!"#$%& ()*+,- %$ .
/-" 0$1 2/$")03 45)%&0
Befoie the aiiival of the Euiopean, Afiica was a iich continent habitateu by 60$7
1%55/)/$" /"#$%& ()*+,-. These gioups (oi often calleu tiibes) hau a vast anu uiveise
cultuie, which incluueu uiffeient customs, tiauitions, ieligions, music, languages, many
types of uiffeient foims of ait (such as the teiiacota, coppei, biass anu bionze sculptuial
tiauitions of the Yoiuba people) anu much moie.
Some of these gioups (often ielateu by the same habits, language oi ieligion) foimeu
biggei societies foiming 8%$(1*6- anu in some cases as a iesult of economical
piospeiity anu by wai victoiies became /6,%)/- (such as the yoiuba 0yo Empiie, the
Akan Empiie, the Nali Empiie, etc.).
When Euiopeans fiist aiiiveu to West anu Cential Afiica, they mainly (a pait fiom
exploiing) came as tiaueis anu meichants, seeking "* ")01/ (**1- 0$1 6/)�$1%-/
9%"# "#/ &*0-"03 8%$(1*6- 0$1 /6,%)/- :9#%&# 30"/) 9*+31 %$&3+1/ -30;/ ")01/<=
As time passeu by, little by little the vast majoiity of this kinguoms anu empiies woulu
5033 0,0)" 0$1 1%-0,,/0), as a iesult of civil wais, inteinal oi neighboiing uisputes,
conflicts anu moie wais. The Euiopeans, taking auvantage of the situation, began
suppoiting one oi the othei kinguom, making alliances (that latei on woulu also biake)
anu began to inteifeie anu paiticipate in the situation.
This woulu allow them to gain moie anu moie contiol ovei the aiea, finally establishing
themselves anu settling in the iegion, cieating theii own colonies (1884 Beilin
Confeience). These colonies weie foimeu without any iegaiu of ethnic gioups anu theii
cultuies, languages, ieligions, etc., uiviuing anu sepaieting foimei kinguoms anu mixing
togethei tiibes anu gioups that weie totally uiffeient one fiom the othei.
>30;/ ?)01/ "* "#/ 46/)%&0- :5*&+-/1 *$
Aftei the uiscoveiy of the New Woilu in 1492, Euiopeans soon began to settle anu
establisheu colonies loyal to theii iespective Euiopean kinguoms. With this settlements,
also came the !+)*,/0$ ,*3%"%&03A )/3%(%*+- 0$1 &+3"+)03 &+-"*6- 0$1 ")01%"%*$-,
which weie showeu anu %6,*-/1 "* B0"%;/ 46/)%&0$ people. With the new aiiivals,
also came 1%-/0-/- 0$1 *,,)/--%*$.
In moie oi less a centuiy the inuigenous people of the Caiibean (calleu Tainos, Aiawak
oi Ciboney to iefei to Native Ameiicans fiom Bahamas, Cuba anu the iest of the Antilles
islanus) weie almost completely wipeu out uue to multiple factois, incluuing Euiasian
infectious uiseases aggiavateu by a lack of natuial iesistance anu colonial oppiession
anu enslavement. In 1S29, a measles outbieak in Cuba killeu two-thiius of the natives
who hau pieviously suiviveu smallpox.
As a iesult of the lack of inuigenous people anu the new iefoims to piotect the Tainos,
the Spanish began impoiting Afiican slaves.
Beginning of the 16th centuiy, !+)*,/0$- @/(0$ "* @+7 -30;/- 5)*6 45)%&0$ 8%$(-
0$1 )+3/)-A "* ")0$-,*)" "#/6 0&)*-- "#/ 4"30$"%& C&/0$ 0$1 "* 608/ "#/6 9*)8 0"
"*@0&&* ,30$"0"%*$-A 6%$/- 0$1 30"/) *$ -+(0) &0$/ ,30$"0"%*$-=
These slaves weie uefeateu anu captuieu wai enemies fiom othei Afiican kinguoms oi
tiibes, oi people that hau been captuieu by slave tiaueis. 0ften entiie villages weie
enslaveu anu solu.
Theie weie ovei 17S city-states anu kinguoms in the Afiican iegions affecteu by the
slave tiaue between 1Su2 anu 18SS.
