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The Gaga Party held at the Barrancas town, almost in the center of the eastern Cuban areas, is an endless parade of music, dance and colors, a complete stage for the display of the French – Haitian roots of the national culture.

It is the IV festival dedicated to this topic, which is held for four days in a remote area of the Palma Soriano municipality.

It consists of songs, dances, food, language, customs and religious expressions of the so called portadores, who are present in several Cuban provinces.

There is much of Haiti, by its own right, in the Cuban history and culture, said the diseased intellectual and researcher, Joel James, and this party is an example of it.

There were two migrations moments from the neighbor Island towards Cuba. The first one from the 1791 revolution held in the so called Saint Dominique and the second at the beginnings of the XX century, when thousand of people came to Cuba in search of work and better future.

The Gaga is a fruit of the last migration, when those workers started to gather together each year to celebrate, as in their country, coinciding with the Christian festivity of the Holly Week.

The Haitian workers were taken even their names, so, they found in this party a way to perpetuate the main cultural traditions brought from their land and establish a spiritual link with their black homeland.

As time went by, the traditions and songs passed from one generation of another and now it is possible to appreciate the authenticity and richness.

Dancers, choirs and musicians recalled the energies of the nature to make a sensual and painful show with deep meanings.

During the party it is sang and dance to Gods of the Vudu pantheon (the snake is the most important of them). Dances include, many times, games with fire and machete.

Merengue, libó, mazón and congó call are made with their own instruments, such as baksin and corne (pieces of tubes of different length) or with other instruments such as the hoe.

The dances are based in the strong and rhythmic movements. There is skills and sensuality, but also words said in Creole language.

Today, this spirituality is part of the mixture that identifies the Cuban culture, which pays tribute in this Gaga party to everybody who cultivated it for generations.

Source Prensa Latina and Cubarte

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