Festival, Havana, Cuba, 1847

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This record was last updated on 26 Jan 2015

Image Reference

The Illustrated London News (Jan. 15, 1848), vol. 12, p. 26.

This sketch of the Twelfth Day Festival, or "Day of the Kings, as it is called in Havana" was taken by an English visitor to Havana on 6 January 1847, and sent to the Illustrated London News which reports "It represents an annual custom--a kind of Saturnalia--permitted by the authorities to the Slaves or Negroes of what they call 'Nacion,' or Nation--that is to say, those born in Africa . . ." (p. 148). Note, musical instruments and elaborate costumes, representing different ethnic groups. For a related illustration of this festival, see image Album-8 on this website. For details on Havana's annual "El Dia de Reyes" festival, see Daniel E. Walker, No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2004).