When the Biitish conqueieu the poit of Bavana in 1762 they also intiouuceu thousanus
of slaves in a ten-month peiiou. Anothei key event was the Baitian Revolution, wheie
thousanus of Fiench iefugees, fleeing the slave iebellion in Baiti, biought slaves anu
expeitise in sugai iefining anu coffee giowing into eastein Cuba in the 179u anu eaily
By 186u, Cuba was uepenuent on its sugai plantations. It was paiticulaily uepenuent on
the 0niteu States, which bought 82 peicent of its sugai.
In 182u, Spain abolisheu the slave tiaue, but some plantation owneis continueu to buy
moie expensive anu illegal slaves.
?#/ -30;/ ")01/ "* "#/ 46/)%&0- :03-* &033/1 4"30$"%& -30;/ ")01/< "**8 ,30&/ 5)*6
"#/ DE"# "* "#/ DF"# &/$"+)%/-A 0$1 %" %- /-"%60"/1 "#0" @/"9//$ DG=HI 0$1 DH
6%33%*$ /$-30;/1 45)%&0$- 0))%;/1 %$ "#/ 46/)%&0-.
>,0$%-# 2+@0$ ;-= B*)"# 46/)%&0$
!$(3%-# 2*3*$%/- :30"/) J=>=4=<
Theie is an impoitant ieason to unueistanu why slaves biought to the Caiibbean anu
South Ameiican colonies kept theii ioots (tiauition, cultuie language, etc.) moie alive
than the ones which weie tianspoiteu to the Noithein colonies of the Biitish (latei
In the Biitish colonies, the main ieligions weie the chiistian vaiiants Anglicanism anu
Piotestantism anu latei on aftei the inuepenuence of the 0.S.A. it became calleu the
« The Piotestant Episcopal Chuich in the 0niteu States of Ameiica ». These vaiiants uiu
not pay much attention to chiistian Saints as they weie a symbol of the Catholic chuich
anu theiefoie iefuseu by anglicans anu piotestans.
In the Spanish anu Poitugese colonies howevei, Catholicism was the main ieligion
imposeu by the colonialists. The Catholic chuich has a vast vaiiety of Saints, which weie
ieally impoitant to the Spanish anu Poituguese.
Now, the slaves biought fiom West anu Cential Afiica, also biought theii ieligions with
them (ieligions of the Yoiuba, Aiaia, Congo, vuuu, etc.) which weie ielateu moie oi less
one with anothei in uiffeient ways. These ieligions aie often baseu on the belief of one
supieme gou, foice of natuie anu all living things, calleu (by the Yoiuba) « 0louumaie »,
anu with othei uiffeient names in the othei ieligions. Between « 0louumaie » anu all the
living species on Eaith, aie the so calleu (in Yoiuba) « 0iishas » moital beings cieateu by
« 0louumaie » to connect him with all the othei living species. The Yoiuba especially
aumiie anu iespecte each of these « 0iishas », they ask them foi help anu guiuance, they
offei them foou, they piay to them. When the slaves iealizeu "#/ -%6%30)%"%/-
"#/ C)%-#0- 0$1 "#/ &0"#*3%& >0%$"- #01, theii values, theii histoiy, etc., they staiteu to
asimilate the Saints anu combine both in theii beliefs, they associateu each 0iisha with a
Saints. That is how Santeiia oi Regla ue 0cha was boin foi example.
Theie aie uiffeient theoiies to explain why the slaves combineu the Catholic beliefs with
the Afiican beliefs. 0ne is that, in oiuei to keep theii ieligion alive, they fooleu the
Spanish anu Poituguese making them belief thta they weie piaying to the Saints but
actually weie piaying to theii 0iishas. Anothei theoiy is that, Spanish anu Poituguese
iealizeu the similaiities between both ieligions anu auopteu a moie o less toleiant
attituue, letting the slaves combine both.
Because of the Saint system, the slaves coulu actually keep theii ioots anu avoiu that
theii cultuie went foigotten.
?#/ &)/0"%$( *5 K 20@%31*- L %$ 2+@0, was also a ieally impoitant step that helpeu the
slaves to keep theii cultuie anu tiauitions alive. « Cabiluos »weie Afiican ethnic
associations cieateu in Cuba in the late 16th centuiy baseu on the Spanish cofiauias.
