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realclearworld

Exotic noble savages of Cuba never fail to delight civilized visitors

Hey, Mildred, quick, get a load of this!

Thank God for the crack journalists of the free world who offer us a glimpse of the lives of ordinary Cubans as they celebrate the anniversary of their glorious Revolution.

I tell you Mildred, this is what really, really matters.  This is a real reform, allowing Cubans to set up a sacred image in a courtyard for the first time!

I hope all people-to-people tours of Cuba will include a visit to this ritual from now on.  I can't wait to go to that tropical paradise, Mildred... simply can't wait to slit the goat's throat,  dance and sing, and stick a chicken head on top of the sacred image!

from ABC News:

Cubans usher in 2014 with idols, animal sacrifice, singing and dancing

Cuban followers of the Santeria faith beat sacred drums, sacrificed animals and sang ceremonial songs in the Yoruba tongue Monday to give thanks for the year's blessings and ask for prosperity in 2014.

About 200 believers and onlookers thronged Havana's most important market, Cuatro Caminos, for the ceremony dedicated to Eshu-Elegbara, the deity associated with markets and commerce, and also protector of the universe.

"This year was good, it was prosperous," said Victor Betancourt, a "babalawo," or Santeria priest.

In a central courtyard at the market, people sprayed rum from their mouths at a 2-foot-tall cement-and-stone statue of Eshu-Elegbara, crowned with spiral shells. At its base, they left offerings of coconut, watermelon, candy and flowers.

Two goats and two roosters were slaughtered, and their blood used to bathe the icon.

Administrators at Cuatro Caminos authorized babalawos to erect the statue in the patio for the first time this year.

"These offerings have been made here since 1996, but now we've gotten them to let us put it up permanently," Betancourt said.

Cuban Santeria is a syncretic faith mixing Catholicism and African traditions that were brought here long ago by slaves. It is the island's principal religion, with millions of followers.

4 comments to Exotic noble savages of Cuba never fail to delight civilized visitors

  • Rayarena

    How nice. Can you imagine if an international news agency were to go to the worst ghetto neighborhood in the USA and profiled a marginal group of trashy people and said, this is how Americans do A, B or C?

    But then again, there's no problem here. The mainstream media has always hammered nails into the coffin of Cuba. Besides, this is the image that the media has always believed [or purported to believe] of Cuba, an image that the Cuba-hating castro brothers have always been only to happy to comply with. On the other hand, the people that they have always had problems with--that they truly hate-- were the Miami Cubans, because, they're, well, too, you know, bourgeoisie and white, even though, they're really "LATEENOS" and "people of color."

  • asombra

    It's not just an "exotic" anthropological angle behind this sort of piece, though that's part of it. It's also that it gratifies a lot of people to think this is what Cuba is about. It dovetails very nicely with their assumed superiority and overweening condescension, or it justifies their view of "those people" as uppity Chihuahuas "passing" for white and putting on airs, or it "validates" their implicit acceptance of totalitarian tyranny for "primitive" third-world people, who deserve no better than "free" health care and education because they're just not able to manage a first-world democratic system (not advanced enough, you see--or good enough, for that matter). This kind of Cuba coverage is a prime example of its kind, the sort of thing that should be archived and studied for years to come, and most certainly remembered. Never forget this shit, or those who peddle it while turning a blind eye to the truth and what really matters.

  • Rayarena

    As always, Asombra, you hit the nail on the head!

  • Carlos Eire

    Amen! Thanks, Asombra, for always hitting the nail so perfectly, so beautifully.