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By Jalane D. Schmidt

Cuba’s consumer saint, the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, also referred to as Cachita, is a powerful image of Cuban nationwide id. Jalane D. Schmidt indicates how teams as various as Indians and African slaves, Spanish colonial officers, Cuban independence infantrymen, Catholic specialists and laypeople, intellectuals, newshounds and artists, practitioners of spiritism and Santería, activists, politicians, and revolutionaries every one have built and disputed the meanings of the Virgin. Schmidt examines the events from 1936 to 2012 whilst the Virgin's liked, unique brown-skinned effigy used to be faraway from her nationwide shrine within the majority black- and mixed-race mountaintop village of El Cobre and taken into Cuba's towns. There, devotees commemorated and Cachita's picture via city streets, accumulating at large-scale public ceremonies in her honor that promoted competing claims approximately Cuban faith, race, and political ideology. Schmidt compares those spiritual rituals to different contemporaneous Cuban road occasions, together with carnival, protests, and innovative rallies, the place organizers degree performances of contested definitions of Cubanness. Schmidt presents a complete therapy of Cuban religions, heritage, and tradition, interpreted throughout the prism of Cachita.

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Extra resources for Cachita's Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba

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Next, a small population of Indians, enslaved Africans, and their creole black and mulato (mixed Spanish and African) descendants in the small copper mining village of Santiago del Prado y Real de Minas del Cobre (hereafter El Cobre) insisted that the Virgin of Charity was their heavenly patron. Given these modest beginnings, by what avenues did the Virgin of Charity come to such prominence in Cuba? In this chapter, I provide an overview of the spread of the cult of the Virgin of Charity (hereafter “the Virgin”) within the colonial history, culture, and landscape of Oriente in order to situate the reader within the Virgin’s milieu.

In the case of the institutionalization of the Virgin’s cult, however, there existed some confluence between “popÂ�uÂ�lar” and “official” efforts, which in any case should not be neatly bifurcated. By examining the early seventeenth-Â� century history of the finding of the Virgin’s image in the Bay of Nipe, and ensuing proÂ�cessions from the Hato de Barajagua to El Cobre and within the village there, we will see a phenomenon that became a pattern in subsequent centuries: Authorities regarded low-Â�status devotees’ local devotions to the Virgin with cautious approval, while wishing to exercise a guiding hand to promote orthopraxis.

In nearly every resÂ�pect, Oriente was commanding less attention from colonial and ecclesial officials, and in this paucity of Â�legal, civic, and pastoral oversight grew creole categories of racially mixed peoples, cimarrón (escaped slave) settlements, contraband trade, pirate attacks, and religious indifference or creativity. By 1670, Â�after half a Â�century of unsuccessful and quarrelous attempts by private contractors from the Eguiluz Â�family to meet royal quotas for extracting profit from El Cobre’s copper mining enterprises, the Crown reasserted ownÂ�ership of the dwindling mines and of the now 271 bondsmen in El Cobre (M.

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