They weie kinu of fiateinities in which each one helpeu the othei in neeu, they weie
also useu foi collecting money, foi ieligious puiposes, paitying, anu they helpeu keeping
cultuie, songs, uances, anu uium ihythms alive. Spanish legislation suppoiteu the
cabiluos as enteitainment foi the slave population, anu as social contiol ieuucing the
tensions between the masteis anu the slaves. Slaves weie alloweu to gathei on holiuays
so that they coulu uance accoiuing to the customs anu theii music.
The fiist cabiluo in Cuba, calleu !"#$%&' )*"+,' was cieateu in Bavana in 1S68. The fiist
cabiluo on Compostela stieet in Bavana was built in a lot puichaseu in 1691 by the
Aiaia family. The same lot is still known as -% .'%"/ &- %'. 0/"/".
The Biitish howevei uiu not use this system of catholic Saints, anu piobably because of
that the Afiican ieligions (incluuing theii language, music anu cultuie) uiu not suivive in
the Biitish colonies. Theie is one exception though, in Louisiana anu Nississipi weie the
vuuu cultuie anu some othei few small ones suiviveu anu still exist touay. Piobably
because of the enoimous numbei of slaves kept in that iegion anu the uifficulty to
contiol eveiybouy of them. Bowevei « Cabiluos » as in Cuba aie known to have been
establisheu only in New 0ileans but in a quite uiffeient mannei.
This woulu have a huge effect on the musical, cultuial, anu linguistical uevelopment in
the uiffeient iegions of the Caiibean, South anu Noith Ameiica.
M0%$ 45)%&0$ &+3"+)/- %$ 2+@0
The main suiviving Afiican cultuies that still exist to this uay in Cuba aie appiox. S.
Although theie continue to exist moie in small villages of iuial piovinces but theii
magnituue anu impact is not so stiong. Nany cultuies also mixeu togethei anu many
weie incluueu in biggei ones.
In the following list I will explain a little about eveiy one of these S main cultuies (theii
ieligious beliefs, theii music, theii instiuments.) :
The Yoiuba aie people of tiibes fiom ./-" B%(/)%0 0$1 "#/ $*9 &*+$")7 *5 P/$%$ (not
to be mistaken with the Benin Kinguom, which was locateu apiox. in Cential-South
Nigeiia). It is *$/ *5 "#/ 6*-" %6,*)"0$" 0$1 @%( /"#$%& ()*+,- %$ 2+@0. Yoiuba
people weie biought as slaves to many places in the Ameiicas, such as Cuba, Biasil,
Baiti, Tiiniuau, Pueito Rico, Bominican Republic, Southein 0niteu States anu many
moie islanus of the Caiibean.
The Yoiuba people alieauy hau a ieally auvanceu civilization (sauly many people uon't
know) with a iich cultuie, sophisticateu political anu aitistic knowleuge anu a ueep
sense of ethics.
The Yoiuba ieligion in Cuba is iefeiieu to as Q>0$"/)%0R *) QO/(30 1/ C�R anu is *$/
*5 "#/ 6*-" %$53+/$"%03 0$1 %6,*)"0$" %$ 2+@0$ &+3"+)/A 6+-%&A 10$&/A /"&. Also
many people all ovei the woilu piactice this ieligion, which was tiuly biought to light to
the iest of the woilu by singeis, musicians anu uanceis beginning of the 7u's anu 8u's
anu with touiism in Cuba in this peiiou.
Some people say, that Santeiia oi Regla ue 0cha is consiueieu one of the oluest ieligions.
Santeios (followeis of the Santeiia oi Regla ue 0cha) believe in only *$/ -+,)/6/ S*1
*) 5*)&/ *5 "#/ +$%;/)-/A &033/1 C3*1+60)/= Be is the souice of all eneigy, the spiiitual
eneigy that foims anu holus togethei the univeise. ?#%- /$/)(7 %- &033/1 Q0&#/R *)
Q0-#/R= 0louumaie can exist in two foims calleu 0loiun, anu 0lofi. 0loiun (the Sun) has
uiiect contact with all living things on Eaith anu inteiacts with them. 0lofi is the inuiiect
pait of 0louumaie that uoes not bothei about the pioblems on Eaith, as they aie way
too little in impoitance.
0loiun acts with all living things on Eaith thiough moital messengeis= ?#/-/
6/--/$(/)- 0)/ &033/1 QC)%-#0-R :*) >0$"*- 1+/ "* -7$&)/"%T0"%*$< 0$1 3%;/ %$ /0&#
5*)&/ *5 $0"+)/=
The communication with the 0iishas is uone by piayeis, iituals, uivination, offeiings,
anu in cases of ceiemonies thiough the batá uiums anu singing.
Santeiia, as well as happens with vuuu, is often unueistoou in a wiong way because of
lack of investigation oi knowleuge, anu ieceiving theiefoie names as sect oi soiceiy oi
witchciaft. Santeiia oi Regla ue 0cha is an ancient ieligion moie anu moie iecognizeu
?#/ N*)+@0 6+-%& consists mainly of ,*37)#7"#6%& ,0""/)$- playeu by the @0"U
1)+6-, sometimes with maiacas oi a cowbell playing the clave pattein.
(Quote of }an L. Baitong : The teim polyihythmic may be loosely uefineu as the
simultaneous combination of two oi moie contiasting ihythmical patteins.)
Yoiuba singing is also a ieally impoitant pait of this music, weie singeis (obviously
singing in Yoiuba language) tell ancient stoiies fiom theii homelanu in Afiica, say
piayeis to the 0iishas oi communicate the moial of a stoiy oi tale. This stoiies anu
piayeis 0)/ ,0--/1 *$ 5)*6 (/$/)0"%*$ "* (/$/)0"%*$ *)0337 anu this alieauy foi
seveial hunuieus of yeais if not in some cases thousanus.
?#/-/ -%$(%$(- 0)/ *5"/$ &033/1 K &0$"*- L *) K )/T*- LA anu incluue a leau singei (also
sometimes uoing piegones latei in a song) anu choius (coio) singeis. Coio singeis often
sing exactly the same lyiics as the leau singei uoes.
?#/ @0"0 1)+6 ,0""/)$- 0$1 )#7"#6- :&033/1 K "*V+/- L %$ -,0$%-#< with its
vaiiations anu conveisations aie also passeu oially since always. Batas aie uiums that
have two skins on each siue, one smallei than the othei. The small one is calleu (cha oi
chacha), the laigest (enu). Sometimes the uiums (often only the biggest) aie uecoiateu
with chimes anu bells calleu « Chawoio ».
Theie aie thiee uiffeient batas :
W"#/ *8*$8*3* (smalest, also iefeiieu to as the chilu) : it nevei impiovises, always
playing the same pattein thioughout the toque anu in same cases vaiying between not
moie than S patteins in a toque. It is the metionome anu the one that keeps eveiything
W"#/ %"*"/3/ (miuule one, iefeiieu to as the fathei oi male) : in its patteins in can
iesponu with fixeu vaiiations to calls (llamauas) that makes the lowest uium.
W"#/ %70 (lowest, iefeiieu to as mothei oi female) : it is the one that ueciues, makes calls,
conveisations with the itotele, anu makes the most vaiiations of all, it is also the one to
enu a ihythm.
Nost of the bata ihythms have a EXY 5//3%$(, it is estimateu that 98% of the ihythms aie
in 6¡8. C$37 0 -6033 ,*)&/$"0(/ 0)/ %$ IXI= Theie aie many bata toques anu ihythms,
also vaiying fiom town to town, anu village to village, but ioughly it is estimateu that
*;/) HGG 1%55/)/$" )#7"#6- /Z%-", each with its vaiiations anu conveisations.
0ften batas aie also playeu on paities insteau of ceiemonies, making the ihythms playeu
theie to be calleu K ,0)"7 "*V+/- LA which incluue « chachalokuafun »,
« niongo », « iumbita obatala oi obanla », « iyesa », « yacota ».
In ceiemonies (also calleu « bembes ») theie have to be thiee main paits to honoi the
D= C)+ >/&* [ the fiist pait of a bembe anu a seiies of bata toques playeu foi each of the
0iisha (this can vaiy fiom between 22 to almost Su toques). The teim seco actually
means "uiy" in Spanish anu, in this case, iefeis to the absence of singing. (Lasts about
Sumin to 1 houi uepenuing)
H= C)+ 20$"0$1* [ the seconu pait of a bembe consisting of a seiies of songs sung foi
each of the 0iisha. The songs aie accompanieu by bata uiums, anu may employ many of
the same toques useu uuiing the 0iu Seco. (Can last longei than 1 houi)
\= ./6/3/)/ [ the last pait of a bembe, expanus on the music playeu in the piioi
sections anu incluues uancing anu singing, in hopes that the 0iisha will come uown anu
"visit" the paiticipants.
