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Who are the Abakuá? The Secret Society

Abakuá religion in Cuba

Not many know the history of the abakuá, due to the zeal with which the secrets of one of the oldest societies in Cuba are still kept.

Few know, either, the history of the murdered members of the society, who came to the defense and attempt to rescue the 8 medical students shot by Spanish colonialism on the island.

This is how the historian Félix Julio Alfonso referred to the events:

"neither can we forget the martyrs Abakuas that, in a reckless, almost suicidal action, they tried to save the lives of the condemned and were shot in the streets aroundañas to the scene of the crime”

Abakuá, "only men"

Abakua It is a secret society of Cuban origin where only males are accepted, the only one of its kind existing in the American continent. Its members are known as abakuás or ñáñigos.

Secret society Abakua it originated in 1820 among newly arrived black slaves and soon found adherents. By 1836 the "powers" abakuas They began to spread throughout Cuba from the town of Regla.

Years later, societies were established Abakua throughout Cuba, whose main characteristic is that its members are still only male.

It is said that, for them, the concept of man reads:

"Man is not only the one who is not homosexual, but the one who reflects the purest dignity of the human being as industrious, fraternal, cheerful, rebellious against injustice, complying with the moral code established by the ancestors of the abakuá. He is the one who is a good father, a good son, a good brother and a good friend.".

From Africa to Cuba: Ñancientism

El ñañigismo It is also an expression of African beliefs, brought by Nigerian slaves, who founded the secret society.

It is also, expression spiritualist, about the influence exerted by the ancestors, so that in all their religious ceremonies they are summoned to guarantee the development of the ritual act, according to rigorous liturgical norms.

The symbolic representation of Abakua It is the Ireme or little devil and the cult activities are carried out in secret temples.

Within the ñañigismo Several hierarchies are recognized as the "indisime" who is the aspirant to enter a power, while the "obonekué" is a man already initiated.

The "plaza" occupies a relevant position within the game and is in charge of preserving and enforcing the rules and principles of the Society.

Religion Abakuá in Cuba

Due to ignorance of their secrets, the Abakuá are sometimes considered marginal and low-level people, however, many historians and ethnologists consider that this association is the maximum expression of courage.

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