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Title: Cuban Folk-Lore
Author: Terwilliger, L. Roy
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cuban Folk-Lore" ***

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                            CUBAN FOLK-LORE

                           L. ROY TERWILLIGER

                            30, AMARGURA ST.


Nowhere will one find such a mass of superstitious customs practiced,
as in Cuba; especially among the black and mestizos, and even the
educated whites, while not admitting their belief in witchcraft have
a wholesome fear of the Brujo or witch doctor.

It is probable that most of these queer practices were introduced by
the blacks who brought their strange beliefs from Africa. The belief
in the Evil Spirit was doubtless the result of their early contact
with the aboriginal Cubans, who worshipped the devil.

Ñañiguismo is a form of superstition in which Catholicism and
witchcraft are mingled in bewildering confusion.

The society of Ñáñigos was first introduced in Cuba in 1836 by a
cabildo of the Carabalí nation; many conjectures as to its origin have
been put forward, but it is most probable that a priest or Chief of the
African institution called Ñanguitua, was brought to Cuba as a slave
and here resumed his official character among his enslaved countrymen.

The first Juego or chapter was founded in Regla and called the Apapa
Epi; it was officially sanctioned and licensed by the government.

The African order disbelieved in God and the worship of idols and
fetiches prevailed: in fact was one of the principal causes of the
organization of the society. Brujos or members of the order who
were supposed to possess supernatural powers were consulted in all
cases of sickness. Slave holders claimed that "the gente de nación
(imported slaves) refused to be doctored by other means than their own
brujos and corporal punishment was absolutely necessary to overcome
their stubbornness".

Whites and even mulatoes were at first refused admission to the
society, but in 1863 a traitor to the original chapter sold for twenty
cents the secrets of the order to a society of white and mulatoes who
by means of the secret pass words and signs gained admittance to the
hall where an initiatory session was in progress and demanded that
their chapter be recognized by the head Juego. A severe battle was the
outcome of this high-handed manner of securing the administration of
the initiation rites, but eventually resulted in the formation of the
Ocolio Ñáñigos, an order in which whites and half castes were admitted.

Many catholic rites were introduced in the new order, which however
did not entirely displace their belief in their former idols.

The Ñáñigos about this time began to assume a vicious character
and soon became a serious menace to society; the degenerate whites
who became Ñáñigos soon displaced the old negro kings or chiefs and
introduced many new customs, most of which were not to be desired in
a civilized country.

It is a curious fact that the avatism or reversion of half breeds
almost always result in excesses. Religious dances of an indecent
character were introduced and more revolting rites of initiation

Rivalry among the different chiefs sprung up and dissensions among
the various orders soon assumed a bloody aspect.

Sanguinary battles among the negros and half castes were common every
feast day and resulted in stringent laws being passed against the
entire organization.

After the entrance of whites and mulatoes in the different orders
the cross became one of the most important symbols of the order.

The great seal was used only by the head chapter at Regla, each
district having a different symbol.

All initiatory rites were performed by the chief of the district
and the Carabali tongue was used exclusively. The novice was marked
on the forehead with blood in the sign of the cross + on the breast
+/o|o/+ and on the back o/o|o/o after which he was struck several
times with the palo Mocongo, a cane covered with skin and mounted with
precious metals; this was to test his courage; many other ceremonies
were practiced.

The novice being declared a fit candidate for membership, blood was
mixed with aguardiente and drunk by the new member and a wild scene
of revelry wound up the ceremony.

Under the severe laws passed, Ñañiguismo shrunk to insignificant
proportions and the different chapters were supposed to have been
broken up.

During the last few years it has been on the increase, the character
however having somewhat changed.

But little can be learned of this society, at present a recent
criminal cases brought to light the fact that the very rites of
initiation were criminal in their character, a novice in the society
must wound some stranger and drink the flowing blood before the last
rites are administered.

The Society is governed by a King, who is represented in each district
by a "Father of the Community" or Chief Doctor, who has at his command
the Brujos or Conjurors.

Santa Baraba, the patron saint of the order is no less than a savage
idol with a Catholic name.

There are annual fiestas in honor of this Saint, where only members
of the Society are admitted, but I was fortunate enough to witness
from a friendly roof the sacred dance and battle with the devil.

Clothed only in long strings of feathers, the Brujo who played the
part of "leading man", prostrated himself before the sacred image
and lighted the sacrificial flames.

Goats, black cocks and other animals were brought forward by the
devotees and beheaded. Fruit also was offered.

The nature of the sacrifice most acceptable to the Mabruja is
communicated in advance to each of the Saint's followers, through
the medium of the Brujo.

It is certain that most of the time the exigencias of the saint
do not pass the sacrifice of a fat cock, or a goat whose head is
consumed by the flames (while the father of the community eats the
rest of the victim), but cases have presented where the dagger or
poison, have been ordered to remove some obstruction from the path of
private individuals, whose money has influenced the saint to decree
their death.

Sacrificial dances are always at night and the weird, scantily clad
figure of the officiating priest can easily be likened to that of
some demon tending the infernal fires.

After the sacrifice, the low monotonous moaning of the tom-tom
announces that the ball has opened.

Twisting his body in painful contortions, the brujo dances about
the sacred fire, gaining momentum with each round until he at last
resembles a human pin-wheel; now slower and slower he dances, scanning
the faces of his fear-stricken followers for a victim, until at last
his hypnotic eye fixes upon an aged negress, who falls screaming to
earth in convulsed fear. She is possessed of a Mabruja or Evil Spirit,
who has inconsiderately taken possession of the old lady's person,
without her leave, and the "doctor" wants to extract it; apparently
the operation becomes painful to the old lady, who would doubtless
have much rather been left in quiet possession of his satanic majesty.

After much manoeuvring, the doctor announces that the Mabruja was
vanquished and has left his country woman, who still sits in comical
amazement where she had fallen; to one who has really entered the
inner life of the country districts of Cuba this is no strange sight.

One of the most abhorrent practices of witchcraft is the use of
Love Philters composed of ingredients of a nature too horrible to
mention. It is needless to say that this custom is practiced almost
solely by the lowest class of society, but in so great respect and
fear are its results held that almost the first advice one receives on
arriving in Cuba, is to never accept refreshments in a strange house,
for fear that they may contain this concoction; many tales are told
of young men who by means of this drug have been lured into attachment
for women of shady complexion and still more shady reputation.

The Piedra Imán, a sort of lodestone, plays an important part in the
practice of witchcraft; sacrifices of animals are made to this stone
whose absorbent qualities cause it to greedily suck the blood of the
victims. In sickness and love this stone is always in evidence. Are
you dying of unrequited love? No need to worry while a dozen old
witches are aching for the opportunity of relieving your heart (and
pocket). For gold a small stone will be placed in your possession
and if you carefully follow directions, luck will attend your affairs
with Cupid.

To succeed it is necessary to secure a strand of hair (pulled, not
cut) and the parings of your loved one's nails; these are mixed with
steel filings and placed with the "stone" in a metal box. On Mondays
the "stone" is strictly teetotal and only water may be offered, but
as Friday draws near, the "God" develops a taste for strong liquor
and wine must be given it. Woe betide the mortal who neglects the
"little God's" taste in drinks.

Has disease laid its foul hand on your person? No need to worry;
any witch doctor will recommend the following recipe.

           Rx  1 Pair half burned candles.
               7 Grains of corn.
               7 Copper pennies.
               7 Clean pebbles.
               1 Head of a black cock.
               7 Pieces glass.

Wrap carefully in red cloth, this enclose in black cloth, over all
wrap a large white handkerchief and place in public highway, await
developments.... An innocent wayfarer comes down the highway, sees
the ownerless package and gleefully makes off with it. Oh joy! you
are already feeling better, and the one who so fondly imagines he
has found a fortune wrapped up in a napkin, has only brought down
upon his head the load of your disease!

Barrenness need no longer bring grief to those who long for the patter
of little feet about their home.

Secure a white child and with the help of a brujo extract its heart
and take in small doses!!

It is impossible to dispute the fact of this and other horrible
cannibalistic practices to which the superstitious negros are addicted;
the public can scarcely have forgotten the developments of the noted
"Gabriel Case" when a number of Brujos were sentenced to long terms
of imprisonment and one at least received the death penalty.

Not only in the greater joys and griefs of life is witchcraft used,
but in the petty annoyances of everyday life.

The dread combination of sprinkling salt in an old shoe and placing it
upon an upturned broom, has caused many an unwelcome guest to hasten
his departure.

