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About the machete and its stories

The truth is that the machete has become a symbol of Cuba. When we represent the typical Cuban: the worker, the warrior, that long ago Cuban, they usually bear a machete hanging at the waist, so essential and necessary.


20 de abril de 2018 - By Mercedes Hernández

I am now thinking how to define the machete ... a weapon or a work tool? ... The machete is all that ... In the field it is indispensable for the thousand things that are done daily, and from its daily use it became an invincible weapon to gain a place in our history when it was wielded by our brave mambises ...

The truth is that the machete has become a symbol of Cuba. When we represent the typical Cuban: the worker, the warrior, that long ago Cuban, they usually bear a machete hanging at the waist, so essential and necessary.

Its use was so daily, as well as the fact of carrying it at the waist that the shirts used to have openings on the sides so that the handle of the machete would be easily seen. The simple gesture of drawing it out of the holderrlo inspired respect.

In the times of the wars of independence the machete was drawn calling with a scream to cut the throats of the enemy soldiers with the machete, something that made  the spanish army soldier run away no matter how well armed they were. They were afraid of the machetes used by the Cuban freedom fighters, because by the end of the battle those that did not perished sustained laarge sized wounds made by the cutting edge of the machete's blade.

In past centuries the peasants were very poor, and the machete was quoted in the market at very low prices. Until the middle of the 20th century, for example, one of the best brands was worth about ONE PESO TWENTY-FIVE CENTAVOS.

The machete became very popular to such extent that even today it is not conceived a single house in the countryside where there isn't, at least, one. We may also find a machete in many houses of the city, in most cases old and mistreated but there it is ... And this is easy to verify when we are summoned to a volunteer work in our neighborhood, there is always a machete ready to cut the grass or a  bush ... most of them are old and with little edge, but there they are.

And I tell you more: some people prefer to have a machete in the kitchen to make certain cuts to the meat, usually for the pig. Certainly, if the machete had a voice, it could make for us a thousand stories.


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