History of Afro- Ecuadorians of Ecuador, South America.

History of Afro- Ecuadorians of Ecuador, South America.

Afro Ecuadorians are a group of African descendants located in Ecuador, South America, they were captured by the Spanish from some parts of the Bantu regions of Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa they came from places like Congo Republic, Ivory Coast, Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Mozambique .
They came from ethnic groups such as Yoruba, Igbo, Kanuri, Adja also spelled Aja, Mina, Ewe, Luo, Mandinka, Senufo, Akan which include Asante, Akyem, Wassa, Nzema, Akuapem and other Akan ethnic groups, they were captured to Ecuador from Africa sold into slavery by the Spanish the first ship arrived in Ecuadorian ports in 1553, Africans worked on plantations such as Coffee, Sugar cane and Cotton plantations the slave ship was owned by a group of Catholic and Presbyterian missionaries who imported Africans to Brazil, Ecuador and other parts of South America. They were brought during their conquest of Ecuador from Incas.
African liberator called Alonso llesceas was born around 1528 in what is now Present day Senegal he is of Hausa and Mandinka ancestry at age 10 he was sold into slavery by Catholic missionaries to Spain at a young age he was forced to convert to Catholicism and he was baptized in Seville with the adopted name Enrique translated as Eric in English later the Slave master Illecas gave him the name Alonso de Illescas he learned the Spanish language and he played instruments from Senegal called Kora which is played by the Wolof and Madinka mostly in West Africa, when he was at age 25 he was sold again and transported by Spanish to the Americas which includes North and South America by the family of his slave master in 1553, the merchant ship of the Spanish sailed to Panama then to Peru before he was brought to Ecuador later he rebelled, fought and escaped with other Africans for their freedom.
According to Afro- Ecuadorian Anthropologist Miguel de Balboa Alonso, He was once invited to a feast with a chief Chillanduli with the Indian Ecuadorians in Dobe, Alonso Illecas was a brave young man who fought in a war he spoke fluent Spanish and can write it, the Spanish Slave masters wanted to maintained a friendly relationship with him but he rejected it he was once told by a Catholic priest that he was pardon and appointed as a Governor of Esmealdas it is believed he took appointment and wrote a letter to the King of Spain and told him he appreciated his offer but added that before he approve the offer first he have to sit down and talk with his people.
Alonso Illeceas broke the relatonship between him and the King of Spain which is dangerous , An Afro Ecuadorian freedom fighter called Maria Chiquinquira Diaz was an Afro Ecudorian woman of Niger Ancestry others claimed her maternal Ancestors came from the Niger regions brought to Ecuador, she was the first woman to stand up and fought the Spanish plantation owners called Presbyter Afonso Cepeda de Arizcum Elizondo, Maria daughter was also captured as a slave she fought for her daughter freedom in 1794 she freed 1,000 black women in Ecuador and rebelled against the Spanish but she was forced to work on Sundays on the plantations but she refused. 

Afro Ecuadorians are mixed with African, Indian and of European ancestry due to Slave trade the Spanish had children with most of the African women brought to Ecuador but it is believed the Indian intermarried with them, Ecuador has a strong Bantu and Mande influences they still pratice the African Culture combined with the Indo cultures as well, they brought an instrument from Africa called Marimba which is a musical instrument which consist of wooden bars and metal mallets for the West Africans it is derived from balafon. 
They performed the marimba dances, marimba was a way they expressed their freedom but it was restricted by the Spanish in the early 20th Century they would display their rich culture and traditions, El Azucar dance traced its origins back to what is now Present day Mozambique it was brought to Ecuador and was performed on the sugar plantations during performance their Ancestors formed a musical band and performed with instruments also dances as well such as marimba and its dance, bambuco which is common to Esmeraldes on the pacific coast.
Marimba is referred as a honor and respect dance they share folklore, teach how to sing marimba music and perform the dance, marimba is a way they used to communicate with the Africans in Diaspora, they perfomed in groups during African musical festivals in Ecuador.
In 1970s, the elders embarked on a mission to revive their African heritage and Marimba music and dance include Bambuco, Canderona, Agua, Larga, Pata core juga, Caramba and Andare, they were invited to performed once at the Inauguration of the President in 2003. In their tradition when an adult is dead there is intiation and they performed sacred pasaage rites and sing songs such as Arullo meaning songa of praises and after the funeral male and female competitions take place along with intiation of rhythms and dance patterns. 
A Child is a gift of God among them so when a child passed away they perform arrulo and chigualo is a intiation and is maintained strictly by women they plan on singing to open the realm of the divine a long with shaking marcas to invoke el Rivel, la Tunda and the Ancestors after permission from men and women they make petitions to these celebatory activities , when chigualo is performed the godparents of the child will sing and gather as one to call upon the Creator to resist bad forces and play the Conga drums also called Caijata the drummer is called Redomblante the chingualo along with playing the marimba drums women and bombero cannot be without the Singers or without the base drums.
During the Colonial era the Spanish divided up the people of their vast Empire into two republics which is of the Spanish and Indos which is Indians, blacks had to be under the colonial rule and no place was created for them according to Afro Venezuelan Anthropologist called Torres. 

In 1992 there was a movement of representations among white and black intellectuals in the 20th Century most of the representations were lo negro, Afro latino americanos, negritud and Jaime Gonzalez fought for Blacks in Ecuador Civil rights movement he stand up against racism in Ecuadorian regions and he was the face of military action pubicly espoused negritud which is blackness.
Jaime was a lawyer and the first black man to run for presidency in Ecuador but did not win and was killed in 1900s he had been advocating rights, he also served as a member of parliament. Afro Ecuadorians as well raised consciousness among this group in Soccer. It is said they were first recognized in the mid 16th Century when a ship transported them , they revolted and escaped to a land where they established that attracted them from other parts of South America.
During 1710 and 1820 many of the Africans in Chota Valley rebelled, won the battles and escaped later Slavery was abolished in 1854 after the Independence of Ecuador they also contributed to the Ecuador fought in the military defeated the Spanish and resisted from the Spanish Colonial rule later Ecuador was declared independent in 1822. Racism is still Strong and exist in Ecuador since Slavery uptill now.
 They used herbs to cure diseases in some parts of Ecuador known as Medicina and Mofongo which is a food dates back to Present day Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Sierra Leone it has origins in this countries it is known as West African Fufu, Africans brought it to Puerto rico, Ecuador, Dominica, some parts of Paraguay it is made up of plantains mashed with salt, garlic oil in a wooden pilon among Afro South Americans and Afro Carribeans, Afro- Puerto Ricans eat Mofongo with chicaharron a Spanish meat which is popular in Spain it was introduced from West Africa to Puerto Rico then Afro Puerto Ricans introduced it to Dominica, Ecuador and some parts of Paraguay.
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