Some of the common superstitions are: never twist an empty chair.

Never read by the light of two candles; you are mocking death.

A moth flying about you at night means that you are to receive
a letter.

A match which continues burning after being thrown away will bring
you money.

A dog scratching the floor of a house is digging his master's grave. He
will soon die.

If a hearse passes a person twice during the same funeral, he will
be its next occupant.

Never cross the arms over the head; your mother or nearest relation
will die.

Never sweep the crumbs from a table with a paper; it will bring
disgrace to your family.

In former years, when the milk man brought his cows along to town and
milked them before your door, there was a curious belief that if a
cow bawled in front of a house where a sick person lay, that person
would die.

If a mass is not said for the repose of a soul, the newly dead will
come at night and pull the feet or carry off the blanket of the
nearest relation.

A black moth flying at night means that there will be a death in
the house.

Should an eyelash fall, you will receive a visit from a long forgotten

If an owl hoots as it flies over a house, somebody in that house
will die.

That there is "something" in witchcraft it is impossible to deny. The
fear and reverence in which the brujos are held is far more powerful
than their fear of the law, as has been shown in several recent
criminal cases.

Is it not possible that the something, is mesmerism, that the subjects
are mesmerized by their own belief in the brujo, or that the brujo
himself has acquired the power of hypnotism though unconscious of the
source or nature of this power, a "power" that makes him different
from other men?

Superstition is a serious menace to the advancement of Cuba.


Fortunately for history, most early Spanish expeditions were
accompanied by such observers as Las Casas, Cortés, Gomara and Oviedo,
who although differing in minor details and unreliably eulogistic of
their own expeditions and leaders have agreed on their accounts of
the habits of the Indians as found at the time of the discovery.

Bartolomé Las Casas in particular made a study of the Indians and in
so far as possible sought to relieve their sufferings.

Separated by but a narrow stretch of water from the other islands
of the West Indies, Cuba was inhabited by an entirely different
race of men. The Caribes, who infested the smaller islands, were a
warlike tribe of anthropophagi who terrorized the shores of Cuba by
frequent and bloody excursions, carrying off many captives for their
cannibalistic feasts.

The Indians of Cuba were of the Siboneyes tribe, excepting those
about Bayamo and Baracoa, who were of the Caribe nation. In these
two localities deformed skulls have been found identical with those
collected at Guadalupe, the principal seat of the Caribes.

Several hypotheses have been given of the origin of the Siboney
Indians. Some writers claim them as descendants of the Mayas of
Yucatan, but Bachiller y Morales disposes this on the radical
difference of the characters of the two tribes. With the exception
of the Floridians and the Araucanians of Chile; the Siboneyes are
unlike all other American Indians.

Abbe Don J. Ignatius Molina writing of the Araucanian about the year
1800 says, "The natives of this part of the New World being of a mild
character, much resembling that of the Southern Asiatics," and again:
"The features of both (hill or plain tribes) are regular; they have
round faces, small animated eyes full of expression, a nose rather
flat, a handsome mouth, even and white teeth, muscular and well shaped
limbs and small flat feet."

Of the Siboneyes Bachiller y Morales says: "They did not present the
robust muscularity of the North American Indian nor did the expression
of their faces assume the bloody instincts of the Caribe. In color
light olive, they were tall straight limbed men of peaceful disposition
who lived mainly by the chase and agriculture."

On the strength of this resemblance some writers have concluded that
the Siboneyes were descendants of the Araucanians. This disagrees
with the traditions of the Siboneyes themselves who claim to have
immigrated from Florida; first driving from the island the males of
a nation who were inferior to themselves in number and civilization;
moreover the Indians of Cuba long had tradition of the wonderful land
of Cantio or Florida.

Washington Irving in his "Spanish Voyages of Discovery" says: "The
belief of the existence in Florida, of a river like that sought by
Juan Ponce, was long prevalent among the Indians of Cuba, and the
caciques were anxious to discover it."

Geographical conditions would also favor the theory of the Siboneyes
coming originally from Florida.

Evidence of an earlier race in Cuba has been discovered in the caves
of the eastern part of the island. Skulls differing greatly from both
those of the Siboneyes and Caribes have been found, as well an stone
implements, which most authors agree were not used by the Siboneyes.

