Argentina is a country mainly formed by the descendants of European immigrants who arrived in the country "del Plata" in 19ème century, which are added to the parents of the Spanish conquistadors. This is therefore a country made up of a largely “white” population; mais Monica Risnicoff de Gorgas, curator of the National Estancia Museum Jesuítica by Alta Gracia and Casa del Virrey Liniers, located in Córdoba, Argentina, made it clear that during colonial times there were a lot of slaves which one says they disappeared entirely during the wars of emancipation. Which means that the country has reached the 20ème century without Afro-descendants.
After a series of research, I discovered that in this area (hacienda) There were 300 slaves who made a definite contribution to Argentinian culture through customs that persist to this day when it comes to gastronomy, dance and music, to mention just three aspects. These people were captured by the Jesuit priests who, at that time, were responsible for the property, but all their contributions remained invisible when the country was completely "whitewashed" from the 19ème century. And even if we were aware of the existence of slave colonies during the colony's time, we did not talk about this subject any more, ”she said.
Risnicoff de Gorgas points out that the colonial Jesuits could not employ the labor of the natives because of a self-imposed impediment, which is why they opted for the men and women brought mainly from Angola. An estimated 60 million blacks / Africans were shipped to America, of which only 12 million arrived alive. This population returned to the Southern Cone in 1596, first through Buenos Aires and then Montevideo, and were mainly sent to the cities of the northwest, including Córdoba.
The African community was large and their ethnic groups were diverse. Each of them had their own customs and languages, but they soon came together and in order to communicate with each other, adopted Quechua as the unifying language. And even if they were invisible, they left in the current Argentines a series of characteristics like the fact of eating the Tripe, the use of the drum and even the dance. It suffices to recall that the tango, which has recently been declared cultural heritage of humanity, has components Black / African, she said.
- In 1778, the Black / African population and their descendants constituted the majority ethnic group, reaching 54% of the population of the province of Santiago del Worldwide, 46% in the province of Salta, 44% in the province of Córdoba, 42% in the province of Tucuman, among the most populated areas of the Viceroyalty, and 30% in the city of Buenos Aires. Black / African cultures have influenced Argentinian culture in aspects like languages, solidarity organizations, food, art, religious beliefs, etc.
- In 1994, Unesco launched the “Slave Route” Project on a proposal from Haiti. It is an intersectoral and transdisciplinary program that aims to break the silence on slavery, highlight the social transformations that have occurred, the cultural interaction generated by the trafficking of enslaved persons and contribute to the culture of peace and coexistence between peoples.
Monica Risnicoff de Gorgas worked on the theme in the Río de la Plata area, in Uruguay and Paraguay. "The influence of our third branch (the other two being the native and the European) is unmistakable in the life of the inhabitants of our continent. Including Argentina in “The Slave Route” will be a recognition of the contribution of Afro-Argentines to our culture ”, she concludes.