Ortíz, Fernando, 1881-1969

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Ortíz, Fernando, 1881-1969

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Fernando Ortíz (1881-1969) was a Cuban lawyer, diplomat, social and economic historian, and cultural anthropologist. During his career, Ortíz was a prolific writer, editor and civic leader. Published in 1940, Ortíz's socio-economic history of the sugar and tabacco industries in Cuba, Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar, is regarded as a cornerstone of Caribbean and Latin American history. Ortíz is also well known for his work on Afro-Cuban culture, especially in the area of Afro-Cuban music. His most prominent works on the subject include La africanía de la música folklórica de Cuba (1950) and Los bailes y el teatro de los negros en el folklore de Cuba (1951).

Ortíz was heavily involved in promoting scholarship and inquiry in Cuba. In 1926, he cofounded the Cuban Academy of the Language, several academic journals, and the Sociedad de Estudios Afrocubanos (Society of Afro-Cuban Studies) in 1937. He died in Havana, Cuba in 1969. The Fundación Fernando Ortíz was established in Havana in 1995 to house much of his papers and to promote and preserve Afro-Cuban culture.

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