Conga Series - Anatomy of the Parade

What is the Invasion Parade?

In the late 19th century there was a little known but very successful large insurgent army in the 3rd and last war of independence from Spain. In 1895, this army consisting of slaves and Cuban creoles took to the battle field and swept all across the island, east to west till they ran the Spanish off, ended slavery, creating a fragile, separate peace. They called the operation, “The invasion”. A particular source of pride for the people of Santiago, for the massive slave army departed from the hills of the great port city with many of the army’s generals and chiefs hailing from the traditionally negro neighborhoods and environs of the bustling city. In honor of the rhythms forged during those tumultuous times and their ancestors who staged the only other known victorious slave uprising in the New World outside of Haiti, this, the biggest parade of the year, is now named “The Invasion”. On this special day, the most famous of the Conga groups, Conga Los Hoyos sets out one morning in July and over the course of 8 hours marches through the city to each of the 5 other Conga neighborhoods to drum battle in sound the other conga groups with 15 thousand to 20 thousand singing, dancing people in tow. A movable feast over 100 years old used to release, recover and remember through the sonic arts no matter whom is in political power.

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Where does the rhythm come from?
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What’s the green leaf in people’s hair?
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What is the Invasion Parade?
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What are the Visitations?
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The Chants of the Conga
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The Chakras of the Conga