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Pagei DRUMMINGFORTHEGODS

INTHESERIES

StudiesinLatinAmericanandCaribbeanMusic, editedbyPeterManuel

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Pageiii MaraTeresaVlez

DRUMMINGFORTHEGODS
TheLifeandTimesofFelipeGarcaVillamil, SANTERO,PALERO,andABAKU
TEMPLEUNIVERSITYPRESS

PHILADELPHIA

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TempleUniversityPress,Philadelphia19122 Copyright2000byTempleUniversity Allrightsreserved Published2000 PrintedintheUnitedStatesofAmerica

ThepaperusedinthispublicationmeetstherequirementsoftheAmerican NationalStandardforInformationSciencesPermanenceofPaperforPrinted LibraryMaterials,ANSIZ39.481984

LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData

Vlez,MaraTeresa,1952 Drummingforthegods:thelifeandtimesofFelipeGarca Villamil,santero,palero,andabaku/byMaresaVlez. p.cm.studiesinLatinAmericanandCaribbeanmusic) Includesbibliographicalreferences(p.)andindex. ISBN1566397308(cloth:alk.paper).ISBN1566397316 (pbk.:alk.paper) 1.GarciaVillamil,Felipe,1931.2.Drummers(Musicians) CubaBiography.3.SanteriamusicHistoryandcriticism. 4.BlacksCubaReligion.I.Title.II.Series. ML419.G363V452000 786.9092 [B]DC21 99029450 Frontispiece:FelipeGarcaVillamilplayingabatdrum. (PhotobyAdrianaGroisman)

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CONTENTS
Acknowledgments ANoteonSpelling Prologue ix xi xiii

PARTONE:LearningtheTrade Background EntranceintotheAfroCubanReligiousWorld Overview EnteringFelipe'sHouse Santeria:TheLucumiDoor PaloMonte:TheCongoDoor TheAbakuSociety:ASecretPassagefromCalabar EarlyMusicalExperiences LearningtoPlayBat HistoryoftheDrums OtherBatLineagesinMatanzas OtherDrummingTraditionsinMatanzas

3 11 11 23 23 30 34 36 39 50 58 60

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PARTTWO:LifeasaMusicianduringtheRevolution MakingEndsMeet BecomingaCulturalWorker PerformingAfroCubanReligiousMusicinSecularPublicContexts AmateurGroups OrganizingaProfessionalFolkloricEnsemble NegotiatingtheLimitsofSecrecy PerformingOtherAfroCubanSecularandSacredDrummingStyles PerformingAfroCubanReligiousMusicinPrivateRitualContexts SearchingforAlternatives:BecomingaCraftsmanof ReligiousObjects CraftingaBembDrum:ManufacturingMaterialCulturetoObeythe Orichas

69 71 75 77 78 80 85 87 94 97

PARTTHREE:LifeasaDiasporicMusician LeavingCuba BuildingthePresent:ExercisingHisTradeinHisNewHome TheToolsoftheTrade InstrumentsasImmigrants:ACrossestheOcean ApplyingCulturalMemory:MakingInstruments BatDrums BembDrums IyesDrums

107 111 117 117 119 120 127 128

Pagevii DrumsasanExtensionoftheSelf,asaSourceofLiving,asLifeItself TheArtisanTransformedintoanArtist Felipe'sThereFacesHisHere Felipe'sConceptofTradition Syncretism TheMarielitos TheOrichasBehaveDifferentHere ConfrontingtheWritten TheStruggleofMemoryoverForgetting TeachingasaWayofRemembering TeachingWomentoPlayBat SingingasaWayofRemembering 130 131 134 138 139 142 149 151 153 153 155 158

