By Delia Poey (auth.)
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Extra resources for Cuban Women and Salsa: To the Beat of Their Own Drum
The song would go on to be forever associated with Celia Cruz, but it was Celeste Mendoza who first recorded it. Her 1966 LP Aquí el guaguancó, with the Coro Folklórico Cubano de Guaguancó, further cemented her dominance as the Queen in the genre. The LP includes the track “Papá Ogún” consisting entirely of percussion instrumentation and adhering closely to the form of the traditional guaguancó. Furthermore, the song is for a Santería orisha. ”57 Since the suppression of drumming in Cuba has historically been linked with the suppression of Afrocuban religious practices such as Santería, the public display of both is not only oppositional but signals the “blackening” of popular music that came with the greater control exerted by Afrocuban musicians in their own cultural expressions.
The costume remained a staple through the 1950s in nightclub performances, with male musicians also wearing ruffled sleeves, and can also be seen in films including Hollywood renditions of “Latin” numbers. In contrast to Sevilla, Montaner is clearly featured as a vocalist onstage, occasionally dancing but her movements are controlled, confined to her hips as she takes small steps. Sevilla, featured primarily as a dancer, moves closer to the audience, her shoulders shaking and her hips moving more broadly, drawing the spectators’ gaze to her body, particularly her hips and buttocks as she shakes the ruffled train.
That is not to say that “Quimbara,” or Cruz’s musical production in general, is devoid of political or social statements. As previously noted, the mere presence of a black woman taking center stage without becoming a sexualized spectacle is itself a political statement and intervention. 1 Celia Cruz. com Archives 42 C u b a n Wo m e n a n d S a l s a to gender and racial oppression. ). The first of these is a song by Afro-Colombian salsero Joe Arroyo. The song tells the story of a black slave in seventeenth-century Cartagena who rebels against the white master for striking his wife, a black female slave.