Skip to main content

Image / Wedding couple inside church, San Basilio del Palenque, ca. 1978

Have a question about this item?

Item information. View source record on contributor's website.

Wedding couple inside church, San Basilio del Palenque, ca. 1978
Cross, Richard, 1950-1983
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
California State University, Northridge
Contributing Institution
California State University, Northridge
Richard Cross Photographs (Bradley Center)
Rights Information
Use of images from the collections of the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center is strictly prohibited by law without prior written consent from the copyright holders. The responsibility for the use of these materials rests exclusively with the user.
The Bradley Center may assist in obtaining copyright/licensing permission to use images from the Richard Cross collection.
A wedding couple standing in the village church during a wedding ceremony. More people of different age is present in the building. From a very early age, children of the same age group, both male and female, stay and play together in a group (or cuagro), and name female and male leaders. Later, it is traditional that people will marry a person of the same cuagro. After the wedding, each group headed by the newlyweds makes a pilgrimage through the homes of relatives, first to the house of the parents of the bride; then to those of the groom, grandparents, and uncles. San Basilio del Palenque, a town located 31 miles from Cartagena, is considered the first free-slave community of the Americas because on August 23, 1691, the Spanish King Charles II signed a royal charter recognizing the freedom of the runaway slave communities in the María Mountains. Local authorities, however, did not sign a treaty with the communities of free slaves until January of 1714 acknowledging its freedom and ordering the establishment of the town of Palenque San Basilio Magno. Colombian anthropologist Nina S. de Friedemann had been studying the Afro-Colombian community of San Basilio del Palenque since 1973 for the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and Richard Cross joined her to do work as a visual anthropologist in June 1975. This image illustrates Cross’s anthropological category: Social organization.
Una pareja de novios de pie en la iglesia del pueblo durante una boda. Más personas de diferentes edades están presentes en el edificio. Desde una edad muy temprana, los niños del mismo grupo de edad, tanto hombres como mujeres, permanecen y juegan juntos en un grupo (o cuagro), y nombran líderes femeninos y masculinos. Más tarde, es tradicional que las personas se casen con una persona del mismo cuagro. Después de la boda, cada grupo encabezado por los recién casados hace una peregrinación por las casas de parientes, primero a la casa de los padres de la novia; luego a las de los del novio, los abuelos y los tíos. San Basilio del Palenque, un pueblo ubicado a 31 millas de Cartagena, se considera la primera comunidad de esclavos libres de América porque el 23 de agosto de 1691, el rey español Carlos II firmó una cédula real que reconocía la libertad de las comunidades de esclavos fugitivos en las Montañas de María. Sin embargo, las autoridades locales no firmaron un tratado con las comunidades de esclavos libres sino hasta enero de 1714, reconociendo su libertad y ordenando el establecimiento del poblado Palenque San Basilio Magno. La antropóloga colombiana Nina S. de Friedemann había estado estudiando la comunidad afrocolombiana de San Basilio del Palenque desde 1973 para el Instituto Colombiano de Antropología y Richard Cross se unió a ella para trabajar como antropólogo visual en junio de 1975. Esta imagen ilustra la categoría antropológica de Cross: Organización Social.
Black-and-white negatives
35 mm
Marriage service
San Basilio del Palenque (Colombia)
Richard Cross Photographs
California State University Northridge. University Library. Special Collections & Archives. Tom & Ethel Bradley Center

About the collections in Calisphere

Learn more about the collections in Calisphere. View our statement on digital primary resources.

Copyright, permissions, and use

If you're wondering about permissions and what you can do with this item, a good starting point is the "rights information" on this page. See our terms of use for more tips.

Share your story

Has Calisphere helped you advance your research, complete a project, or find something meaningful? We'd love to hear about it; please send us a message.

Explore related content on Calisphere: