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Lydia Cabrera Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Personal Papers

Works and research files

Photographs

Colonial Cuba materials

Writings by others

Memorabilia and art work

María Teresa Rojas papers



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Lydia Cabrera Papers, 1910-1991 | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Final version by Marta Martínez, María Jiménez, and Rahid Chadid; edited by Natalie Baur, 2012.

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Collection Overview

Title: Lydia Cabrera Papers, 1910-1991Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: CHC0339

Creator: Cabrera, Lydia

Extent: 76.0 Boxes

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into eight series: Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1910-1991 Series 2: Personal Papers, 1916-1992 Series 3: Works and Research Files, 1930-1987 Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991 Series 5: Colonial Cuba, undated, 1559-1940s Series 6: Writings by Others, 1885-1991 Series 7: Memorabilia and Art Work, 1865-1986 Series 8: Teresa María Rojas Papers, 1959-1978

Languages: Spanish;Castilian

Abstract

The Lydia Cabrera Papers contain the personal and research papers of 20th century Cuban anthropologist, writer, and artist, Lydia Cabrera.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Lydia Cabrera papers document the life and career of writer and ethnographer Lydia Cabrera, one of the 20th century’s leading writers on Cuban folklore and an internationally known chronicler of Afro-Cuban culture and religion. The materials include correspondence, manuscripts of her works, field notes,interviews, photographs, illustrations, and memorabilia. This collection also contains documentation about the restoration of several colonial buildings in Cuba.

A highlight of the collection are the libretas, or notebooks, collected by Cabrera from Santeria priests and priestesses that document rituals and religious practices of the Afro-Cuban faith. These are found in Series 3 along with her manuscripts and field notes.

Part of this collection has been digitized and is available in the University of Miami Digital Collections online repository.

Biographical Note

Lydia Cabrera was born in Havana, Cuba on May 20, 1899. Her father, Raimundo Cabrera, was a lawyer. He was a member of the pro-independence intellectuals known as the “generation of 1868” and founder of the literary and political magazine Cuba y America. Lydia, an avid reader, was taught at home. She was strongly influenced by her father’s nationalist feelings and cultural background, her sister Emma’s love of art, and her nannies’ African and Afro Cuban stories, language and traditions.

Lydia completed her secondary school without ever attending classes and started auditing college courses. Although she published her first articles in the Diario de la Marina at age eighteen, her first love was painting, and she attended the San Alejandro Academy of Arts for a brief period.

In 1927, Cabrera moved to Paris to study painting and remained in France for eleven years.  Graduating from  L'Ecole du Louvre in 1930, she subsequently studied with Russian exile artist Alexandra Exter. During this time, Lydia began to study Asian cultures and religions, and her research in this area lead to a renewed interest in Afro Cuban culture. Later in her life, Cabrera stated that she “discovered Cuba in the banks of the Seine”.

During short trips to her native country while living in Paris, Cabrera began to make preliminary contacts with the future informants of her ethnology research. Back in Paris, she wrote her first Cuentos Negros. The stories were read at literary gatherings and later published in several reviews such as Cahiers du Sud, Revue de Paris, and Les Nouvelles Littéraires. A French translation by literary critic Francis de Miomandre was published by Gallimard in 1936 as a collection entitled Contes Nègres de Cuba.

Cabrera returned to Cuba in 1938 with the purpose of doing research on the subject of folklore, conscious of the need to preserve this vital element of Cuban culture for posterity. The first Spanish edition of Cuentos negros de Cuba was published in1940 in Havana; a second work of fiction, ¿Por Qué? Cuentos Negros de Cuba, Colección del Chicherekú, was published in 1948.

Cabrera distinguished her work by writing with a new voice and style and positioned herself at the forefront by conducting field research, which required her to spend years gaining the trust of her informants. She traveled within the island conducting interviews, collecting oral histories, recording stories and music, documenting rituals and practices, and cataloging “Africanisms” of Cuban Spanish. The result was El Monte (The Forest or The Wilderness), published in 1954, a formative work on Afro Cuban religions and liturgy.

Cabrera left Cuba as an exile in 1960 and she did not produce any writing for ten years. In 1970, Cabrera published Otán Iyebiyé, Las Piedras Preciosas and in 1971 the third volume of “cuentos negros” Ayapá: Cuentos de Jicotea, followed by other publications. She published one of her most well known works, Anaforuana, about the secret Abakuá society, in 1975. Her writings in exile are considered by some critics to be among her best because of the intellectual and emotional maturity she had achieved. She had become internationally recognized and honored for her contributions to literature, ethnology and anthropology.

