Festival, Havana, Cuba, 1847


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Image Reference
ILN026

Source
The Illustrated London News (Jan. 15, 1848), vol. 12, p. 26. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments
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).