We cannot help but be surprised by the capacity of Spanish society to normalize brutal acts with racist content, disguised as alleged anti-racist content. This is the case of the Mataculebra perpetrated in Puerto de la Cruz de Tenerife.
The video speaks for itself and we will not say more than that it is an vomitive and disgusting act of trivialization of the racism and slavery that plagued our ancestry.
It is apparently a tradition that was introduced to the Island and particularly to the northern municipality from Cuba by the Canary emigrant D. Manuel Díaz, known as Manuel Catalina.
His descendants, the Catalinas, continued to represent him in the winter festivals of Puerto Rico, keeping the tradition until the mid-eighties of last century.
According to a website of the municipality is traditional that the (hold on to the chair):
The children, dressed in the traditional clothing of the Cuban slaves, dye their faces and hands representing the black chacandela who, carrying a flag and a drum, parade in line under the whip of the mayoral (the only white character), who imposes them to kill the snake symbol of power and evil.
Thus they walk the streets singing the first part of the old lyrics of the “Calabason, son, son”. When they arrive at emblematic places, the death of the snake is staged with the second part of the lyrics. After the death of the snake, the money is collected from the spectators to the sound of the drum.
This act is sold as a ridicule of the slave system. It is true that its meaning and realization in its origins in Cuba by people enslaved in their parties and celebrations could have that meaning. Made today, by school children (you can find the photos in Google of children doing this barbarism) and with a black face in between, it is rather an apology of the slaveowner and racism, as well as a banalization of the inconceivable suffering of millions of human beings.
How long will these barbarities go on?