It is probable that the Siboney tradition of their coming originally
from Florida is correct.

At the time of discovery, Cuba was divided politically into thirty
different states as follows:

Sabeneque, Cayaguaya, Manibon, Bani, Barajogua, Sagua, Baracoa on
the north coast; Hanamano, Jagua, Guanjaya, Magon, Omapai, Guanaros,
Cueiba, Cucanajani, Macaca, Boyuca, Bajatiquiri and Masi on the
south coast; Cuanajami, Guanejuanica, Marien, Habana, and Canauei
touching both coasts; Macoriges, Calacon, Bayamo, Maeye and Cuamaj
in the interior.

Each state was independent and was governed by a king or cacique who
was absolute ruler of the nation: subject to no laws and holding the
power of life and death over his subjects, this power was seldom used
arbitrarily, the cacique appearing more in the role of a father to
his people.

The subjects of the kingdom were called tainos probably signifying
citizens or subjects; they were of different rank; the naitains
or naitanos formed the nobility or commanding part, the naboris or
anaboris the vassals or laboring class, who were divided into different
groups, each group under the authority or command of a naitains.

As a mark of distinction the nobles wore the hair tied high up on the
head and on feast days adorned themselves with feathers, gold shells,
etc. The hair of the vassal was cut straight about the ears.

The national laws were few and severe, theft being the crime most
severely punished.

The convicted thief was impaled on a large stick and suspended between
two upright posts until life was extinct.

As among many uncivilized races most of the manual work was performed
by women. Among the Siboneyes married men were exempt from agricultural
presents, but assisted in gold washing, etc. They were obliged however,
to live separate from their families for some time before going on
a gold hunting expedition.

"Los hombres casados iban en busca de oro á los ríos como los demás,
pero se abstenían de la cohabitación y trato mujeril antes, para que
no se les turbara la vista".

The primitive Cubans were of an amorous disposition, somewhat
indolent. Polygamy was permitted, but seldom practiced except among
the ruling classes; promiscuous intercourses and unnatural crimes were
ascribed to the Siboneyes by the early settlers. Narvaez gave this
as his excuse for the massacres of the entire Indian village of Caonao.

Their acts were very ceremonious especially when receiving a visit
from a neighbouring cacique. The receiving cacique was borne forth in
a litter preceded by a number of women who were slightly clothed, and
who scattered palm leaves before the approaching guest. A visit was
always attended by great feasting, where nobles acted as servants to
the visiting cacique, during the feast the women entertained their
lords by songs and dancing; a number of young girls were always
appointed to the service of a welcome visitor as a peace offering.

They in common with other West Indian nations had a tradition of the
formation of the world. Lucuo (God) formed the world, we know he
made all things; he came from a country beyond the clouds peopled
by spirits and souls. The world was first formed without mountains
or water, but under the influence of the sea sunk forming mountains
and bringing fair water.

Lucuo formed the first man of wheat; when he was finished he touched
the image on the stomach with his foot changing it into two grand
Lucayos, male and female to whom nine divine offsprings were born.

The first Nounm (the moon) was very proud and boastful of his
brilliancy but when Huin (the sun) was born and showed his shining
face Nounm became ashamed and hid himself only coming out at night
when Huin is absent.

The other offsprings were given charge of the elements.

Cuasima was chief of the Cemi inferior gods who were the offsprings
of Lucuo and the first woman.

Lucuo lived a long time with his people and taught them the first
principles of agriculture.

Taking an old man aside he buried a stick in the ground and told him to
dig in the same place after nine months had passed; at the end of this
period the old man dug up the place as directed and found yuca growing.

The Behique or doctors of the tribe exerted an important
influence. They were charged with the perpetuation of the nations
history or traditions, which were taught to the children of the
nobility in the form of songs which were chanted by them on feast days.

The Behique was also at the head of their religion. Their prayers
were directed not to the creator by but to the Mabuya or bad spirit
their belief being as "God is good it is not necessary to gain his
protection; the devil is bad and it is therefore better for us to
adore and propitiate him so that he will work us no ill."

Their intercessions were made through the medium of the Cemi inferior
Gods of whom stone images were erected, and who acted as messengers
to the greater Gods. Each Behique had his own particular Cemi called
Cochexi who was solely at the command of that special Behique; the
Cochexi of some Behique, were regarded as superior to others. The
Cemi also had charge of all natural objects such as the springs,
the rain, thunder, and dew.

