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Rhumba and Rumba

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Rhumba and Rumba Rhumba and rumba are two very different though similar stylistically and in name. Rumba has become a large pat of national identity and its African roots are easily noticed through both its sound and dance. Rumba is closely linked to the past and present condition of the Cubans who celebrate it and it has always closely mirrored the life of the Afro-Cuban and like the Afro-Cuban held a strong tie to Africa. Rumba as described by Yvonne Daniel is an event that originated in the mid 1800's where free and enslaved blacks gathered to dance and socialize and at these Rumbas where rumba, the dance and music, was first practiced. Rumba can also be considered to be the name of a dance, a rhythm, and a group of related dances, together called the rumba complex, which evolved in the nineteenth century (Daniel 18). ...read more.


In the first part of the 1900's, before the Cuban Revolution, Cuba was one of the hottest vacation spots in the world. Political corruption made mafia casino development a profitable avenue in Cuba, where American tourists could drink and do drugs without the consequences these actions incurred in the USA. Prostitution, alcohol, and drugs were very much a part of the Cuban economy and as always seemed to hurt the impoverished the most. The impoverished Afro-Cubans brought with them not only their labor but also their culture and art to this nightlife. Cuban dance, especially the rumba, became a sort of infatuation with conservative American tourists who marveled at its sexuality and rhythm who came to Cuba to "let loose." ...read more.


The Catholic Church and the Caribbean slave plantation environment set boundaries in Cuban dance forcing a creolization of the African forms brought by the slaves. The Rumba has become an important emblem of Cuban national identity because it is distinctly Cuban and Creole and not identified with elite or bourgeois origins and ideals. It has been shaped to express the desires of both the revolution and the Cuban people. Rumba truly expresses the essence of post revolutionary Cuba and its efforts toward egalitarian organization. The African roots in rumba can be seen in its strong sensuality and sexuality where sexual invitation characterizes the heart and soul of the dance and its movements. The separation of men and women also points towards the African heritage of the rumba originators and how they carried over traditional African dancing and made a Creole style distinctly Cuban, or more generally Caribbean. ...read more.

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