Guantanamo, Cuba, April 25 (Prensa Latina) With the collaboration of Campana publishing house from New York, the version in English language of the book ”Panchito, Cacique de Montana” will go the public, its author Jose Barreiro said Wednesday.
The work published by Casa de las Americas in 2016, collects the testimony of Francisco Ramirez Rojas (Panchito), La Rancheria leader, located at La Caridad de los Indios (Native Charity) where there are the largest number of native descendants in Cuba.
Barrero indicated this new edition in English will allow knowing the culture and idiosyncrasies of a population virtually extinct and the emphasis of researchers such as the Cuban speleologist Antonio Nunez Jimenez, Eusebio Leal and Alejandro Hartman, (Historian of Baracoa) could save this culture from oblivion.
The US researcher of Cuban origin explained to Prensa Latina that the stereotypes and historical prejudices led to errors in the perception of native culture in Cuba, which has changed little during the past three decades.
“I thought to find natives with feathers, spears and loincloths. Nothing is further from the truth; there is a mixture of culture, but the heritage is there and the Panchito’s testimony proves it,” said Barreiro, who for more than 22 years has dedicated part of his time to travel the Guantanamo highlands to study these communities.
Barreiro assured to this Cuban agency that it is a mistake to believe the mixing of cultures cancels identity; those persons have their customs, rites and perception of world based on love and respect to Mother Land and Father Sun.
The work “Panchito, Cacique de Montana” was published for the first time in 2000 by Cathedral Editions from Santiago de Cuba.
Doctor Jose Barreiro, PhD was Vice Director of Research and Head of the Latin America Office of the Smithsonian National Museum of American Natives and member of the Native Nations of Antilles. He is also one of the pioneers in publications about Native Americans in his country.