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The Bayate colony in Cuba
The Bayate colony in Cuba grew up around the production of sugar, which was extracted from sugar cane. Everyone participated in the harvest.
Photo: Thomas Gustafssons arkiv
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The Swedes in Bayate, Cuba - A forgotten emigration history

Research project

Short description

The purpose of the project is to research the tangible and intangible remains of the Swedish agricultural colony that was located in Bayate in eastern Cuba during the early 20th century. By researching these remains, in the form of physical remains and oral narratives, the project can complement the knowledge of Swedish emigration history with small-scale narratives from below.

Background

The Swedish emigration to North America during the latter half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century is well documented, but this is not the case with the emigration to Cuba, which is largely unknown. At the beginning of the 20th century, Swedish emigrants founded the agricultural colony Bayate in eastern Cuba, and when the colony reached its peak, several hundred Swedish families lived here. The end of World War II and not least the Cuban revolution led to Bayate falling into oblivion.

The foundation of the project was laid by the author and Cuban expert Thomas Gustafsson, who has been researching the colony's history for several years. He presents the results in the book "Baytate: Den svenska kolonin i Kuba" which was published in 2018.

The project aims to supplement and expand the knowledge about Bayate with anthropological and archaeological investigations.

Purpose and aim

The purpose of the project is to research the material and intangible remains of the Swedish agricultural colony that was located in Bayate in eastern Cuba during the early 20th century. By researching these remains, in the form of physical remains and oral narratives, the project can complement the knowledge of Swedish emigration history with small-scale narratives from below.