Areito, the Cuban music of the aboriginal people

The Cuban musical tradition has its origins in the most authentic elements of the culture and history of the island. Even the Cuban aboriginal population had certain musical tradition known as Areito.

The Areitos were a kind of rhymes or romances they danced and sang at the same time. They found inspiration in their every-day lives and they were sung in chorus or individually by a person whose task was to lead the dance and / or the story. This person was named Tequina who was generally an elder person.

Sometimes they used to dance taking their hands while in others they interlaced their arms. Thus, they moved to the rhythm with their bodies performing some front and back steps. An areito could last up to the following day with all the community gathered, in the center of the small village and situated around the bonfire.

The Anacaona areito is an example of this cultural expression, which is dedicated to an outstanding aboriginal woman and says:

“Aya bomba ya Bombay

La massana Anacaona

Van van tavana dogal

Aya bomba ya Bombay

La massana Anacaona”

Those compositions were changing from their most primitive forms with the Spanish colonization and they influenced the cultural traditions of the Cuban countryside.

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