Cuba Studies Program: Abakuá, Añá, Ifá: Three Fundaments of Cuba


Friday, March 24, 2017, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S-216 (Resource Room), 1730 Cambridge Street








Speaker: Ivor Miller, Bassey Andah Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Calabar

Moderators: Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Professor of African and African American Studies and of History, and Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University

Jorge I. Domínguez, Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico, Department of Government; Chair, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University

A presentation of three major West African derived cultural institutions of Cuba, their history and dynamics. The challenges of historiography and ethnographic fieldwork will be discussed.

Dr. Ivor Miller, a cultural historian specializing in the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and the Americas, was a Senior Fellow at the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution (2011-2012), and a Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria (2009-2011). He is currently a researcher in the Bassey Andah Institute of African and Asian Studies at the University of Calabar. His most recent book, “Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba” (UP of Mississippi 2009/ CBAAC Lagos 2011) was awarded Honorable Mention by the Association for Africanist Anthropology. Based upon fieldwork in Nigeria, Cameroon, Cuba, and the USA, it documents ritual languages and practices that survived the Middle Passage and evolved into a unifying charter for transplanted slaves and their successors. Current research interests are the pre-colonial formation of the Ekpe (leopard) society in West Africa, as well as issues of gender in initiation societies in the African Diaspora. His first book treated the Yoruba Diaspora in the Caribbean (written with Professor ‘Wande Abimbola); his second book documented the early Hip hop movement in New York City. See for more.