Are There Indians in Cuba or Were They All Killed? (Video with Eng. subtitles)

fotograma-indio-03HAVANA TIMES — A descendant of the Indian people of Cuba maintains strong links with his ancestors. He questions the past and present world with a commitment to maintain and renew their legacy to transmit it on to new generations.

Director: Karel Ducasse (20 min.)

 

INDIO (Documental) from havanatimes on Vimeo.



15 thoughts on “Are There Indians in Cuba or Were They All Killed? (Video with Eng. subtitles)

  • I have research this subject for nearly 25 years. The original indians are long gone but after W.W 1 some indians were brought to Cuba from other Caribbean Islands to work in the fields.

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    • Please go to Yara and Boma(intricate communities) in the municipality of Baracoa, Guantanamo province and there they are not many but still some beautiful and unbelievable Indian looking people. I couldn’t believe it!!! They look like tainos… Even I have seen this 10 year old girl that seemed like a living character from the Cuban history books. Her skin was like chocolate, with big brown eyes and her black hair went under her hips. She was Indian, we were pretty sure you couldn’t be more pure Indian than that.

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      • Eastern Cuba has lots of Native-American descendants and their genes are also all over the population in the Provinces of Guantánamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Holguín, Las Tunas and Camagüey. In the Valleys of the Moa and Toa rivers, just NW of Baracoa, there are people who claim to be Native Americans in hiding here for 500 years. This documentary would have been much more complete with a tour of these areas and interviews with the People there.
        In Camagüey (Place of the “Big House” or “Palace” in Ciboney), our family has the legend of “Juana La Bella”, who married our first paternal ancestor from Andalucía in the early 1700’s and began our Cuban heritage. In the marriage act he is listed by name, with the names of his parents and place of birth, while she, on the other hand, is simply recorded as “Joan the Beautiful” and it mentions that she was “a very good Christian” but nothing else as to who were her parents and where she was born. All the indications are then that she was Native-American and her name was a Spanish approximation of Wanakabeya, a common Taíno (Arawak), woman’s name.
        To me Atwey and Warina, the 2 war-chiefs of the united Native resistance to the Spanish colonization in the 1500’s, are as big heroes as Pancho Villa, Ho Chi Mihn, Nelson Mandela, Ché Guevara or Fidel Castro.

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        • He looks more mulatto than meztizo to me. He just does not look very asiatic in my opinion. I have seen alot of these brown cubans that would call themselves native american before admitting to prominent African admixture.

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          • We are a very mixed people both in Cuba and in Canada, also keep in mind that appearances are highly deceiving. Many Aboriginal Canadians look more like White People than Natives because of interbreeding, the Whites had both the political and the economic power and they screwed the Amerindians here both figuratively and literally, but never as bad as in the USA. Here “they” tried to assimilate the Native people, in the USA “they” tried to wipe them out!

          • Oh the stereotypes.

    • It certainly appears that the original people of Guanahabibes have gone, but I like Jessica have observed people in and around Baracoa who appear from their features to have some Taino blood.
      It is one of the unfortunate habits of white supremacist types to talk of all the native peoples of the Americas as “Indians” lumping together such different peoples as the Inuit, Cherokee and Inca.
      Try to persuade Vladamir Putin as a Serb that he should be lumped together with the Norwegians, Irish and Portuguese.
      Which Caribbean countries still had “Indians’ after WW 1 ?

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    • I know of Yaqui people from Mexico who were brought over to Cuba to grow sisal for cordage during this period as indentured servants, few returned to Mexico, resettling in what were then Oriente and Camagüey provinces.

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      • I am currently doing research on the Yaqui and have read only once in passing that some Yaqui were also deported to Cuba. Do you happen to still remember where you read or heard about this? Thank you very much!

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    • that makes sense…..mexico,guatamala maybe panama

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  • Been to all – They are imports.

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  • there are a few of them down there that might have some native’s blood but not all pure breed, the cubans like in any other country where europeans settled are all mixed up, I have found french mixed with russians, spanish mixed with africans, americans mixed with pitbulls(humor here), indians(from india) mixed with criollos, chinesse mixed with spanish, spanish mixed with spanish which were originally mixed with arabs….and the list goes on, the curious thing is that after the revolution many parts of the island created their own culture, they have very distinct accent when you move from one part to the other…such for a small country

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  • I found this film haunting–yet hopeful. Although the “Indian” who is its principal subject is one of the last of his line, still, his attitude is positive, and shows great insight into his condition and identity; his attitude contrasts with many “Indians” in the U.S. and Canada, who are often self-destructive (a characteristic of defeated, crushed, peoples). Although living in Habana, in the midst of a modern, urban world, his attitude contrasts sharply with that of the “Indian” who is transported from Arizona to London in “Brave New World.” As long as there is even one “Indian” left who retains an identity and consciousness like his, his race and culture has not been exterminated.

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  • having a pony tail doesn’t make a native person,I would say maybe fractional remnants that are highly mixed,it takes allot of native indian genes to keep it alive among millions of African slaves and European imports, I doubt any real original culture or Indians exist beyong extinct remnants,they probably prefer to hide the dominant African mulatto roots and call it Indian..a common practice.its also possible Mexican indians,panamanians or guatamalans were mported to work the fields.

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  • All the DNA studies are verifying that Taino blood still flows in at least 30% of the people in Cuba, 15% of the people in the Dominican Republic and 62% in the people of Puerto Rico. Yes Taino descended people are mixed but that does not make them less Indian, persons with as little as one sixteen Black ancestry are allowed to identify as Black but people with up to 40 % Indian ancestry can not claim Indian identity? That mindset has a double standard and borders on on an arrogance where they pretend to tell others who is or is not Indian.

    Reply

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