Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Latin American and Caribbean Studies

First Advisor's Name

Sherry Johnson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jean-Robert Cadely

Third Advisor's Name

Astrid Arrarás


Cuba, Language, Lucumí, Yoruba

Date of Defense



This thesis investigates the socio-linguistic factors that led to the emergence of a new language in Cuba known as Anagó. This language emerged from contact between multiple dialects of the West African Yoruba language and Spanish. Language contact between the Yoruba language and Spanish took place in Cuba beginning in the nineteenth century after the introduction of large numbers of Yoruba speakers into Cuba during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This thesis argues against the opinion that Anagó is simply a corrupted and imperfect form of Yoruba. Instead, it maintains that Anagó is a new language that emerged in Cuba and became a functional vehicle for the transmission of ideas and culture. Additionally, this study will present evidence that the Anagó speaking community was a constituent part of Cuban society since the nineteenth century, and is therefore an inextricable part of Cuban cultural patrimony. Twentieth century examples of Anagó language are examined as evidence of a vital Anagó speaking transnational community.





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