News of the abolition of slavery in Brazil was published in the New York Times on May 16, 1888, three days after the passage of the Lei Áurea, or Golden Law. Brazilian Agriculture Minister Rodrigo Augusto da Silva (referred to as “Roderigo Silva” in the article) was the principal drafter of the law. The “Regent” mentioned above is the Imperial Princess Isabel, daughter of Emperor Pedro II. Grover Cleveland was more than halfway through his first non-consecutive term as President of the United States at the time.
Afro-Cubans and Sierra Leoneans bridge the gap in documentary, They Are We
Can a family separated for 170 years by the transatlantic slave trade sing and dance its way back together again? THEY ARE WE tells a story of survival against the odds, and how determination and shared humanity can triumph over the bleakest of histories.
The Brazilian Senate passing the law that abolished slavery in the country.
May 13, 1888.
Parasols and umbrellas have been a staple of burlesque since the advent of the genre, conjuring femininity of a particularly coy and flirtatious variety, especially for white and light-skinned dancers eager able to trade on the popular image of the Southern belle in their stage routines. But for Latina, Black, and dark-complected artists advertised as “Harlem cuties, ebony sexologists, and Afro-Cuban specialists” in the United States and Canada, this accessory came loaded with regionally specific cultural associations:
Umbrellas, both furled and unfurled, are seen in the Mardi Gras and jazz funeral marches of New Orleans, in Brazil, in the brushback dance of Trinidad, and again among the cakewalk dancers in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Ribbons are attached to the top of the open umbrellas, and feathered birds are used as finials, much as among the Asante people of Southern Ghana and elsewhere in Africa. The umbrella’s use in New Orleans parades is symbolic, rhythmic, and practical in serving as parasols against the blistering sun. These highly decorated umbrellas are not used in the rain, however…
Among Afro-Caribbean dancers, parasols may have also connoted the historical displays of sacred power documented in Santería Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion, passed down through oral tradition and obliquely referenced in the secular revelry of contemporary carnival:
The finery of cabildo queens [at the head of Afro-Cuban religious and mutual-aid societies during the colonial period] included puff-shouldered, flowing gowns with petticoats, jewelry, and large umbrellas, as documented by the Spanish costumbrista painter, Víctor Patricio de Landaluze (1828-89)…
Not only the Kongo-Angola groups, but many West African groups as well, who had also built much of their royal and martial iconography upon European imports—for example, thrones, banners, prestige cloth, and umbrellas—must have arrived in Cuba already familiar with iconographically hybridized royal displays.
By Martín Jamieson
Full article here
posted by Vio
To Be An AfroLatino - http://vimeo.com/64934634