Afro Culture Buenos Aires, all the information about a culture that remained forgotten for a long time, under the wake of the European.
The Afro legacy and history were overshadowed by the constant desire to maintain a more European than African identity. The process to establish that our country is also Afro is not an easy task.
If we look at the city or government websites, we will see that the emphasis is on Europe’s heritage rather than anything else. But, the miscegenation is a little broader than the European and here we are going to tell you a little more about these beautiful roots.
It all begins in the San Telmo neighborhood, the place where the African population lived, even before our country became a Republic. This same place is the one that currently maintains the Afro roots on the surface. Not only in certain characteristic places such as conventillos, but also in candombe and tango that are heard and danced every week.
For many, this Afro-Argentinian identity is a surprise, since few of us know about those Afro-descendant peoples who came to America with their histories and cultures on their backs. There is always talk of Spanish and Italian immigrants, but little about Africans. The reality is that there were thousands of families that, during the time of slavery in the world, migrated to other places in search of a better future. This is how they arrived in America and planted their roots in our Argentine soil.
Not knowing this part of our history is related to the resistance and colonialism that our territory has suffered from the Europeans. The Latin American country that keeps this culture on the surface is our neighbor Uruguay, where this culture can even be breathed in the streets and there are many active Afro-descendant communities.
Similarly, the Buenos Aires neighborhood of San Telmo keeps in its memory much material from Afro culture. For this reason, walking the streets of this area, you will see a huge mural dedicated to María Remedios del Valle, a hidden and omitted heroine in our history, but who was a real hero for our history. This woman was part of the defense of the city in the Second English Invasion, as well as being a member of the Army of the North while the war for Independence was taking place, the same scene where her entire family perished. She was baptized as “Mother of the Nation” and even Belgrano gave her the distinction of Captain of his army.
In addition, you can visit the National Historical Museum to learn more about the culture, see the conventillos and the colonial-era house, learn about the tribute to María Remedios del Valle that is located in the Plazoleta Alfonso Castelao, as well as visit the Casa Mínima, a place with a story behind.
Although you are not going to believe it, much of the traditional gastronomy also has its Afro roots, such as mondongo, achuras and locro. As you can see, there is a lot of African culture in our blood, which we must continue to make visible and rooting it.
On November 8, the National Day of Afro-Argentines and Afro Culture is commemorated.
To learn more about San Telmo and its history, we invite you to join our Free Tour of this neighborhood here!
If you want to know everything you can do in San Telmo, follow this link.
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