List of some 0iishas :
Orisha Domain (only some) Colours
Elegbá The crossroads, roads, destiny Black and red
Ogún Metal, workers, war Black and green (red)
Oshosi The hunt, justice Dark blue, yellow
Osayín Healing, herbs and plants No specific
Erinlé Fishing, also healing Turquoise, green
Orishaokó Agriculture Turquoise, violet
Babaluaiyé Sickness and epidemics Brown, black (red)
Ibeji Twins, youth, vitality White, red, blue
Dadá Childhood, also failed childhood White, red
Iroko Silk, cotton Green, turquoise, blue
Agayú Volcanos, mountains, fire Red
Thunder, fire, music, dance,
Obatalá Purity, creator of mankind White
Odúduwa The dead, creator of Ile Ife White
Oba Guardian of the tombs Pink
Yewá Cementry Rose, (light red)
Oyá Storms, wind, (markets) (Multicolored)
Yemayá Oceans, sea, motherhood Blue, white
Olokún Deep ocean Dark blue, (red)
Nana Burukú Lagoons Black, mallow
Oshún Rivers, attraction, love Gold, yellow
Orula Divination Green, yellow
P4B?J :]4^C MCB?!_<
?#/ P0$"+ ,/*,3/ &06/ 5)*6 "#/ )/(%*$ *5 2*$(*A 2/$")03 45)%&0A 206/)+$A
4$(*30_ The Bantu teim was useu to put into one gioup all the tiibes anu ethnic gioups
that spoke the Bantu language anu followeu moie oi less the same cultuies anu
tiauitions. P0$"+ %- *$/ :%5 $*" "#/ @%((/-"< 3%$(+%-"%& /"#$%& ()*+, %$ "#/
-+@-0#0)%0$ 0)/0 0$1 2/$")03 45)%&0. They aie also one of the laigest gioups in Cuba,
although many Bantu people mixeu with othei ethnic gioups oi lost pait of theii cultuie
?#/%) )/3%(%*$ %- 60%$37 &033/1 ]03* M*$"/A ]03* M07*6@/ *) -%6,37 M07*6@/=
This ieligion was foimeu by the mixtuie of many otheis (like the Imbisa anu Biillumba)
finally ieaching the Kimbisa vaiiant in the 19th centuiy. Palo Nonte is also iefeiieu to as
Palo Nonte oi Regla Conga has its chaiacteiistic featuies in its 0--*&%0"%*$ 9%"# $0"+)/=
Plants, foi example, aie consiueieu to be animateu by spiiits which live in them. Anu the
ancestois aie iepiesenteu in the watei.
The centei of attention in this ieligion is the Nganga (a kinu of vessel wheie the spiiit of
Orúnmila Divination Yellow, green
a ueau being lives, which is in connection with the believeis). The Palo Nonte ieligion
can be ueiiveu into thiee vaiiants :
Palo Nayombe : chaiacteiizeu by the use of two Ngangas, one useu foi the goou anu one
foi the bau.
Palo Nuoki : chaiacteiizeu by the use of only one Nganga, foi the bau. This vaiiant is not
Palo Kimbisa : this one only uses Ngangas to uo goou, anu focuses on unueistanuing the
foices of natuie. The believeis of this vaiiant often have a vast knowleuge aboui plants.
It is also one of the most common vaiiants in Cuba.
The ieligion of Palo Nonte has many connections with the Yoiuba ieligion anu the
Abakua society, plus having mixeu with Catholicism as the Yoiuba uiu.
M0$7 N*)+@0 C)%-#0- 0)/ 5*+$1 %$ ]03* M*$"/ 9%"# *"#/) $06/- but moie oi less
the same cualities. Although they aie not iepiesenteu as beings, they aie iepiesenteu
moie as foices of natuie (calleu mpungos).
Foi example, Eleggua in Santeiia is compaieu with « Remolino Cuatio vientos » oi with
its catholic name « Niño ue Atocha » oi also with « Luceio Nunuo » uiiving foice of the
winu on the ioaus. Babalu Aye is calleu « Sobayenue oi 0bayenue ». Shango is calleu
« Siete Rayos Punto Fiime ». 0shun, « Chola 0nwemwe ».
Palo Nonte has often incluueu the +-/ *5 >,0$%-# 0$1 #0- 6%Z/1 %" 9%"# %"- P0$"+
30$(+0(/ ioots anu has cieateu a mixeu language between both.
