Black dance “Tumba Francesa” in the Oriente region of Cuba

  ”La Tumba Francesa” means “French drum”. It is the song and dance of the black community that is prevalent in southeastern Cuba.
  From the 16th to the 19th century, about 10 million African slaves were trafficked to the Americas. From the end of the 17th century, French colonists drove black slaves to grow sugar cane and coffee for them in Haiti. Under the influence of the French Revolution, Haiti broke out in 1790 to overthrow French colonial rule and abolish slavery. Later, some black slaves from Haiti migrated to the southeastern part of Cuba Island one after another, and lived in concentrated communities. In the coffee farms on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo, Haitian black immigrants (also known as Creoles) often gather to entertain themselves with song and dance, which gradually evolved into “Tumba Francesa”. At that time, black people also formed some club-like “Tumba Francesa” associations in some cities in eastern Cuba. At the end of the 19th century, the popularity of “tomba franceza” reached its peak. Today, only three “Tumba Francesa” societies survive in the Oriente region.
  ”Tumba Francesa” is an art form of singing and dancing, which is a combination of traditional dance popular in France in the 18th century and black music melody in Dahomey, West Africa.
  Their enthusiastic performances often continued into the night. They sing in a French or Spanish dialect. The band is accompanied by percussion instruments such as a triangle and three tumbas” drums.
  The rhythm of the drums is similar to that of modern conga drums. The dance moves are inspired by the 17th century French Michelinou minuet and other outstanding French dances The performance of “Tomba Francesa” has won international awards.