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Cuban Intangible Heritage: Tumba Francesa
The work of Cuban researchers, sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) with three community ensembles that keep the traditions of the Tumba Francesa alive: Tumba de Santa Catalina de Ricci (Guantanamo), Tumba de la Caridad de Oriente (Santiago de Cuba) and Tumba de Bejuco (Holguin), was exposed in the morning session.

To keep the tradition of the Tumba Francesa alive as testimony of the cultural diversity and to link Tumba Francesa dancers and local institutions to guarantee the transmission of the legacy, was one of the objectives that boosted the plan to safeguard that tradition.

Montserrat Martell, UNESCO's cultural expert in Havana, affirmed the plan of Sustainability and Safeguard of Tumba Francesa made the opportune dialogue viable among the traditional and current contributions.

The dance, song and drumming style known as Tumba Francesa (French Drum), brought to Cuba by Haitian slaves who were resettled in the island's eastern regions following the unrest in Haiti during the Haitian Revolution, was declared by UNESCO first Master Piece of the Oral and Immaterial Patrimony of Humanity of Cuba in 2003.

It embodies one of the oldest and most tangible links to the Afro-Haitian heritage of Cuba's eastern province and developed from an eighteenth- century fusion of music from Dahomey in West Africa and traditional French dances.

The popularity of Tumba Francesa reached its peak at the end of the nineteenth century.


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