Changüí is declared cultural heritage of the Cuban nation

Changüí, an ancient Cuban musical rhythm considered to be the first beginnings of the son, was officially declared (20 December) as Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Cuban nation.
In a public ceremony in the popular neighbourhood of Loma del Chivo, in Guantanamo, the president of the National Heritage Council, Gladys Collazo, presented the official certificate to local representatives.

Hundreds of people gathered to await the announcement outside the Casa del Changüí, where groups come to perform classic changui songs  such as the famous Guararey de Pastora, which was turned into a hit dance track by Los Van Van, in the 1970s.

Despite being a folkloric relic, changui’s relevance and popularity has been consolidated over the years, thanks to its proponents and its promotion by the Guantanamo musician Elio Revé, who popularized changui both inside and outside the country.

Nowadays, other styles and scenes appropriate changui, fusing it with genres as varied as jazz, rap, techno music, among others, which has allowed it to establish itself within the living cultural panorama of the island with its own identity.

The Changüí, the indigenous rhythm of the easternmost province of Cuba, emerged between 1871-1899 in the mountains of Yateras, El Salvador, Manuel Tames and Guantanamo, when several families begin to gather to celebrate important dates such as Christmas or the feasts of saints.

In the beginning there were no structured groups, they were rather groups of people who played together spontaneously – around this time the tres, an instrument similar to the guitar, also emerged in eastern Cuba.


But the Changüí is more than a rhythm, it is a celebration, a celebration where eating and drinking until dawn are an inseparable part of the celebration, tradition and identity of the Guantanamero/a who enjoys it anywhere in the world where s/he is.

Link to original report by Prensa Latina

Listen to the declaration of Changui as National Cultural Heritage  – in spanish