From House-Temples to Museum Showcase: Afro-Cuban Religions, Heritage and Cultural Policy in Cuba

  • Michelle A. Tisdel
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict book series (PSCHC)


During the Republican era (1902−1959) and under Socialist rule, Cuban governments persecuted, stigmatized, and criminalized Afro-Cuban religious practitioners. At times, they were arrested and their religious objects were confiscated as criminal evidence. Following new cultural policies in the 1970s and 1980s, Cuban museums collected, preserved, and displayed these artifacts as heritage objects and examples of religious ethnology. Nowadays, museums promote Afro-Cuban religious heritage, producing a narrative which omits the history of government repression and instead promotes it as a symbol of racial and cultural blending. This contribution explores the role of government in producing heritage as well as cultural contestation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle A. Tisdel
    • 1
  1. 1.National Library of NorwayOsloNorway

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