Historically there were three large black arrivals to Panamanian soil, although some anthropologists say they have been present in America since before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. One of these investigations is based on discoveries at an archaeological site in Mexico called the sale, where they found huge skulls with thick lips and flat noses like warriors Africans. In the case of Panama, said Nunez, in 1513the discoverer of the South Sea, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, said he saw the land of the cacique Cuarecua, dark-skinned people to those classified as native, which is strange because Spanish had not brought the black groups.
The African diaspora in America occurred during the process of conquest and colonization of the region by the Spanish. They were brought as slaves by supplying some of the Indian's hand had no conditions for heavy work like mine.
The black worked on the tations of sugar cane, cocoa, snuff, like diving for pearls, in agriculture and domestic. Many black or mulatto zambas were the work of nursing the children of Spanish, as the case of Simon Bolivar, whose nanny was mom's milk. The black groups were removed from downtown and the West African coast, being sent to America on ships.
In the case of Panama, many slaves came across the Atlantic from the Caribbean to Cartagena and from there to the name of God, and subsequently,Portobelo, where the moved to Panama Viejo to be sold in the South (Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina). "It is watered by many farms and tations as an important work hand in Panama working in mines, pearl fishing, as domestic workers or handled bongos and mules. It was a major force in the way of traffic in the Caribbean to the Pacific and vice versa.
Those first black immigrants to Panama came from African people like Olofo, Mandingo, Ashanti, okimano, congo, carabalí, Mozambique, among others, none resembles the other, have structure and different physical-somatic. According to Professor Nunez came a second wave, a small but significant. It was black slaves arrived with their English masters to Boca del Drago and Islands Pastors in Bocas del Toro, there were mixed with slaves and masters were called Creoles bocatorian. The third major influx was for the construction of the Railroad and the canal.
These were brought as workforce from Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados. They came to work, but they were not slaves, as in other places they had abolished slavery, but discrimination persists.
The arrival of blacks in Panama dates back to the time of colonial settlement, when transiting near Portobelo 3.500 slaves per year, which were destined for Peru, and extends to the discovery of gold in California, the railroad, theeslishment of the United Fuit Company and, later, Aspinwall Fruit Co., and the periods of canal construction in French and American effort.
This period brought a time of feverish commercial activity and major disruption to our social life, however, fars the spirit cultural, literary in the formation of our poets, the full imposing height from Europe: Hugo, Musset, Byron and Espronceda and that America was moving up and Arboleda Caro Echeverria and Marble, without forgetting, of course, the influence of poetry mainland late eighteenth century, still in force: Goytía y Argote, Herrera and Obaldia, the Arosemena.
Afro-Panamanians come from a historical legacy of participation in various systems, activities and development models that survive until today, which include gathering, cultivation of household plots, rudimentary craft production, local trade, industrial development and scale emerging for export, international trade, the industrial platform of transportation services, international financial services and local socialism ethnic sector(in the case of indigenous peoples and African Palenque's) colonial schemes (the European process and staged in Canal Zone, during and after construction of the Panama Canal), at different historical moments, the first before the Republic, the second with the Republic) and the model capitalist or market economy.
However, the complex reality of Panama, and Latin Americademonstrates the coexistence of social formations in an economic system with varying degrees and levels of uneven development. This development, as part of this heritage is mixed balance: a rich cultural heritage, built mega-projects, inlving the construction of a society that grows and strengthens, and, on the other side, a legacy of persecution, slavery, transatlantic racking slaves, racism, exploitation, gore, exclusion and invisibility, which has survived the people of African descent.
The contribution of the black race was significant in Panama during the construction of railways and inter-oceanic canal, as well as music, dance, art and food, among other things.
The national government, through Law No. 9, May 30, 2000, eslished the Day of National Black Ethnicity. The idea for this effect arose from the inspiration and vision of a successful son of the Province of Chiriquí, specifically, the sands of Puerto Armuelles. This is the Honorable Claral Richards Thompson, an Afro-Panamanian whose personal achievements has been highlighted national champion discus throw during the first National Games in 1955 and represents the Republic of Panama as a baseball star pitcher having even signed contract with the San Francisco Giants, playing minor league professional.
Black Ethnic Contribution to Panama.
The cultural contribution of the black race in Panama
After the commemoration of thehistoric V Centenary 1492, one of the main goals of historians today must be to rewrite the history of the Caribbean and Latin America to fix, and also present important events that have been altered or omitted from the official history.
First of all, for example, to correct and fill in some historical concepts such as wild Indians when referring to indigenous groups, because, despite widespread misconceptions, in fact, some indigenous groups left important traces of their civilization, Veracruz as the Olmecs, Mayans at Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, the Incas and Aztecs in Tenochtitlan.
Also, as in that case of indigenous people, you must present a more complete story and, above all, true of other ethnic groups have officially been ignored, as the case of important cultural contributions of Africans and their descendants in the Caribbean and Latin America, because from 1492 to date have received neither the study nor the recognition they deserve. This neglect, in part, in the opinion of the American ethnologist and anthropologist Sidney W. Mintz is due to the fact that:
Regardless of the details of the different historical periods, the discriminatory exclusion of people of African descent in the mainstream of national life has been a depressing and constant in the history of the New World. (Mintz Moreno Fraginals 394).
The contributions of black ethnicity in the Panamanian folk music.
In LatinAmerica, Panamanian folk music is known for its dances, movements of hands, feet and hips, and especially the joyous rhythms of drums, sound pattern set by the African heritage. Another large trial, as the contribution of ethnic folk music black Panamanian Professor Armando Fortune said: They say some historians, ethnologists, folklorists and music o graphers Panamanians, who wanted to hide, hide, deny or remove any link Negroid in the past, our nation with Africa because of some incomprehensible feelings of embarrassment and determined to make Panama a country to the Indo-European au fricanizarla development a trance, that the greatest contribution to the mystical source Panamanian indigenous and African erurooccidental .
However, according to studies and research of Dr. Manuel Zárate and Professor Dora Perez de Zárate, the work drum Texts of Panama, after analyzing the congo dance, states: a drum perhaps darker than the common but drum at last, and perhaps if Spinning a little thin, we could even venture the assertion of the possibility of live drums in the beginning of our national dance"
One of the most distinctive expressions and colorful folklore of the province of Colon. Congo dancing or playing with his rhythmic and intense drum dances and has great historical value within the Afro Panamanian, especially on the Atlantic coast.
The dresses of the Congo'sare colorful. Women use a two-piece skirt, a shirt and a skirt Arandina made quilt. Men use their clothes backwards, a Coir hat adorned with feathers, shells, mirrors, beads and paint their faces with charcoal.
The Congo´s of Portobelo are the descendants of the Maroons, who have preserved the stories of their ancestors in a living tradition turned into a work of art. The dance, a mixture of movement, percussion and sounds, colors, costumes and masks, myths, magic and songs are a sign of fervent ancient African roots that have survived through countless generations, preserved to our days through one of the most representative traditions of the province of Colon, where the population is predominantly African.
The traditions of the Congos consist of unwritten traditional performances, with characters from mythology, rituals, costumes, architecture, music, food and dance. The interpretation of the dance metaphor Congo recalls the era of his ancestors and describes the victory of good over evil. See a Diablo or Congo is to witness dancing at a free spirit who comes into contact with their ancestors, giving life and movement. The Congos dance with the energy of a wave of relentless, crazy like the roaring of the sea. The dancers move Congo to the sound of drums masterfully executed and accompanied by the songs and other ices, seducing the man as he draws with his feet on the ground enigmatic forms.