Epilogue Notes Bibliography Glossary Index Photographsfollowpage104

163 171 185 193 203

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Pageix

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Customarily,inthissectionofabookanumberofinstitutionsthathave contributedtomaketheresearchandwritingprocesspossibleare acknowledged.InmycaseIhavetothanknotaninstitutionbutanetworkof wonderfulfriendswho,throughmanyyears,havehelpedmeinwaysthatwould takeanotherlifehistory(mine)todescribe.Thus,withprofoundgratitude,Ilist theirnamesfirst. TheplaceofhonorinthislistbelongstoFelipeGarcaVillamilandhiswife, Valeria,andtomyfriends(alphabeticallybyfirstname):AdrianaGroisman, AnaCaonaEllis,AngelaMaraPrez,BeatrizSmith,CarmenDiaz,David Burrows,KarenJefferson,KrishnaK.Candeth,LindaPelc,Lyndell BrookhouseGil,MichaelSmith,MnicaVlez,NanetteGarcia,OlgaVieira, OscarCorrea,andRodrigoHenao.Gracias. Mygratitudegoesalsotothemanysanteros,paleros,andmusicianswhoduring theseyearscontributedtomakethisresearchpossible,andespeciallytoGregg Askew,JudithGleason,LouisBauzo,MiltonCardona,TeddyHoliday,and JessyFeldman. Ialsothankseveralofmycolleaguesandteachersforguidance, encouragement,andsupport:KayShelemay,MarkSlobin,GageAverill,Peter Manuel,andSuZheng.RobinMoorecontributedgenerouslyasa

Pagex reviewer.SpecialthanksgotoPeterManuel,withoutwhosesupportthisbook wouldhaveremainedunpublished. TomyfriendandeditoratTempleUniversityPress,DorisBraendel,my warmestgratitude.ThanksalsotoJoannaMullinsforhercarefulcopyediting. Finally,IwouldliketothankFelipe'sfamilyinCubaintheirnativelanguage:A lafamiliaVillamilgraciasdetodocorazn.Quieroagradecerenformaespecial aClaritaquemeguiatravsdelascallesdeMatanzasymepresentatodos losmiembrosdelafamilia,aOsvaldopordarmegenerosamentedesutiempoy susconocimientos,yaBebayBettinaporcompartirsusmemoriasconmigo.

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ANOTEONSPELLING
IhavechosentofollowtheSpanishorthographyintranscribingtheLucum, Abaku,andCongowords,withafewchangesadoptedforreasonsofclarity. ImadethischoicebecauseFelipe,withwhomIworkedclosely,isaCuban whoseLucumsideofthefamily,likemostoftheLucumspeakersinCuba,are notfamiliarwithwrittenYorubaandacquiredtheirliteracyfollowingtherulesof writtenSpanish.Indoingthis,IfollowthestepsofLydiaCabrera,who,while awareoftherelationshipbetweenYorubaandLucum,wasinterestedin compilingthelanguageinthewayinwhichitisspokeninCuba.Whenquoting theworkofotherscholars,IusethespellingoftheLucumtermsthattheyhave chosen.However,evenwithintheworkofonescholarthespellingofthese termsisnotalwaysconsistent.Accentsandsometimesevenlettersvary.Ihave chosenonespellingforeachtermanduseitconsistentlyinthetextbutinno wayconsidermychoicetherightspellingfortheseterms. Thepronunciationofthesound/sh/variesinLucum,wheremanyspeakers pronounceitliketheSpanishch,whileothersusethesofterEnglishshsound. OrtzandCabrerafluctuateintheuseofchorshthus,intheirwritings,one findsthetwospellings(e.g.,OchnandOshn).Forsimplicity,Ihavechosento useonlych.

Pagexii TheconsonantcinSpanishhasadifferentsounddependingonthevowelthat followsit.AsinEnglish,thesoundofcfollowedbyaneoranivariesfrom whenitisfollowedbya,o,oru.Tosimplifythespelling,Ihavechosentouse theletterkwhenIwanttotranscribeacsoundliketheonefoundintheword car.AnexceptiontothisisthetermLucum,whichIconsistentlyspellwithac, followingthewayinwhichthistermisspelledinmostoftheliteraturewrittenin Spanishonthesubject. ConsideringthatintheSpanishspokeninLatinAmericaaphoneticdifference rarelyappearsbetweenvandborbetweensandz,Ihavechosentouseband s,exceptwhensuchadifferenceisclearlydistinguishable. Thephoneme/j/,withasoundlikethefirstletterintheEnglishwordsjailor geometry,istranscribedas/y/. Thetextsofthechantsincludedinthisbookaretranscribedfollowingsung pronunciation.Thedivisionofwords(whenunknownorunclear)alsofollows thewayinwhichthewordsaredeliveredinsong.Ihavekeptalternative pronunciationsofthesamewordorexpression. Ihavechosentousethephoneme/w/toconveyasounddifferentfromthatof theSpanishvoweluandclosertothesoundofwinEnglish.However,Felipe alternatesbetweenthissoundandonethatusesaginfront.Forexample, sometimeshewouldsaychawalaandothertimeschaguala.Insteadofgivinga consistentspelling,Ihavechosentokeeptheinconsistenciesandtofollowthe phonetictranscriptionofthewords. ThereisadifferencebetweenhowIchosetotranscribeLucumwordsinmy textsandhowItranscribedtheminthechants.Forthefirsttypeof transcription,Itrytobeasconsistentaspossible(leavingnuancesand ambiguitiesontheside)forsakeofclarity.However,forthechants,Ifollowthe phonetictranscriptionofthetexts. IfollowedthesamecriteriadescribedforLucumintranscribingtheAbaku andCongowordsfoundinthetext.Thus,forinstance,IusethewordCongo (withCratherthanK),inaccordancewithCubansources. Spanish,Lucum,Congo,andAbakuwordsappearinitalicsinthetextonlyif theyappearrarely.Wordsusedfrequentlyappearinitalicsthefirsttimeonly.

