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The City of Habana's current name was derived from the slain Taino king Habanaguanex.

Like so many of the 500 Nations, the Taino culture, science and spiritual traditions were all

wiped out by the conquering Spaniards who later spawned captain Cortez to govern the port of Habana.   Of course Cortez became restless in his position in Cuba eventually disobeying orders from Spain he eventually led an army to South America and a bloody slaughter iof the Aztecs. 

Later Pizzaro managed to simply infect the Incas with chicken pox.  All these events came after Christopher Columbus made the rounds in the Caribe ports systematically killing anyone who appeared in his path.  The rest of the Taino that survived eventually died off from the stress and duress under the tyranny of the Spanish who only needed them for labor. 


Once the Taino were gone it became necessary to import slaves from East Africa.  With them came music and the spiritual traditions such as Sangria and the Orishas.  Such traditions could have become totally extinct in Cuba had it not been for some cunning compromises by the Orisha followers who blended their dieties along side the dieties of the Spanish church.  In fact, there exists little in common other than the fact both societies were able to find commonground.  Many of the Orisha ceremonies are steeped in secrecy and unwavering tradition.  With most marriage ceremonies restricted in Cuba to designated government offices, it is hard to detect anyone's religous persuasion however, the Orishas religious practices are evident everywhere in Cuba and really pronounced in many contemporary dance companies and music groups. 


Let us not forget the spirits of the Taino ancestors who suffered and died at the hands of men who were eaten by ambition, ignorance and greed.  The Taino are just one of hundreds of tribes that became extinct and largely forgotten due to the fact every aspect of their culture came to an end along with their lives.  Very little remains of their language and traditions and their cosmology.  By all historic records they were simple people living within the natural boundaries of their environment.  They were egalitarian people unprpared for war. 


Mocombo has dedicated to compositions on Mocombo In Habana Project, CD 2 'Bucanero Dance'.

Track 5: Taino Spirits 6:45  & Track 7: Prayer for The Taino 8:02.