The Female Slave in Cuba during the first half of the Nineteenth Century

  • Digna Castañeda


African slavery, a historical phenomenon of the New World, is seen with the greatest clarity and depth in Cuban colonial society, in the role and place of the slave woman. The African slave women, despite the great suffering they endured, managed to keep in their minds their native land and part of their culture. As a consequence, they not only fed and protected their offspring, but also taught them about Africa, life, freedom and survival. In this way, they ensured that the slaves would not become mere biological fuel1 for the economic and cultural development of Europe but helped to establish the slaves’ biological and cultural footprints. In brief, they guaranteed the survival of their race, and even more, they played an outstanding part in the wars for national independence in Cuba.


Nineteenth Century Sugar Mill Slave Trade Colonial Authority Female Slave 
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  1. 2.
    See Cirilo Villaverde, Cecilia Valdés, p. 266, quoted by Alain Yacou in Esclavage et Conscience Revolutionnaire à Cuba (Dans la Prémière Moitie du XIXe Siècle), (Pointe-à-Pitre: April 1969), p. 3.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Ibid., p. 5Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    See Digna Casteñada Fuertes, La Revolución Haitiana, 1791–1804, (Havana City: Social Sciences Publishing House, 1992).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See Fernando Portuondo, Historia de Cuba, (Havana: National Publishing House, 1975), p. 196.Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    Fernando Ortíz, Los Negros Esclavos, (Havana: Social Sciences Publishing House, 1975), p. 196.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Department of History, U.W.I., Mona, Jamaica 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Digna Castañeda

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