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tumba francesa slave dance in Cuba

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Published on May 5, 2007

This is a dance form created by slaves in Haiti copying the 18th century menuets and dances they saw their masters doing since around 1750. Their masters were the French slave owners chased out of Haiti when Toussaint l'Ouverture overthrew their colonial masters. The French came to Cuba with their slaves. They dress in simple copies of the dress of the time and the music is strictly drums. The leader of this group is a direct descendant of the original slaves. We saw a group of only a dozen, as the full complement of a further 12 didn't show up. There was even a dance with a maypole.

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