A previously unpublished report by noted Cuban ethnologist and anthropologist Fernando Ortiz, written after his first visit to the former Isle of Pines (Isla de Pinos) in 1922, was launched in Havana on Saturday by the Foundation that bears his name.
Under the title The Temple’s Cave: Isle of Pines (Archeological Discoveries)[ La cueva del templo: Isla de Pinos], the volume contains the full text of his research and includes, in addition, the tenth chapter of Pine Island’s Indian Cultures, a work which appeared in 1943. The latter, in the opinion of specialists and scholars on Ortiz (1881-1969), is of paramount importance for its approach to finding traces of Cuba’s native population.
The Foundation marked the 41th anniversary of Ortiz death with the re-issue of two books that follow on Ortiz’s footsteps: Las élites habaneras y sus clubes de recreo (1902-1930) by Maikel Fariñas and Towards an Urban Anthropology in Cuba, by Abelino Couceiro.
Fernando Ortiz ( in the photograph above he sits between an unidentified man and fellow anthropologist Lydia Cabrera) was a criminal lawyer, anthropologist, essayist, ethnomusicologist and pioneer of Afro-Cuban studies. Ortiz was among the founders the prestigious journals Revista Bimestre Cubana, Archivos del Folklore Cubano and Estudios Afrocubanos. His books, La Africanía de la Música Folklorica de Cuba (1950), and Los Instrumentos de la Música Afrocubana (1952 – 1955) are still considered essential references in the study of afro-Cuban music. He is best known for his 1940 work Cuban Counterpoint.