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Why is the skin of the goat the perfect skin for the Batá drum?

Pataki batá drum

It was an ancient tradition of the Arará land that various religious gathered in the palace to beat the drum in homage to the king.

At that time all drums had a human skin membrane and it was the law that the santero who broke one of these musical instruments had to pay with his own skin for the repair of its membrane. 

For this reason the music was so subdued and was hardly heard.

Therefore, the celebrations were not happy because the musicians feared breaking the drums and ending up losing a part of their being, which is why they percussed them with great softness and delicacy.

Pataki where the goat's skin "made the Batá drum sound«

orunmila Whoever lived in this land had the desire to play the Batá drum with their own hands, but since they knew that this was dangerous, they did ebbó before leaving for the palace and offering to play for the king.

At that time, Orula was always accompaniedañaof a goat, who had no bad intentions, but was very daring and never measured the consequences of his actions.

When the time for the meeting at the palace arrived, Orunmila and the goat left for the castle, but not before warning the goat that he should remain quiet and calm without getting into trouble, because if so, he could not save him from the consequences of his actions. .  

Then Orula, seeing all the musicians, offered to play the drum, but since it was heard very softly, the goat began to despair until he took the Batá from Orula and began to percuss it himself.

"Goat that breaks a drum, pays for it with its skin"

The goat was a good musician, but as he grew excited in the playing he did not measure his strength and pierced the drum before the eyes of the whole court.

When the king saw this, he was very offended, he asked loudly that Orula pay for the lack of the goat.

Then with great regret, in defense of his own life, the fortune teller clarified that he had not been the one who had broken the drum, but the goat and that therefore he was the one who had to pay for the fault with his skin.

From that day on, new drums covered with goat skin began to be manufactured, those that were more resistant and produced a greater sound.

The goat skin is then the perfect membrane for the Batá drum.

Learn more about the power of drums in the Yoruba religion:

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