Diseases were very rare and also very violent among the Siboneyes;
the Behique cured their followers by medical preparations of herbs and
roots, together with magical symbols and by blowing upon them; after
fasting and pretending to hold direct communication with their Cemi.

Twice a year great religious feasts were held when the Behiques fasting
weeks in advance living only on the juices of certain grains appearing
weak and emaciated. After the usual sacrifices to the Cemi they worked
themselves into a religious ecstasy; while in this condition they were
questioned on subjects of interest, such as the probability of war,
battles and death, their answers being received as coming direct from
the Gods.

At their fiesta or Gloritas wonderful dances were held several taking
hold of each other's hands then moved themselves to the rhythm of
a slow chant and the music of the tom-tom, a hollow trunk of a tree
covered by the skin of some wild animal. It was their custom to dance
until so exhausted that they fell to the ground. During the dances
wine was passed from one to another and drunk without spilling or
interrupting the dance. Men and women danced together only on the
occasion of a great victory or on the birth or death of a cacique,
when no wine was drunk.

The Siboneyes were armed with the bow and arrow, dart and mace; the
arrow and dart were tipped with fish bones; the mace was a heavy club
made of hardwood and seems to have been their favorite weapon. They
also construed clever traps to ensnare game.

They had a primitive idea of weaving and wove cloth from the wild
cotton plant that appears to have been indigenous to Cuba.

Fire was made by rubbing a piece of hard wood between two pieces of
softer wood.

Fishing was one of their pursuits many of the houses of the noble
were built upon piles along the shores of streams; this was probably
a means of securing themselves against surprise by the cannibals.

The hardships to which the Siboneyes were subjected has caused them
to rapidly disappear, with the exception a possible few among the
mountains of Santiago. The race has entirely disappeared even as early
as 1532 but 5,600 of the original population of two hundred thousand
(according to Las Casas 1.000.000) remained in 1511. Moreover in 1553,
Fray Luis Beltran writing of the travels in Cuba in 1551 claims they
were entirely exterminated.

"Los 200.000 indios que entonces contenía serían exterminados por
los tratamientos de que eran víctimas."


In Cuba as in all pro-Catholic countries the natives have a host of
saints to whom they attribute various supernatural powers; they are
held in greater or less esteem according to the miraculous cures they
have achieved or the concessions they have granted their followers.

Each family or individual has a special saint to whom they appeal
in times of trouble or sickness. Sometimes however when a saint
has repeatedly proved inefficient or has failed to grant the wishes
of a devotee, it is cast aside or exchanged for one that has been
recommended by a friend. It is no unusual thing to hear one lady
advising another to try such and such a saint. "Rece á San José, él
me ha concedido todo lo que yo le pedí". Pray to San José he grants
all I ask him.

There are also a number of saints who are specially efficient in
certain diseases or conditions. One always prays to San Blas to cure
throat trouble, and young ladies know that San Nicolas with gladly
assist them to secure good (rich) husbands, San Ramón protects them
during pregnancy and San Lázaro during child-birth. Sta. Bárbara makes
timid hearts brave in times of war; Santo Domingo cures fever, Santa
Lucia looks after the eyes, San Antonio protects from fire; and so in
every case that may be presented there is some saint (or saintess) who
has taken that disease or ill for their special power of benefaction.

When an article is lost San Antonio de Padua is in disgrace until it
is found. The figure of the saint is placed head-down-wards and if
some time elapses without the lost object being recovered the image
is bound to a chair back and severely whipped for failing in his duty;
if the lost object still remains undiscovered the infant which always
accompanies the saint is cut away from the image and the following
couplet repeated

               "San Antonio Bendito
                si no me concedes lo que te pido
                no te devuelvo tu niño."

"Blessed San Antonio if you do not grant what I ask, I will not return
your child" this last resource rarely fails in causing the recovery
of whatever is missing.

"El Señor Milagroso" the miracle worker, is an image treasured as
one of the most valued religious possession of Matanzas. Although
the church has offered many thousands of dollars for its possession,
and its owner is in comparatively poor circumstances, it still remains
in the hands of a private family.