The Bantu music, also moie often calleu K 2%&3* 2*$(* L oi simply Congo, consists of
uiumming anu singing. The singing is uone in this mixtuie between Bantu anu Spanish
anu woiks moie oi less similai to Yoiuba stiuctuies. The lyiics can have ieligious
context, but can also complain about situations in life oi life in geneial.
The uiums useu aie similai to congas, but uiffeient in shape anu size. The highest one is
calleu K &0&#%6@* LA the miuule K 6+30 L anu the lowest K&0`0 L= 0ften the use of cata
anu clave oi cowbells is also typical accompanying the uiums anu singing. Although
Congo ihythms uo not follow ue iumba clave, they aie @0-/1 *$ "#/ a+$%;/)-03b &30;/
*5 \W\ :*) K ")/-%33* &+@0$* L< *) 03-* %$ EXY &30;/= The most populai ihythms aie
608+"0A 7+80 0$1 ,03*. Biffeient than in guaguanco, the #%(#/-" 1)+6 :&0&#%6@*<
1*/- $*" %6,)*;%-/ 0$1 "#/ 3*9/-" :&0`0< %- "#/ *$/ "* 1* ;0)%0"%*$-. The uiums can
be playeu 9%"# *$/ -"%&8 *) @*"# #0$1-.
The -/&)/" -*&%/"7 of the Abakua (also sometimes calleu Náñigos) is one of the most
influentials in Cuba. Abakua people came fiom the $%(/)%0$ )/(%*$ *5 2030@0) %$ "#/
>*+"#/0-" *5 "#/ &*+$")7. Some Abakua membeis also came 5)*6 "#/ 0$&%/$" -30;/W
")01/ 8%$(1*6 *5 d0#*6/7 (in what is touay Benin, Togo.). Abakua fiist foimeu in
18S2 in Bavana, in the &0@%31* *5 "#/ 20)0@03% (fiom the Calabai peninsula) Apapa Efik.
The Abakua society was secietely foimeu by slaves oi fieeu slaves, which felt "#/ $//1
"* &)/0"/ 0 -*&%03 6*)03 /$;%)*$6/$", to help each othei, be able to expiess each
othei anu to cieate a sepaiate familiai enviionment that uiu not exist on plantations oi
othei iegions because of iepiession.
Abakua membeis have to follow iules in oiuei to be accepteu in the community. They
have to help each othei anu iespect eveiy membei of the society. To entei anu get
accepteu as a membei it is ieally haiu, as one has to pass a seiies of ceiemonies anu
Fiist only black skineu people coulu join but with time also mulatos anu white skineu
have been accepteu. In 186S, the fiist whites weie accepteu cieating like this "#/ 5%)-"
6%Z/1 -*&%/"7 of black anu white skinneu in Cuba. It is also supposeuly only a men
gioup, women aie not accepteu (oi at least in some of the societies acioss Cuba).
The Abakua believe in mythical stoiies that aie passeu on oially. The basic legenu of the
society is calleu QM%"* 1/ >%80$0R. Little is know of the Abakua stoiies, ceiemonies anu
iituals, as it is foibiuuen foi membeis to speak about it with non-membeis. Abakua
societies also have a stiict hieiaichical stiuctuie.
Abakua music is *5"/$ *$37 ,/)5*)6/1 %$ -/&)/"= The most impoitant uium is calleu
"ekue" anu cannot be shown to non-membei. The next uium is calleu "mpego" anu it's
basically the same as the ekue but can be shown to the public. The thiiu one is calleu
"Nkiikamo", useu to call the uancing spiiits also calleu "uiablitos" (little uevils). These
thiee uiums aie only useu foi ceiemonial puiposes anu aie baiely musicaly playeu.
The musical uiums useu aie foui, calleu @%0$8*6/8*. The tall uium is the @*$8e
/$&#/6%7U; the thiee smallei uiums aie /$8*6*-. Fiom big to small, they aie the
@%0,UA 0)*@0,UA 0$1 8+&#%7/)/6U.
The cowbell is calleu "ekon" anu is often accompagnieu by "itonoes" (sticks), maiacas
calleu "eiikunuis" anu a chekeie. Like most Afiican ihythms in Cuba, Abakua ihythms
aie in a 6¡8 feeling.
