Introduction: <i>Comparsas</i>, <i>Congas</i>, and <i>Chambelonas</i>

Thomas F. Anderson

in Carnival and National Identity in the Poetry of Afrocubanismo

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035581
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038131 | DOI:
Introduction: Comparsas, Congas, and Chambelonas

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Focusing on the representations of carnival and its comparsas (carnival bands and music), this book offers new readings of poems by seminal Cuban poets, examining how their poetic work illustrating these traditions both contributed to and detracted from the growth of a tangible Afro-Cuban identity. All of these poems relate in some way or the other to the cultural and intellectual phenomenon known as Afrocubanismo. This phenomenon thrived in Havana, initiating in the late 1920s. The book examines, from a literary perspective, the long-running debate between the proponents of Afro-Cuban cultural manifestations and the predominantly white Cuban intelligentsia, who viewed these traditions as “backward” and counter to the interests of the young Republic.

Keywords: Cuban poets; Afro-Cuban culture; poems; Afrocubanismo; comparsas; Congas; carnival; national identity

Chapter.  8559 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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