By Lydia Cabrera
As a lot a storyteller as an ethnographer, Lydia Cabrera used to be captivated through an odd and magical new global printed to her by means of her Afro-Cuban neighbors in early twentieth-century Havana. In Afro-Cuban stories this global involves teeming existence, introducing English-speaking readers to a realm of tenuous barriers among the normal and the supernatural, deities and mortals, the non secular and the doubtless inanimate.Here readers will discover a brilliant, resourceful list of African tradition transplanted to Cuba and reworked through the years, a passionate and subversive substitute to the dominant Western tradition of the Americas. during this charmed realm of delusion and legend, inventive flights, and difficult realities, Cabrera exhibits us a global became the wrong way up. during this area guinea hens could make dour Asturians and the king of Spain dance; little fats cooking pots may perhaps arrange their very own food; the pope can ship encyclicals approximately pumpkins; and officers should be defeated by way of the shrewdness of turtles. the 1st English translation of 1 of crucial writers on African tradition within the Americas, the gathering presents a desirable view of ways African traditions, myths, tales, and religions traveled to the hot World—of how, of their stories, Africans within the Americas created a brand new international all their very own. (20050801)
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Additional info for Afro-Cuban Tales Cuentos negros de Cuba
They left without anyone seeing them, crossing the square where the blind were sunning themselves, killing each others’ ﬂeas and munching on them with delight. 2 Anikosia lay down and pretended to fall immediately into the deep sleep of the weary. Stag stretched out next to her; however, Anikosia fell asleep right away. Turtle grabbed the woman’s breast, which was crawling along the ground like a snake – osí, osé, osé – and tied it tightly to the trunk of the jagüey tree. Then he pulled out his machete, which rang out like a silver bell ﬁlled with the light of dawn, and he woke up Stag, yelling: “This woman’s face is too ugly.
No! . ” “Fine,” said Turtle, his mind made up. ” But it didn’t come down to a ﬁght, as the mockingbird, who had stopped warbling from the top of the sugar apple tree17 so he could watch what was happening down below, originally thought it would. “We’ll each cut down a section of the forest. Whoever ﬁnishes ﬁrst will be master over the whole domain, and there will be no disputing the outcome. ” “Fine,” Legs-of-Wind sadly agreed. It was Sunday, a day when our friends Turtle and Legs-ofWind usually pulled on their striped linen pants and donned their ﬁne embroidered shirts and silk scarves to be admired by all in the village.
On the fourth day, she roasted some corn. Then, holding three copper coins and Ogún’s violet cloth, she threw it on the road using her left hand. On the ﬁfth day, walking to the left, without anyone seeing her, she tossed Orula’s12 green cloth on the corner of a street that closed off the night. On the sixth day – taking four steps forward, four steps backward, and always using her left hand – she dropped Odaiburukú’s13 orange cloth in the middle of the crossroads. And on the seventh day, she called Obatalá14 and spoke to him through the white cloth, because he can’t stand the sun.