She died in Miami on September 19th, 1991. During her long and prolific career Cabrera produced what is considered the most complete and important body of research on Afro Caribbean religions and folklore. She was one of the first to recognize the richness of African culture and its vital contributions to Cuban identity. Her work remains a leading authority of Afro Cuban culture.

Subject/Index Terms

Blacks - Cuba - Folklore
Cabrera, Lydia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research. Box 27A is restricted due to the fragile nature of the originals. Facsimile copies of the materials in that box are available for research use.

Use Restrictions: Literary rights to the works authored by Lydia Cabrera, both published and unpublished, are held by Isabel Castellanos. Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please, contact chc@miami.edu for more information.

Acquisition Method: Gift of Lydia Cabrera, 1991.  Additional materials were donated in 2006 by Jose de Armas and in 2007 by Isabel Castellanos.

Original/Copies Note: Selected materials from Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: Photographs of this collection have been digitized. For more information please see http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc0339/.

Preferred Citation: Lydia Cabrera Papers, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida

Processing Information: María R. Estorino and Eugenio Alonso, October 2002-January 2003. Retrospectively converted from HTML to EAD XML September, 2008 by Lyn MacCorkle and Kyle Rimkus based on a crosswalk by María Estorino. This collection was to an extent reprocessed by Marta Martínez, María Jiménez, and Rahid Chadid in Spring 2012 to update the container list to correspond with physical holdings.

Finding Aid Revision History: Full container list and edited finding aid added by Natalie Baur, August, 2012.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1910-[1991?]],
[Series 2: Personal Papers, 1916-1992, undated],
[Series 3: Works and research files, 1930-1987, undated],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991, undated],
[Series 5: Colonial Cuba materials, 1559-1940s, undated],
[Series 6: Writings by others, 1885-1991, undated],
[Series 7: Memorabilia and art work, 1865-1986, undated],
[Series 8: María Teresa Rojas papers, 1935-1987, undated],
[All]

