Juan Cristobal Nápoles Fajardo "El Cucalambé"

Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo (Cucalambé) was born among an eminently agricultural and cattle raising population, in Las Tunas, July 1 of 1829. His father, Manuel Agustín Naples Estrada, was proprietor of lands in the property Cornito in the outskirts of Las Tunas city, where he lived until 29 years old, being nurtured of the wise one bucolic that circulates for his compositions.

El Cucalambé

Journalist, editor, playwright and payer of public works, they were some of the occupations carried out by the most prominent figure of Décima of the XIX century in Cuba. Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo, summit of the siboneísmo and the criollismo literary, he was inspiration source for later poets. His first published book was "Rumores del Hórmigo", between 1856 and 1857, then " Consecuencias de una falta " appeared, drama in four acts (in verse), in 1859. In 1974 the volume Complete"Poesía Completa" was published. Nápoles Fajardo not only wrote Décimas, but also sonnets, epigrams and romances. He was given to know as "Cucalambé" that, according to the essayist and poet Carlos Tamayo Rodríguez, means certain dance of black people, festival alias of Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo that belongs together with a fertile parcel of his work, taken root in the autochthonous values of Latin-African folklore.

The popularity of his Décimas is not drained, many people memorize them just have heard them repeatedly, without to know who wrote them. For that reason it is said that his work is bound to the voice than to the letters, and a rural Cuban party is not conceived without to recite or sing his verses to the compass of a guitar.

Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo disappeared at the age of 30, without leaving prints. This fact has received diverse interpretations, none of which has had the necessary confirmation, although some believes in the possibility of the suicide.

The ruins of El Cucalambé house are still there. Place in El Cornito area where it was his family sugar mill. Here, every years, around July 1st, pay homage to Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo, with the celebration of La Jornada Cucalam-beana.

Juan Cristóbal Nápoles Fajardo was Cucalambé one of the most genuine authors in the popular and illustrated peasant Cuban Décima, he was journalist, editor and playwright.