Nasobuco: The One Who Came to Stay
August 22, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
To be honest, I thought, at first, that the word nasobuco was an Asian voice like Kawasaki or Tamagochi. Since it was the genesis of the pandemic in that region, the word could well spread along with the new coronavirus. However, in recent readings of specialized articles, I could confirm that it is not so, even some scholars consider that Cuba is one of the few countries in America, where this garment or tool that protects the nose and mouth from the exit and entrance of microbes and bacteria is called this.
The most experienced ones grant the Cuban people this linguistic license because of its deep relationship with the medical and scientific community, which is where this neologism is really used more, referring to the nasal and mouth region (nose and mouth) belonging to the respiratory system.
For other countries, it is less complicated and they simply call it tapaboca, cubreboca, mascara, or barbijo… The important thing in all cases is to keep it well on and not to use it as a hat, mask, cubrementón or “tapa güergüero”, as my grandmother would call it when it is worn around the neck as if it were a bandage covering a tracheotomy.
The truth is that the nasobuco (or whatever you want to call it) has come to stay for an indeterminate period of time and with great possibilities that it will be a garment that we will carry in our wallet or pocket like we carry a handkerchief, keys or wallet.
It is already part of our attire and although many times we forget it when we leave the house and have to return to look for it, it is a component that has taken on vital (and read well: vital) importance.
Like everything new in clothing, the nasobuco does not escape fashion. Its confection already reaches personalization edges. The same is combined with the colors of clothes, shoes, cap, headscarf, necklaces, bracelets… When its color does not play with any of the above-mentioned it is that it is combined with the panties, brassiere’s or panties that we carry. In this case, it is not advisable to find out too much.
The designs and materials used are different. Those more spiritual, artistic and sensitive, make drawings, embroider flowers, embed a sticker of your company, favorite sports club or the name of your loved one. It should not be misunderstood in case you have two names embodied. It can be your wife and daughter or son, father and brother… in short, if not, it is not your business either: each one puts in their nasobuco what they want! I said whatever you like, not wherever you like; we talked about that and I hope it was clear, even though I said it with the nasobuco on.