Cuban dating culture
The Pre-Columbian population was about 112,000, consisting mostly of Arawak (Taino and Sub-Taino) in the central and eastern region and a few Ciboneys (also called Guanahacabibes) who had fled the advance of the Arawak and moved west to Pinar del Rio.
Indigenous lands were quickly distributed to European conquistadors and gold prospectors, and indigenous persons were enslaved and given to Europeans for use in mining and agricultural projects (a system called the encomienda ). Malnutrition, overwork, suicide, and brutality made the indigenous population virtually extinct within fifty years of the conquest.
The peninsulares' privileges and wealth evoked the resentment of the creoles, who outnumbered them.
There were creole elites, especially merchants in Havana, whose privilege was dependent on the colonial status of the island, but most eastern creoles increasingly saw their interests as opposed to those of Spain.
But the eastern planters had less to fear from a slave revolt, since their farms were much smaller and had far fewer slaves.
Hence, the contestation over the meaning of Cubanness was between eastern planters, African slaves, freed blacks, impoverished white farmers, and urban workers one the one side, and peninsulares and western creole elites on the other side.
Since the European conquest, the western third of the island has exercised military, political, economic, and cultural dominance.
The capital is Havana on the northern coast of the western third of the island.
After the British occupation of Havana in 1752, slaves who had been stolen from Africa comprised the majority of the population.
Thus, it is there that Afrocuban art, religion, and music were most strongly expressed and the cultural movement "afrocubanismo" began. Languages spoken by the indigenous population are extinct.
French was spoken for a short time by slave-holding European refugees from the 1791 Haitian revolution but this has since died out. The three major symbols of national identity have arisen from the three struggles for independence.
In 1862 the African population was larger than that of whites.
Although the larger slave-holding plantations were in the west, escaped and emancipated slaves often fled east, where they could more easily hide or establish themselves on small unclaimed plots of land in Oriente. The dialect is similar to that in the other Hispanic Caribbean islands, although the rhythmic speaking and the use of highly expressive hand gestures are distinctly Cuban.
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The national anthem was composed at the start of the first war for independence, the Ten Years War (1868-1878).