HISTORICAL FACTS: about the Afro-Paraguayans
The Kamba are Bantus from Kenya, mostly known for their hunting skills.Apart from Kenya, they are also found in Tanzania, Uganda and Paraguay. The Paraguay Kamba form two groups
(Kamba Cua’ and Kamba kokue)
Note: The Kamba Cua’ are famous for their traditional ballet dance that is described as “the central cultural identity of the Afro paraguayan Community!!!!
Afro-Paraguayan are Paraguayans of African descent. They can be found in Camba Cua outside Asuncion; Kamba Kokue outside Paraguari, and the city of Emboscada.nCurrently, the Afro-Paraguayan population accounts for 1% of the total population.
The first African slaves arrived at Paraguay in 1556. The majority of the slaves were of Nigerian and Angolan origin, similar to other black slaves arriving in South American from the slave trade. According to Argentine historian José Ignacio Telesca, the slaves that entered legally came from the slave ports of Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Córdoba, while those that entered illegally came from Brazil.
The Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza – who reached the Rio de Plata in the 16th century and was appointed its viceroy – brought enslaved Africans to Paraguay. According to the Telesca, more than 4% of the population were slaves in colonial times, keeping the same percentage in the 19th century after independence. However, according to the Kamba Cuá “Afro-Paraguayan Association”, in 1782, the black population represented 11.2 percent of the total population of the then Province of Paraguay.
This population continued to increase according to Telesca, and by 1811 half of the Paraguayan population was of African descent, whether slave or free. So, several towns like Aregua, Emboscada (in English: “Ambush”), and Guarambare were established as black communities.
With the arrival of Artigas’ also arrived, curiously, people of Kamba ethnicity, a Kenyan ethnic group, from Uruguay, who settled in Paraguay in the 1820s.They arrived in a regiment of 250 spearmen, men and women, who accompanied General Jose Gervasio Artigas, the revolutionary leader of the now Uruguay, in his exile in Paraguay. The Kamba Cua were dispossessed of their land by General Higinio Morinigo in the 1940s. Of his 100 hectares, they stayed with 3 hectares.
The United Nations declared 2011 the International Year of People of African Descent in order to strengthen national policies and international cooperation for the benefit of this group to achieve, in theory, the satisfaction of all their rights, their participation, and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and promote greater understanding and respect for the diverse heritage and culture of these people.
In this context in Paraguay has been developing the tour of a show called “Negritud de colores” (Negritude Colors) that runs different cities. It is a show of Afro-Latin American music and dance scene that rises to 25 artists to develop a wide repertoire of songs, chants, and dances with rescued African roots of this continent. The Paraguayan singer Mariví Vargas, the team of musicians and a group of drummers and dancers Kamba Cua led by Lazaro Medina offer a show that aims to bring African culture and make visible the collective African descent.
Showing and themes from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Mexico and Cuba and of course of Paraguay, with the presentation of the galloping “San Baltasar” and “Kamba la Merce,” a rich description of the dances related popular culture, plus rhythms Kamba Cua group like-Pitiki Guarimba pitiki and gallops