Were the original inhabitants of the island of Cuba completely extinguished after the arrival of the Europeans? The Indigenous Cuba Project's main objective is to give a definitive answer to this controversy. Only sixty years after the arrival of Christopher Columbus in America it was considered that the native population of many Caribbean islands and specifically that of Cuba had been totally exterminated. However, during the twentieth century, various research conducted by anthropologists, ethnologists and historians begin to find evidence of the existence of small communities, in the easternmost mountainous region of Cuba, whose inhabitants still retain physical characteristics and traditions typical of Cuban aborigines and, even more, they recognize themselves as their descendants. The Indigenous Cuba Project was born as a continuation of these investigations, with the purpose of investigating, from Science and Art, how much has been transferred from the Cuban indigenous heritage to the present. Is it possible that the inhabitants of these small semi-isolated communities in the East of the island could be genetically connected with the original population? In addition, after the passage of more than 15 generations after the arrival of the Spaniards and incessant and successive mixtures, will these inhabitants retain the physical features that distinguished the Taino population that originally inhabited the region? How many of their socio-cultural traditions and practices have remained to this day? Which or what, finally, are their identities today? The Indigenous Cuba Project seeks to answer these questions from an integrative perspective and several starting points: - Documentary and field research: locating the geographic location of the possible groups and their documentary genealogy, which links them with the surnames imposed on the original inhabitants in the 16th century during the Encomiendas process. -Phenotypic identification, from the physical features of indigenous appearance, by obtaining individual photographs and obtaining body biometric data. - Genotypic identification from the DNA analysis of inhabitants of those communities whose physical characteristics and family history suggest their relationship with the original inhabitants. -Getting ethnographic, anthropological and sociological information of the communities identified as possible descendants of indigenous people. During 2018 and 2019 the Indigenous Cuba team has developed the First Phase of the Project, consisting of field work, sampling, photographs and DNA analysis on 100 people. For this, five expeditions have been made to the mountainous areas of the East of Cuba and to some population centers, with a route close to 12,000 km. In 2020 the Second Phase of the Project will begin, which includes the publication of a book and an itinerant exhibition that will contain the artistic and scientific results obtained in the first phase. It is, in short, a respectful approach to a controversial issue, in the search for elements that contribute to the development of a unified response, based on the use of new scientific and technological tools. The conclusions could help reinterpret some chapters in the history of Cuba and Spain. It is an artistic look made with the endorsement of science. Photography, genetics, history and society in an interesting and innovative combination that will constitute, in turn, a contribution to the understanding of the human map of the world.
About the rewards:
If you decide to support the Indigenous Cuba Project, it will be a pleasure to review your collaboration in our book, the exhibition and the documentary.
You will receive first-hand information about the evolution of the project and its results.
The largest contributions will receive a copy of the book dedicated and signed by the entire Indigenous Cuba Team.
The largest contributions may attend the opening of the exhibition or presentation of the documentary, where they will be reviewed.
Indigenous Cuba was born as a photographic Project, to which a group of scientists and researchers joined. That is why it is coordinated by the photographer Héctor Garrido. Also part of it is the doctor-geneticist Dr. Beatriz Marcheco, the Historian Alejandro Hartmann, the sociologist Enrique Gómez Cabezas and the photographer Julio Larramendi, among others.
These are the profiles:
Héctor Garrido -Photographer and General Coordinator of the Cuba Indígena project- (Huelva, Spain, 1969), Spanish photographer based in Havana (Cuba). He has developed a broad career in which his works stand out in which artistic photography and documentary photography alternate. They highlight the series of aerial photography inspired by the geometry of the earth's surface, as well as its portraits of illustrious personalities of art and culture in Cuba. For twenty years he has worked in the Doñana National Park for the Higher Council for Scientific Research, combining the photography and management of the Doñana Image Bank with support for scientific works. He has participated in scientific and photographic expeditions in the most remote places of the Planet in all its Continents. He has published 19 books, including Fractals, intimate anatomy of the marsh "and" Cuba illuminated. "He publishes his photographs regularly in magazines around the world (El Pais, El mundo, National Geographic, Generación, etc.). He has made several collaborations in the cinema, among which the films "The Minimum Island", (Alberto Rodríguez, 2014) and "Sergio and Sergei" (Ernesto Daranas, 2017) stand out. He has received a good number of international awards and recognitions and many of his photographs are studied in faculties and photography schools www.hectorgarrido.com.
