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Ta Cuba mi ke bai

Proj. Cubag. AAINA (Archaeological- Anthropological Institute Netherlands Antilles) by Rose Mary Allen
 
Time period: 1917-1990
Number of interviews: unknown
Accessibility: unknown

Kept at the Central Historical Archive since 1998

 

Language: Papiamentu 

 

Publication:

Oral history of Curaçao migrants who left for Cuba in the early 20th century to work in Cuban sugarcane fields.

 

“Ta Cuba mi ke bai” is the result of a study of the emigration of children from Curaçao to Cuba. This emigration peaked at the end of 1917 until 1921. Many Curaçao workers moved to Cuba to work in the sugar cane fields. There they met workers from other Caribbean islands, including Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados and also from Aruba, Bonaire and the islands above.

In a few years, some 2,300 Curaçaoans emigrated to Cuba. Rose Mary Allen visited old Curaçaoans who went to Cuba during that time and then returned to Curaçao. They were old, but could tell her a lot about Cuba and also about the reasons why they had gone to Cuba. And these were almost always economic reasons. There are still Curacaoans living in Cuba who went there at the time and stayed. That group intrigued Rose Mary Allen and she felt that her research would not be complete if she had not also visited these people in Cuba.

 

To get as complete a picture as possible of emigration to Cuba, the research was expanded by comparing testimonies with information from documents, such as official letters and newspapers.