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The Cuban touch of the Batá drums

Cuban drums

Since African times, since slave rebellion, the batá drums they have been used in ceremonies to entertain deities.

It is said by legends that the instruments know their secret name and their particular flame. And he who touches them is an emissary of mortals in his devotion.

But like any process of transculturation, on the Island there is the Cuban touch of the batá drums.

The touch of the batá drums for Cubans is synonymous with ceremony and ritual, with their sacred sound we connect to the Orishas.

And it is that usually, where religious ceremonies were carried out were wooded areas in Africa, but in Cuba, the rites were adapted to be performed in habitaspecial tions for the different stages of the ceremony.

El touch of the Batá drums in Cuba starts in one hourabitaA closed section called the Igbodu where only the priest or Babalawo, an assistant and the bataleros, in addition to the person who performs the ritual, are allowed to enter.

The musicians must be present from the beginning, as the Orishas cannot be contacted without the rhythmic beats of the drums.

Tradition of the playing of the batá drums in Cuba

For beat of the batá drums in Cuba, an inseparable family of three, the Iyá (major drum) plays the llames, and the Itótele (middle drum) and the Okónkolo (small drum) are in charge of making the rhythm didé didé, which in Lucumí means “get up” or “proceed ”, According to scholars of the Yoruba musical field.

They continue with the Oru del Igbodu, with touches with complete rhythms in cycles, which gives way to the Eyá Eranla.

El Cuban touch of the batá, indicates that it is essential to put them in the hands of initiates in the Yoruba cult, since their dissimilar sounds help to conjure up natural forces.

Sacred legacies of the batá drum

The beliefs that our ancestors bequeathed to us about the sacred drums in Cuba, says that they must be consecrated from their composition because they are the ones who establish the connection with the Orishas, ​​managing to bring them to earth before the sacred and irresistible sound.

El Cuban touch of the batá drums Sometimes it includes unconsecrated instruments in order to save time and facilitate their construction, but this practice joins so many that discontinue the legacy of our religion.

The ceremonial drums, according to tradition, must be made of the same trunk and the ties and the patches in any santera ceremony, are made from elements of something that was once alive and that also represent the tradition and customs of the place. , like the branch of a sacred tree or the bones of an ancestor.

El beat of the batá drums in Cuba, is also syncretized and has its counterpart in the Christian ritual of the mass.

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