In Cuba, people from Carabali origin are called abakua. Their Carabali ancestors came from the Calabar Coast, in the south of the Nigeria. Many slaves were deported from this country, with an intensification in the end of the 18th century, and during the first-half of the 19th century : this time coincides with the expansion of coffe and sugar cane plantations in the Spanish colony of Cuba, and with the consecutive new need of labour.

Abakua societies (also called ñañigos) are at the origine of many customs and rituals, very developed in Cuba, and act deeply upon the culture of this island. The basis of these societies is a mutual assistance between members.

The abakua musical instruments, used during ritual ceremonies, are drums : Bonkó enchemiyá, Bincomé, Obí-apá, Kuchi-yeremá ; a kind of cow-bell : Ekón ; few others percussions : Itón, Erikundi,   Ekué.

The ceremonies (plantes) take place in consacrated rooms, and during processions, where people dance the ireme.


Kind of fan in vegetal fibres, decorated in various ways and with little bells. The abebe is shaken for calling the orisha. Each orisha owns his particular abebe.


Little liturgical bells used for calling the orishas in santería. For each orisha, there is a different bell.


The anakua is a little percussion looking like a maraca : two cones of metal fixed by their points, with grain or little stones inside. Like the maraca, the anakue is played by shaking it.


Name of an old dance or danzón.


People originating from Dahomey, an ex-French colony in West Africa (Guinea Gulf). Fon are the main ethnic group. There are three arará drums, played by three persons.


Songs and dances of ancient Amerindians in West Indies and Central America.


Sort of a metallic maraca, used in music of arará inspiration.


Sort of decorated maraca, played in traditional lucumí music.

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