Nobouy is 1uu% suie wheie the uanga people come fiom. uanga people lost kinu of
theii ioots of oiigin, but %" %- @/3%/;/1 "#0" "#/7 9/)/ 6%()0"%$( ")%@/- 5)*6 "#/ 0)/0
*5 >/$/(06@%0 0$1 M03% "#0" 9/$" "* /-"0@3%-# 0$1 -/""3/1 1*9$ %$ P0$"+ 0)/0- %$
"#/ 2*$(*, as many tiibes of the uanga pioof to be of senegambian anu mali uescenuent
but aie founu in the bantu aiea of Congo. This migiation is believeu to have taken place
between ue 16th anu 17th centuiy.
The only stiong ganga population in Cuba, the uanga Longowa family, lives in Peiico.
They have lost most of theii cultuie anu customs auapting mostly into the Yoiuba
cultuie anu ieligion, +-%$( "#/ -06/ S*1 :C3*1+60)/< 0$1 &033%$( "#/ C)%-#0- @7
*"#/) $06/-= Such as «uewa» foi Eleggua, «Nou» foi 0ggun, «Yebbe» foi Babalu Aye,
«Namba» foi Shango, «Yeye» foi 0shun anu «La vieja» foi 0bbatala.
The Aiaia people came fiom the ethnic gioups of the ewe, auja anu fong. They came
5)*6 "#/ 0$&%/$" 8%$(1*6 *5 d0#*6/7 (in touay's Benin anu Togo). Aiaia people can
be founu mainly in the cities of Babana anu Natanzas.
The Aiaia also @/3%/5 %$ C3*1+60)/ 0$1 #0;/ -")*$(37 0&&/,"/1 "#/ N*)+@0 )/3%(%*$
0- "#/%) *9$A @+" 3%8/ "#/ S0$(0 0$1 P0$"+ "#/7 #0;/ 1%55/)/$" $06/- 5*) "#/%)
Aiaia anu uanga music is iaie to finu, because of theii small numbei of population anu
because of Yoiuba anu Bantu influence. Theie aie still small iegions anu places weie
theii music continues to be playeu.
With the help of Nichael ue Niianua I was able to finu an example of Aiaia ihythm that
he shows on youtube. Also on the app « PeicussionTutoi » you can finu an Aiaia ihythm
calleu « 45)0 ».
Aiaia music involves veiy often 5*+) &*$(0- ("+6@01*)0-), maiacas, guiio oi shekeie
anu singing. The foui tumbauoias aie often calle fiom high to low K "/)&/)*L,
K -/(+$1* LA K @0`*L anu « &0`0 ». Like in Bantu music the +-/ *5 0 -"%&8 to play on the
uium is quite often useu. The use of a K (+0"0&0A �,% *) *(0$L is also useu to play a
clave pattein in 6¡8 which is sometimes a bit uiffeient than the typical 6¡8 clave
pattein, anu sometimes the same.
B!.WPCOB 4fOg24B >?N^!> gB 2JP4
With the mixtuie of uiffeient Afiican ethnic gioups anu with Spanish influences, came
also new styles anu ways of playing. Some of these afiocuban ihythms boin on the
islanu aie the wiuely known K (+0(+0$&* LA K &*3+6@%0 L *) K 706@+ L. Also cainival
ihythms like the K &*$(0 *) &*6,0)-0 L have Afiican ioots, anu of couise the whole
woilu of salsa anu latin music woulu not exist without the impoitant influence of Afiican
music anu its magnific cultuie. When it comes to the veiy beggining the whole humanity
was oiiginateu in Afiica. viva Afiica!
Reseaich anu piesentation by Eiik Laiiea, foi Cuban Bistoiy Class of Abel Naicel.
Foi moie infoimation about Afiocuban cultuies anu histoiy, you can check the souices I
useu. This aie the souices :
www.oiishasplace.com ¡ www.wikipeuia.com (caiefull) ¡
(www.sciibu.com - section of bata uiumming)
Reseaich of « Biumming the uous - Selections of Tiauitional Santeiia Biumming » by
Luis N. Nunez can be uownloaueu foi fiee. ¡ Youtube - Nichael ue Niianua ihythms.
0iu seco playalong + chait tiansciiption founu on www.timba.com ¡
Nagie ues Caiaibes et Santeiia. 0iigines et histoiie, Rituels u'initiation, ue uivination et
iituels magiques. Fiom Naiia-Alba values. (I ieau it in Fiench, i uon't know if it exists in
othei languages soiiy). ¡ Banu out of }an L. Baitong foi Nusic Woilu Wiue.