THAT THING SHAKING THE GROUND … IS SANTIAGO’S CARNIVAL!

Arte por Excelencias - - Cuba -

“That thing that ri­ses, that is co­ming. That thing shaking the ground, is Santiago's Carnival.” Per­haps the­re is no bet­ter way to say it, Com­po­ser En­ri­que Bon­ne, Pre­mio Na­ci­o­nal de Mu­si­ca, knows what he is saying. For three de­ca­des now, he has be­en in char­ge of the pa­ra­des and dan­cing groups of the main po­pu­lar fes­ti­vity in Santiago de Cu­ba, de­cla­red as Na­ti­on's Cul­tu­ral He­ri­ta­ge.

The city's his­to­ri­an, Doc­tor Ol­ga Por­tu­on­do Zuñi­ga, has writ­ten that the con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous carnival of Santiago de Cu­ba is the re­sult of se­cu­lar and re­li­gi­ous fes­ti­vi­ti­es that “in­terwe­a­ved and grou­ped them­sel­ves on spe­ci­fic da­tes, just the way they do to­day”.

Santiago's Carnival pri­des it­self on ha­ving groups that, for mo­re than 100 ye­ars now, ha­ve be­en loyal, such as ca­bil­dos Ca­ra­ba­lí Izu­a­ma and Ca­ra­ba­li Olu­go, as well as Tum­ba Fran­ce­sa La Ca­ri­dad de Ori­en­te, the lat­ter de­cla­red Mas­ter­pi­e­ce of the Oral and Im­ma­te­ri­al He­ri­ta­ge of Hu­ma­nity.

Du­ring carnival ti­mes, on July 26, 1953, a group of men he­a­ded by Fi­del Cas­tro as­saul­ted the se­cond mi­li­tary for­tress by then: the Mon­ca­da Gar­ri­son. Re­be­lli­ous­ness, cul­tu­re and po­pu­lar en­cou­ra­ge­ment ha­ve marked for ever the fe­a­tu­res of this wes­tern Cuban city.

We could cho­o­se many fa­ces to de­fi­ne the carnival: that of a ca­pe­ro´s, the flo­at-men, or the boys and girls of La Pla­ci­ta ave­nue. The cor­ne­ta chi­na (Chi­ne­se horn) should not be mis­sing in the carnival with its un­mis­taka­ble sound. They say that it soun­ded for the first time in 1915, in El Ti­vo­li, a neigh­bor­ho­od of French back­ground. Ever sin­ce, the­re is no Santiago's Carnival wit­hout the cor­ne­ta chi­na.

The me­mo­ri­es of the carnival are rich in hap­pe­nings, re­cre­a­ti­ons, cha­rac­ters, and ri­val­ri­es that, with their own mark, per­sist up to the pre­sent day. We are re­fer­ring to the ri­ver of pe­o­ple going up the Troc­ha and down Mar­tí stre­ets, the re­soun­ding drums, the muñe­co­nes, the flo­ats, the rag cloth hor­ses, the masks, the ro­ast pork, the boi­led corn­cob, the dan­ce, the pe­o­ple dan­cing down the stre­et…

Every July, the city sh­rugs off the stress and the he­at with a pitch of cold be­er, swings its an­ci­ent waist, lo­ses its in­hi­bi­ti­ons, rein­vents it­self. Ha­ve you not felt this yet?! What are you wai­ting for?!

Newspapers in Spanish

Newspapers from Cuba

© PressReader. All rights reserved.