It has been handed down through many generations of the Castro family
and is at present in the possession of Sr. Arturo Castro who has
built a shrine where all are welcome to visit and revere the saint.

This saint is supposed to instantly answer the prayer of those who are
in great danger. A curious story is connected with the image of a snake
twined about the body of a man that is placed before in the saint.

During the revolution of 1868 when many well to do families were
temporarily reduced to needy circumstances an old man was accustomed
to visit his married son about the time of the mid-day meal. The
son who found it difficult to fill the all too many mouths of his own
household one day ordered the meal to be kept back until his father had
gone. The father came and failing to see the usual preparations for
breakfast in progress inquired if the meal had already been served,
he was given to understand that it had and left the house somewhat
nettled as was natural. The dish was now ordered to be placed on the
table with the least possible delay. As moments passed and no food
appeared the master of the house went to the kitchen to inquire the
causes of delay and there found the servant struggling to lift the
cover from a kettle. Angry at the inability to perform so apparently
simple a task he gave the cover a pull ... and then slowly from the
boiling liquid appeared the shining coils of a monstrous serpent,
which wound itself about the body of the selfish son! ... imagine
the confusion and consternation in which the household was thrown on
seeing their master in the coils of this huge monster.

The master finding it impossible to release himself from the coils
of the serpent and realising that this was the punishment of God for
deceiving his parent vowed to present the Señor Milagroso a silver
image of the incident.

El Santo Sudario is a saint out-lawed and unrecognized by the
authorities of the church; persons found wearing the reliquary
containing the prayer to the saint are accounted rebels against the
church and are excommunicated.

This saint is the patron of robbers and assassins, and of people who
are in constant danger of death by violence or drowning.

El Santo Sudario or Just Judge protects its followers against fire,
wild animals, bullets, death by drowning, and hanging, it is in great
request by soldiers or sailors.

During the Spanish regime in Cuba it became a misdemeanor to have
an image of the saint in one's possession it being believed by
the authorities that it gave criminals immunity against detection
or arrest.

A laughable accident in connection with the saint happened to the
knowledge of the writer. During the last political unpleasantness an
officer of the government forces was pressed to accept a present of a
reliquary of El Santo Sudario to protect him against the dangers of
battle incredulous of its power but willing to please his friend he
accepted the gift and placed it about his neck. The reliquary encased
in a red silk bag to prevent its chafing the skin was soon forgotten.

While taking account of the casualties after a very active skirmish the
officer was astonished and somewhat frightened to have his attention
called to an apparently severe wound he himself had received in
the breast. Glancing down sure enough a huge stain of blood had
appeared on the front of his uniform. Feeling no pain and the wound
appearing in such a vital place the officer imagined himself booked
for the long voyage. Frantically tearing open his clothing in haste
to stop the bleeding he found to his surprise that the red silk bag,
containing the reliquary was dripping with perspiration and had run
through his clothing.

The Shrine of La Santa Imagen in the Hermitage of Monserrat, Matanzas,
is the Mecca of the Spanish residents of Cuba, who annually in the
8th of November journey from all parts of the Island to attend the
fiesta of Monserrat.

This saint is supposed to have the power to grant three wishes to
those who fulfill their vows during the year. The many offerings of
gold and silver about the altar offer eulogiastic proof of the faith
and esteem in which the saint is regarded. These objects are vowed to
the saint in times of sickness or despair and usually take the form
of a miniature representative of the parts of the body that are made
well by the intercession of the saint.

Vows of humility are also made to the saint. One devout more believer
has passed the whole of each fiesta on his knees for than 20 years,
in fulfillment of a vow made when he received intelligence of a fatal
accident to his only daughter that happened while he was far from
home. He vowed to the Holy Image that if he were allowed to reach the
bedside of the child before she passed away he would perform this
act of humility as long as he lived in gratitude for the saint's
intercession in his behalf.

For some special favor shown young girls will promise Our Lady Carmelo
to use no other dress for a certain period than that prescribed by
the Order of the Sisters of Carmelo, a dusty brown with black girdle.

La Señora del Cobre is the patron saint of Cuba. This saint is a
wooden image placed on El Cobre hill near Santiago of Cuba.

This Image has a touch of the wanderlust often disappearing during
the night and returning, covered with sand and sea weed. Once some
accident befell it and it was picked far out at sea by a fishing boat
and returned to its place.

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