Music-Dance Group Enhances Haitian Culture in Cuba

Ciego de Avila, Cuba, Aug 22 (Prensa Latina) A group of 15 women descendants of Haitian immigrants based in this Cuban province, is part of the music-dance group Famzetwal, a faithful defender of the traditions and cultural roots of their ancestors.

The group, founded more than 20 years ago as Renacer Haitiano (Haitian Rebirth), was initially formed by men and women, today only women sing, dance, play the drums and transcend as true defenders of feminine power and gender equality.

In each presentation, the figure of Exzilie, Santa Marina according to the Haitian syncretism, stands out, who with its charms represents the strength of women in society.

The girls reside in the Haitian community of Tuero, in the municipality of Moron, in Ciego de Avila, where its inhabitants keep alive customs and traditions inherited from their ancestors brought to Cuba from Haiti in the last century.

In the community, families have a hall for their religious ceremonies, a ranch, in which they celebrate the traditional festivities and an herbalist, who in his plot cultivates the medicinal plants with which they used to cure -and still do- the ailments.

They also have a Creole teacher, accredited by the Maximo Gomez University of Ciego de Avila, to offer classes to the residents, especially children, and young people.

With the purpose of preserving and promoting traditions, the women’s group, together with the Nicolas Guillen Foundation (FNG) of the territory of Ciego de Avila, has been developing the Yambambo community cultural project for two years.

The promoter of the initiative and member of the FNG, Lina Leiva, stressed that one of the aspirations is to conserve the beliefs, customs, habits, and rites of the Caribbean nation, by its gear to the popular and traditional culture of Cuba.

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