Dr. Beatriz Marcheco -Genestist and Scientific Coordinator of the Indigenous Cuba Project- (Holguín, Cuba, 1970), Doctor of Medicine and Director of the National Center of Medical Genetics of Cuba. She is a Doctor in Medical Sciences from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Professor at the University of Medical Sciences of Havana and Researcher at the National Center of Medical Genetics of Cuba. She is an expert in genetics and public health (organization of services and programs for the prevention of genetic diseases and the development of genetic approaches in health promotion), genetic epidemiology, molecular genetics, mapping of genes associated with genetic and complex diseases, genetic studies of ethnic miscegenation of the Cuban population. It has 82 scientific publications in reference journals. He has received a good number of international awards and recognitions, including the Annual Awards of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018, the Sofia Kovalevskaia International Prize for women researchers from developing countries, 2017 and Hutchins Scholarship, Harvard University, 2015 and 2019.
Alejandro Hartmann -Histor of the Indigenous Cuba project- (Baracoa, Cuba, 1946). He is the Historian of the City of Baracoa. For more than 40 years he has dedicated himself to the historical research of the Primada city of Baracoa, being, in addition, Director of the Matachín Museum. He has participated in historical-cultural, ethnographic and speleo-archaeological research with a good number of universities and research centers in the world, among which the Universities of the East, Havana, Cornell (USA), Bologna (Italy), Academia de Sciences of Cuba and the Ministry of Culture. He is considered one of the most outstanding experts in the history and ethnography of the East of Cuba. He has published a good number of articles and books on history, archeology and culture. He was part of the team of the expeditions "In canoe from the Amazon to the Caribbean", in 1988 and "On the route of Hatuey: Santo Domingo-Baracoa", in 1992. He has received a good number of international awards and recognitions among which the National Distinction for the Cuban Culture and the Commendation of the Order of Civil Merit, by Edict of King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Dr. Julio A. Larramendi -Photographer and Editorial Coordinator of the Indigenous Cuba Project- (Santago de Cuba, Cuba, 1954). Dr. in Technical Sciences. Director of the Polymita Publishing House. Graduate of Middle Technician in Chemistry in 1975 at the USSR, Bachelor of Chemistry at the University of Havana in 1980 and Doctor of Science in 1994. He started in photography in 1969. Since 1997 he works as an independent artist. On that date he enters UPEC. He has given lectures, courses and photography workshops in Cuba and other countries. He has participated as organizer and president of the jury in international events and competitions in photography and advertising. He has worked as a photographer and director for various publications and numerous commercial productions, as well as a book editor. In 2007, he founded Ediciones Polymita, of which he is Editorial Director. 70 books have been published that include his photographs. His work has been exhibited in more than 100 personal and 60 collective shows in several cities of Cuba and in Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, Chile, South Korea, Costa Rica, Spain, USA, France, Guatemala, Guadeloupe, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Uruguay and Zimbabwe. The Julio Larramendi Gallery opened in 2003 at the Hotel Conde de Villanueva, in Old Havana. He has received a good number of international awards and recognitions, including the Felipe Poey Awards 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017 and 2018, Espacio 2016 Award for the work of a lifetime, chosen in 2001 by the Magazine CUBA-PHOTO among the 100 best Cuban photographers of the 20th century.
Dr. Enrique J. Gómez Cabezas -Sociologist of the Indigenous Cuba Project- (Havana, Cuba, 1970). Doctor in Sociological Sciences and Master in Community Development. Deputy Director of the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research (CIPS). Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. National Director of the Social Workers Program (2003 - 2012). Deputy to the National Assembly in the VI and VII Legislatures (2003-2013). Coordinator of the Research Group "Social Structure and Inequalities" of the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research (2013-). Co-author of the Annual Award of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, 2014: "Cuba: Study of the history of miscegenation and the genetic basis of skin pigmentation, using autosomal and uniparental markers." Collaborator of the Annual Prize of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, 2018: “Impact of the program of prevention of anemia by fake red blood cells in Cuba: 1982-2016.” It has a high number of scientific publications. Teaching performance: Assistant Professor linked to postgraduate teaching. Member of the cloister of the collaborative curricular PhD Development Community, Community Development Center of the Central University "Marta Abreu" de las Villas. Principal Professor of the Public Policies course of the PhD in “Community Social Development” of the Faculty of Social and Humanistic Sciences of the University of Camagüey “Ignacio Agramonte”. Member of the cloister of the Cuban Society Diploma of the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research. He teaches the module: "Public policies and socio-structural dynamics". Member of the cloister of the master's degree in Genetic Counseling, of the National Center of Medical Genetics. He teaches the contents: Social Determinants of Health and Community Development, belonging to the Genetic Epidemiology module. Professor of postgraduate courses sponsored by CIPS: “Inequalities and Social Policies in Cuba”, taught at the CIPS Symposium, Havana, 2015; “Public policies and social inequalities: an approach to the Cuban case”, given in the framework of the I Science and Technology Convention, Havana, 2016; “Socio-structural dynamics in the current Cuban context”, during the CIPS Symposium 2018. He has been a thesis tutor for postgraduate studies and has been part of the courts for the defense of masters and doctorates.
Laura de la Uz - General Producer of the Indigenous Cuba Project - (Havana, Cuba, 1970). Actress and producer. He has developed a brilliant career that encompasses both cinema, theater and television, making a total of 28 films for cinema, among which his leading performances stand out in Hello Hemingway (1990), Madagascar (1993), Ana's Film (2013) and Wedding Dress (2015). His roles in Cuban theater classics such as Electra Garrigó, La Boda or Delirio Habanero and in serials such as Blanco y Negro No! and Oh, Havana! They have been highly praised by the Cuban public and critics. In 1992 he graduated from the National School of Theater Instructors in Havana, specializing in acting, direction and pedagogy. His film debut was still a student, when in 1990, he starred in the film Hello Hemingway directed by Fernando Pérez, for which he won his first Coral for the best female performance (XII International Festival of New Latin American Cinema). In 2000 he graduated from the International School of Gesture and Image "La Mancha" in Santiago, Chile, specializing in movement, pampering, masks, white pantomime, comic strip, art comedy, melodrama, choir, tragedy, jester and clown. He has received 23 international awards for his performances in film and theater and 3 international nominations. She has won two Choral Awards for Best Performance at the New Latin American Film Festival in Havana (1990 and 2012) and has been nominated twice for Best Actress at the Platinum Awards (2014 and 2015).
Other members who have been part of the Indigenous Cuba Project Team: José Barreiro (Anthropologist), Paola Larramendi (Production), Salvador Campos (volunteer), Amaranta Valenzuela (volunteer), and the drivers Rey, Eliecer and Coqui.
Who supports the Indigenous Cuba Project
The First Phase of the Indigenous Cuba Project has been carried out so far thanks to the contributions of different entities, mainly from Cuba and Spain.
They are the following:
Participating Entities: Office of the Historian of the City of Baracoa, Project Calle 2, National Center of Medical Genetics of Cuba, Editorial Polymita and Center for Psychological and Sociological Research.
Entities that collaborate: National Council of Cultural Heritage of Cuba, Network of Offices of the Historian and Conservator of the Patrimonial Cities of Cuba, Ministry of Culture of the Embassy of Spain in Cuba, Staten Serum Institut Copenhagen, Max Planck Science of Human History Jena, Huelva City Council, Banco Sabadell and Office of the Historian of the City of Havana.
What will we allocate your contributions
The First Phase of the Indigenous Cuba Project has been carried out successfully in 90%, although it is necessary to carry out two new expeditions to the mountains of the East of Cuba with three objectives:
1) Repeat some DNA samples that are not They have been able to obtain results and they are essential to complete the Project.
2) Personally deliver to each participant the results of the DNA analysis performed in the previous expeditions. Report the general results in each community.
3) Prospect two areas that have been recently detected and that could host a community not yet registered by the Project.
The objective is the realization of these two new expeditions that have the following execution dates:
1) EXP 1/20: From February 3 to 12, 2020.
2) EXP 2/20: From April 1 to 15, 2020.
At the end of the second of the expeditions indicated and the analysis of the results, the First Phase of the Indigenous Cuba Project is closed. Since December 2019, the Second Phase of the project is already underway, which is the one that includes all the informative work, which are:
1) Publication of the book "Indigenous Cuba" (expected date of mid-2020 appearance).
2) Preparation and commencement of the international roaming of the exhibition "Project Indigenous Cuba" (expected date of opening mid / late 2020).
3) At the same time, in May 2021 the recording of a documentary about the Indigenous Cuba Project will begin (expected date of presentation mid 2021).