Waiting for Plantation Food Rations, Cuba, ca. 1866

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This record was last updated on 04 May 2012

Image Reference

Samuel Hazard, Cuba with pen and pencil (Hartford, Conn., 1871), p. 360.

The author, who visited Cuba ca. 1866, describes a large sugar plantation, or estate. "The bulk of the hands used in the general operations of the place, cutting cane, plowing, etc. are known as the gente, or people. They are pretty well taken care of as regards food . . . at least in quantity . The clothing . . . is limited, the children usually going about stark naked, the women with only a calico dress on, and the men wearing only their pants. it is rather a novel sight, at the eleven o'clock halt from work, to see these people gathering for their rations, which are served out to them once a day" (pp. 360-61). Person in right foreground is playing a guitar. In its digital gallery, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York City), shows a photograph (stereograph) of a "plantation view" in Cuba (image 1657420) that is clearly related to the image shown here -- which was probably based on the photograph (thanks to Roberta Kilkenny for bringing this to our attention).