Feliza Medrano

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



During the mid-nineteenth century, a traveler from the United States by the name of Samuel Hazard sojourned in Cuba. His visit coincided not only with the island's tobacco and sugar booms, but also with the initial stages of the Ten Years' War (1868-1878). Hazard's published journal entitled Cuba with Pen and Pencil (1871) chronicles late colonial Cuba's urban and rural society with an honest, astute, yet relentlessly foreign eye. In addition to his descriptions of people and places, many chapters of Hazard's journal provide detailed accounts of cigar and cigarette production and consumption in Cuba. For Hazard, who would have been more familiar with the snuff and chewing tobacco used by men in the United States at the time, cigars and especially cigarettes were quite a novelty as the following excerpt from his journal illustrates: "Wherever one goes in Cuba, the cigarette meets him at every turn, more so even than the cigar; for, in the cars, between the acts in the opera house, in the mouths of pretty women, between the courses of the dinner.. . one finds the delicate, fragrant, paper cigar. Like Hazard, I am also fascinated by the consumption and marketing of the cigarette in Cuba's tobacco industry. However, given the historical gap and my second-hand knowledge of Cuban traditions, I am forced to approach the study of nineteenth-century Cuban culture in the same manner used by Samuel Hazard: as an outsider. This is why I have selected cigarette packages, known as marquillas, as my paradigm and visual aid in the following study of nineteenth-century Cuban race and gender relations.


Latin American and Iberian Institute

Language (ISO)



The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico


Cuba, mulatto women, tobacco, cigarettes, cigar, race, gender