The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 44, Issue 2

Article 3
Slavery and African Identity Patterns in Eighteenth-Century Cuba: Some Directions

Flávio dos Santos Gomes


In this article, I analyse patterns of classifications and naming of African “nations” in colonial Cuba. Based on parish records, I suggest possible interpretations of African patterns of classification, identities and social arrangements during the formation of Cuban plantations over the course of the eighteenth century. I discuss some of the methodological implications that can be explored regarding marriages of enslaved people in Cuba based on ecclesiastical sources, chiefly in the case of Guanabacoa. I have furthered the social/demographic analysis of “nations” in Cuba, underscoring how Africans could have been the agents of networks and alliances through organizational strategies and the formation of identities.