Cuban Festivals:
A Century of
Afro-Cuban Culture

2001. CUBAN FESTIVALS: A CENTURY OF AFRO-CUBAN CULTURE: AUTHOR AND EDITOR (KINGSTON AND LONDON:
IAN RANDLE PUBLISHERS): 220 PP. ILLUS., GLOSSARY, BIBLIOGRAPHY(REVISED AND EXPANDED)

This anthology includes diverse essays by five scholars residing in England, Cuba, and the United States. Centering on the theme of festivals (including Carnaval), the authors illuminate an overlooked aspect of Cuban history, the social forces at work behind the allure of the festival.

 In a groundbreaking work Jean Stubbs, a British social historian, presents an introduction to Fernando Ortiz (1881-1969) one of Cuba’s most erudite and prolific scholars and translates, for the first time, his important essay “The Afro-Cuban Festival ‘Day of the Kings’.” David Brown’s contribution is equally groundbreaking as he presents a lengthy glossary of the African, Afro-Cuban and Spanish terms marked by Ortiz in the original text. Judith Bettelheim’s contribution includes essays comparing Carnaval in Santiago de Cuba before and after the establishment of an Office of Tourism and the reforms introduced after the pullout of Soviet resources. Bettelheim also contributes a special essay on the festival groups, the Tumba Francesa and Tajona in eastern Cuba. Cuban poet and essayist Pedro Pérez Sarduy presents a personal memoir of his participation in Carnaval, while Rafael Brea and José Millet include a broad study of terms related to popular festivals. There are 45 illustrations and a select bibliography.

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