The dance, song and drumming style known as Tumba Francesa (French Drum) was brought to Cuba by Haitian slaves who were resettled in the island’s eastern regions following the unrest in Haiti during the 1790s. It embodies one of the oldest and most tangible links to the Afro-Haitian heritage of Cuba’s Oriente province and developed from an eighteenth- century fusion of music from Dahomey in West Africa and traditional French dances. After Cuba’s abolition of slavery in 1886 and the resulting migration of former slaves to urban areas in search of work, Tumba Francesa societies emerged in several cities.
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