Last modified on September 23, 2011, at 19:42


Guajiros (Cuba) is a word taken from the indigenous Taino, meaning squire or similar title. This is used in Cuba to describe the inhabitants of the countryside of any class. Ethnically they a mix of Spanish, Canary Islanders, and native inhabitants, with some regional variable admixture of Africans. A famously independent population they commonly ride small wiry criollo horses and carry weapons , usually a machete and a smaller knife, and less frequently fire arms. Peasants commonly live in villages and do not ride nor carry weapons. Guajiros tend to live in separate dwellings rather than in villages and are prone to individual combat both with weapons and with a guitar called a "tres." These warriors have been the backbone of all fighting forces from the earliest times of recorded Cuban history, through the bloody rural resistance to Castro known as The War Against the Bandits. Although some scholars following marxoid terminology frequently call them peasants, neither their nature nor the customs of the guajiros correspond to such a description. A subclass of Guajiro is Montuno, which refers to the even wilder and lawless population of Cuba's mountains.