Series 6: Writings by others, 1885-1991, undatedAdd to your cart.
Series 6 consists of a diverse group of writings by various authors. Genres include articles, bibliographies, clippings, typescripts, short stories, conference papers, pamphlets, plays, books, poems, research papers, book reviews, and novels. The bulk of the material is organized alphabetically by last name of the author.
Box 54Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Agbelemoge, Terry, "Is Our Traditional Herbal Therapy a Myth?", 1973Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 2: Altolaguirre, Manuel, "Los Pasos Profundos" and "Dimensiones de lo sagrado en la cosmovision afrocubana", undated, 1942Add to your cart.
Articles
Folder 3: Alvarez Bravo, Armando, "Escribir en Miami en 1987", 1987Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 4: Antuñano, Carol, "El Español de Colombia", 1990Add to your cart.
Bibliography
Folder 5: Baquero, Gastón, various, 1942-1991Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Bascom, William, "African Folktales in American"; "The forms of Folklore, Prose Narrative"; "Two studies of Ifá Divination"; "Odu Ifá, The order of the figures of Ifá"; "Yoruba concepts of the soul"; "Some aspects of Yoruba urbanism"; "Lander’s routes through Yoruba country", undated, 1956-1977Add to your cart.
Articles
Folder 8: Cabrisas, Hilarion, "La Tormenta", 1933Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 9: Castellanos, Isabel, 1976Add to your cart.
Thesis
Folder 10: Childers, J. Wesley"La creacion del hombre y sus caracteristicas", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 11: Cobb, Carl W."Federico Garcia Lorcathe dedication of ‘La casada infiel", 1967Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 12: Comtois, Eliane, 1974Add to your cart.
Thesis
Folder 13: Cortes Alonso, Vicenta, "La poblacion negra de palos de la frontera" and "Procedencia de los esclavos negros en Valencia", 1966-1972Add to your cart.
Articles
Folder 14: De Granda, Germán, 1970-1973Add to your cart.
Pamphlets
Folder 15: De La Vega, O.F., 1984Add to your cart.
Pamphlets
Folder 16: De Los Toyos Alcalá, Alberto, "El empirismo, pionero de la ciencia", 1975Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 17: Desnoes, Edmundo, "Wilfredo Lam en Cuba", 1963Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 18: Díaz Parrado, Flora, "El remordimiento", 1944Add to your cart.
Scripts(document)
Folder 19: Duany, Jorge, "After the revolution: The search for roots in Afro-Cuban culture", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Box 55Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Falcionelli, Alberto, "Sociedad occidental y guerra revolucionaria", 1962Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 2: Fernández, José E., "Bibliografía de Fernando Ortíz y Fernández", 1971Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 3: Fernández Monzón, Araceli, "Versos", 1984Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 4: Ferrara, O. and J. M.,"Correspondencia inédita", undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Flores de Apodaca de Godoy, Virginia, "Propuesta, conquista y species", 1989Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 6: Florit, Eugenio, "Unos hombres"; "De ramas en flores, de flores en ramas"; "FIU Commencement"; "Palabras sobre Lydia Cabrera", undated, 1960-1989Add to your cart.
Articles
Folder 7: Fontanez de Flemming, Angela, Folktales of the Yoruba People, 1973Add to your cart.
Book
Folder 8: Forde, Daryll and G.I. Jones, "The Ibibio-Speaking Peoples", undatedAdd to your cart.
Copy of chapter
Folder 9: Forde, Daryll, "The Yoruba-Speaking Peoples", undatedAdd to your cart.
Copy of chapter
Folder 10: Garfias, Robert, "The Marimba of Mexico and Central America", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 11: Goicochea, J.M. "Cuba cartography study", undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: González-Esteva, Orlando, poems, 1981Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Harrison, Tony, "Shangó, the shaky fairy", 1970Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 14: Hart, "A XMAS Miracle", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescripts
Folder 15: Hechavarría de Fernández Casas, Lolita, "Cuentos que mi abuela me contaba", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 16: Hernández, Antonio, "Sobre Lydia", 1984Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 17: Hiriart, Rosario, "En torno al mundo negro de Lydia Cabrera"; "Metamorfosis de una anecdota, Incidente, de Francisco Ayala"; "Duermete mi niño"; "Francisco Ayala e la letteratura italiana"; "America’s first feminist"; "El arte de contar de Antonio Nuñez"; "Dos cartas de Gabriela Mistral"; "Imagen de Eugenio Florit desde su poesía"; "Un estudio sobre las bromas literarias"; "Paisaje y poesía en Ildefonso-Manuel Gil"; "Cronica circular"; "Apuntes sobre los cuentos de Juan Carlos Onetti"; "Cartas a Lydia Cabrera"; "America’s First Feminist", undated, 1973-1988, 1973Add to your cart.
Articles and pamphlets
Folder 18: Hodson, Millicent, "Dunham’s Dance Literacy", undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Igue, John, "The Yoruba -speaking people of DahomeyTogo", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 20: Irizarry, Estelle"Los hechos y la cultura en los EE.UU.", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 21: Jiménez, José Olivio, article on Afro Cuban poetry, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Joel, Miriam, "African traditions in Latin America", 1972Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 23: Kalisch, Marco, Orisha Tradition, 1975Add to your cart.
Book
Folder 24: Laurencio, Angel Aparicio "El español escrito de California", 1979Add to your cart.
Pamphlet
Folder 25: Le Riverend Bruzone, Pablo"Manifiesto para Lydia Cabrera", "40 Dibujos de Cordova", Article & Book, undated, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Leviant, Dolores & Weiland, Christine, "Santería", undatedAdd to your cart.
Research paper
Folder 27: López, Jesús J., "Cosas que pasan: Cuentos Negros de Cuba", 1940Add to your cart.
Article
