Guaguancò is made up by mouvements of approach between the man and the woman .
The Columbia style is the last of the group, the most energic and the fastest one. It’s a competitive dance, born at the beginning just for men, but nowadays performer also by women. All the dance is a challenge between the dancers and the percussionist, who is changing the rhythm of the dance over and over again through the fifth, a special instrument for percussions. If you are rumba lovers, you better don’t miss the Baiador Rumbero Festival, a proper rumba festival, that for 10 days, since the 10th of October will animate the city with shows and music. The festival corresponds with the anniversary of when the city was fonde (October, the 12th) and includes the celebration of all the important characthers from Matanzas

Saints and Regla de Ocha

One of the features of Cuba is the strong link between religion and dance, mostly due to the everlasting melting pot of nationalities that has always characterized the Isle. Part of this cultural category is the Santeria, or Regla de Ocha, as it’s called on the Isle. A proper religion, born from the syncretism of elements of the catholic and the yoruba religion, practised by African slaves that had been arriving in Cuba since the second half of the Ninentheenth century. The aim of the slaves in Cuba was to hide the divinities of the faith they believed in, behind the catholic iconography, without being hampered by the catholic oppressors. That’s the birth of a ritual music current, where every Saint has his own mouvement and his hidden meaning. Nowadays, the saints, the dances that were born tank to this religion, are considered to be a patrimony of the Cuban culture and tradition so relevant, to be taught by academic professors.

Amongst the most important ones, we count:


Oggun

Simbology – it’s the warrior, tireless worker who knows the mountain of wisdom.
Syncretic character – Saint Peter
Peculiarity – his colour is black-and-green



Yemaya

Simbology  – Lady of the water and mother of the world, she represents the sea
Syncretic character – Virgin de Regla
Peculiarity – Her number is the 7, her color is light-blue while her day is Saturday



Oya

Simbology – Lady of the spark and of the strong winds, she is the guardian of the cimitery. Her attribute is a pony tail adorned with seashells
Syncretic character – Virgin of Candelaria e Santa Teresa of Jesus
Peculiarity – Her number is the 9, her day is Wednesday, she wears all the colors exept black



Ochun

Simbology – Lady of the river, goddess of the honey and symbol of coquetry, grace and feminine sensuality
Syncretic character – Virgin of the charity of the Cobra
Peculiarity – Her number is the 5, her colour, yellow



Chango

Simbology – master of lightning and fire, is the god of virility and masculinity
Syncretic character – Santa Barbara
Peculiarity– His number is 6, its colors are white and red



Eleggua

Simbology – Lord of the crossroads, is a playful child. He holds the keys of destiny. He opens and closes the path. His attribute is the garabato
Syncretic character – St. Anthony of Padua, the Atocha Child, Anima Sola, the Infant of Prague
Peculiarity – his number is 3 to 21, its colors are red and black



Ochosi

Simbology – He is the hunter, master of prisons, you executioner. His attribute is a bow and arrow
Syncretic character – St. Norbert
Peculiarity – its colors are green and violet



Babalu Aye

Simbology – It is most revered saint in the world. It is the protector of the sick and of healing
Syncretic character – St. Lazarus
Peculiarity – its color is purple



Aggayu

Simbology – master of volcanoes and boats. His attributes are the tools with which you make the boats
Syncretic character – San Cristoforo
Peculiarity – its color is red wine



Obatala

Simbology – master of peace, is the father of justice and minds. It has mercy upon all people with mental impediments. His attribute is a iruke packaged with a white ponytail
Syncretic character – Virgin of Mercedes
Peculiarity – its color is white, his number is 8