Guantanamera recognizes the unique connection between Cuban flower bats and the plants they pollinate. Cuban flower bats are special - they have softer, longer calls, and they do not hover in place. Disc-shaped leaves above flowers have evolved to intensify bat sonar, making them more attractive to bats with specialized flight patterns and ecolocation calls.
As a result, the bats and the plants they pollinate are heavily dependent on each other.
A flowering vine species called Marcgravia evenia is endemic to Cuba and relies heavily on bats for pollination, so much so that it sends out a ‘bat signal.’
This plant has evolved disc-shaped leaves that suspend above a ring of flowers, resembling a satellite dish, precisely what it does. The shape acts as a reflector for the biosonar, or echolocation, emitted by the animal. With this design, the Cuban flower bats can find the plants with greater ease and pollinate them with more frequency.
- One Earth
Guantanamera is based on the song Guantanmera, a traditional Cuban folk song that has the power of a national anthem. The lyrics of Guantanamera are adapted from the Cuban poet José Martí's poem I am a Sincere Man. The text on the artwork contains lines from the song and the poem.
Excerpts from Guantanamera and I am a Sincere Man
Image credit - Pixabay Cuban Forest Banner