Box 56Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Mabille, Pierre, "La Manigua", 1944Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 2: Marepa, Leonor, "Escritores Cubanos fuera de Cuba", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 3: Marsan, Eugenio,"Las leyes modestas de la humanidad", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 4: Matas, Julio, "Revolucion, literature y religion afrocubana"; "La cuestion del genero literario", 1983Add to your cart.
Articles
Folder 5: Maupoil, Bernard, "The Ifa Oracle in West Africa", 1982Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Medina de Spyropoulos, Esperanza, "El simbolismo y el lenguaje del abanico", 1967Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 7: Mintz, Sidney W., "Melville J. Herskovits: Caribbean Studies, A retrospective tribute", 1969Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 8: Miomandre, Francis de Antonia Merce, "La Argentina Rumba", 1933Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 9: Mirabal, Rafael, "Afrocuban Art", 1974-1975Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 10: Molloy, Sylvia, "La literature Hispano-Americaine l’etranger", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 11: Montero Bascom, Berta, "Comparación de dos personajes en el estilo narrativo", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 12: Morúa Delgado, MartinSofia, p. 1-116, 1972Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 13: Morúa Delgado, MartinSofia, p. 117-325, 1972Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 14: Muriedas, Mercedes, "Cartas a Lydia Cabrera", 1988Add to your cart.
Speech
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Navarrete, Antonio, "El himno invasor de la revolucion de Yara", 1981Add to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 2: Olmsted, David L., "Comparative notes on YorubaLucumí", 1953Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 3: Ortíz, Fernando, 1970Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 4: Peláez, Amelia, undatedAdd to your cart.
Articles
Folder 5: Pichardo, Hortensia, "Documentos para la historia de Cuba", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 6: Pollak-Elts, Angelina, "Concerning research on the field of Afro-American studies", 1967-1980Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 7: Portugal, Fernandes, "O candomble no Brasil", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 8: Ramos, José Antonio, Caniqui, p. 8-211, 1963Add to your cart.
Book copy
Folder 9: Ramos, José Antonio, Caniqui, p. 212-371, 1963Add to your cart.
Book copy
Folder 10: Rey Yero, Luis, "El arpa o la sombra", 1980Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 11: Robaina, Tomás F., "Bibliografía Sobre Estudios Afro-Americanos", 1969Add to your cart.
Book copy
Folder 12: Rodrigo, Antonina, "García Lorca en Cataluña"; "Margarita Xirgu y su teatro", undatedAdd to your cart.
Articles
Folder 13: Roig, Juan Tomas, Indice Botanico, 1970Add to your cart.
Book copy
Folder 14: Rosado, Olimpia, biography, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Rouget, Gilbert, "Notes et documents pour servir a l’etude de la musique Yoruba", 1965Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 16: Sampedro, Edelmira (Countess of Covadonga), memoir, undatedAdd to your cart.
Manuscript; Typescript
Folder 17: Sampedro, Edelmira (Countess of Covadonga), memoir, undatedAdd to your cart.
Manuscript; Typescript
Box 58Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Sampedro, Edelmira (Countess of Covadonga), memoir, undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript copies
Folder 2: Sampedro, Edelmira (Countess of Covadonga), memoir, undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript copies
Folder 3: Sampedro, Edelmira (Countess of Covadonga), memoir, undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript copies
Folder 4: Sanchez de Cardenas, Julio, "Analisis del libro El Monte de Lydia Cabrera", 1968Add to your cart.
Book review
Folder 5: Soloni, Felix, Merse, 1926Add to your cart.
Novel
Folder 6: Smith, Louise E., "Cuba revisited", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 7: Verger, PierreBahia, "The West Coast Trade, Awon Ewe Osanyin"; "Orishas in Africa"; "The Yoruba High God"; "La societe egbe orun des abiku, Grandeur et decadence du culte de Iyami O’Soronga"; "La laguna sagrada de San Joaquín", undatedAdd to your cart.
Book reviews
Folder 8: Wardlow, Jean, "Feathers chase bad luck; a voodoo spell is harder"; "With art", undatedAdd to your cart.
Articles
Box 59Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Unknown, Cuba, undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 2: Unknown, Cuban politics and Cuban revolution, undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 3: Unknown, "La Gran Estafa", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript
Folder 4: Valdes Cruz, Rosa, "Mitos africanos conservados en Cuba y su tratamiento literario por Lydia Cabrera", 1973Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 5: Lorca, Frederico Garcia, articles about, 1961-1984Add to your cart.
Folder 6: "Actas del folklore", 1961Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 7: "African Tribal Groupings", 1959Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 8: "Caribe Report", 1979-1982Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 9: Magazines, various, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: "Otros Mundos", 1976Add to your cart.
Article
Folder 11: "What is playing in Cuba?", undatedAdd to your cart.
Article
Folder 12: Magazines, various, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Yellow fever, undated, 1948-1966Add to your cart.
Clippings
Folder 14: Victor, "Información sobre el conflicto habido entre Don Miguel Aldama y Doña Emilia Casanova de Villaverde", undatedAdd to your cart.
Typescript

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1910-[1991?]],
[Series 2: Personal Papers, 1916-1992, undated],
[Series 3: Works and research files, 1930-1987, undated],
[Series 4: Photographs, 1901-1991, undated],
[Series 5: Colonial Cuba materials, 1559-1940s, undated],
[Series 6: Writings by others, 1885-1991, undated],
[Series 7: Memorabilia and art work, 1865-1986, undated],
[Series 8: María Teresa Rojas papers, 1935-1987, undated],
[All]



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