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PROLOGUE
ImetFelipeGarcaVillamil,amasterAfroCubandrummerandcraftsman,in 1992,severalyearsafterIbegantodoresearchonthemusicoftheAfro Cubanreligioustraditions,especiallySantera.Duringmyresearch,Ifrequently heardFelipe'snamementionedbydrummersandstudentsintheAfroCuban danceclassIwasattendingattheBoysHarborinNewYork.AtthattimeI wasstrugglingwiththeconstraintsandproblemsposedbyresearchintoa corpusofmusiclinkedtoSantera,wherethetraditionofsecrecyisstillan imperativethatmanypractitionersadhereto,andwheremusicalknowledgeis transmittedthroughlongperiodsofapprenticeshipandthroughaseriesof networksthatarenoteasilyaccessed,especiallybywomen.Ithoughtthat identifyingaknowledgeableteacherwhowouldagreetoworkwithmewasthe bestwaytofurthermyresearch.InJanuary1992,Iwentforthefirsttimeto Felipe'shouseintheBronxtoreceiveachekerlesson.Thismarkedthe beginningofweeklytripstotheBronxthatlasted,butforafewbreaks,untilthe endof1994. Afteramonthofchekerlessons,Idecidedtoconcentrateoncollecting religiouschantsandtomakethisrepertoirethefocusofmydissertation.I explainedtoFelipethenatureofmyworkandaskedhimifhehadany reservations.AtthattimeFelipe'sactivitiesasaritual

Pagexiv drummerwerelimitedlackingconnectionswiththenetworkthroughwhichbat drummerscustomarilygethiredtoperformatreligiousrituals,hewasquite isolatedandhadconcentratedhismusicalactivitiesonteaching.Hisaimwasto trainagroupofdrummersintheMatanzasstyleofbatdrumming,astyle almostunknowninNewYork,whereallthebatdrummerswerefamiliarwith thestylefromHavana.Teachinghadalsobecomeforhimawaytostruggle againstforgetfulness,awaytoremember.Heviewedourworktogetherasan opportunitytoletpeopleknowthewaythingsweredoneinMatanzasand backthereinCuba. FelipeandIconceivedthesesessionsasclassesandfollowedtheetiquetteof thestudentteacherrelationship.AtthebeginningofeachsessionIwouldturn thetaperecorderon,andFelipewouldbegintosing.Hegraduallybeganto teachmethelargebodyofchantsusedtopraiseoraddresstheSantera deitiestheorichasinritual.Whenhebegantosingforaparticularoricha,he wouldtellmesomeofthemythsorlegendspataksthatnarrateeventsof thelivesoftheorichasandtelloftheiridiosyncrasies,personalities,and demeanors.However,thechantsandthemusicwouldalwaysbringmemories ofCubabacktoFelipe,andhewouldthentellmestoriesabouthisfamilyand hislifebackthere.Sometimeshegotsocarriedawaythatwewouldendup notworkingonthechants,andhespentmostofthetimereminiscing.Hewould thenapologizeandpromisetoorganizethelessonbetterforthenextmeeting, makingsurewewentoveralargenumberofchants.MostofthetimeIwould letthetrainofhisthoughtunwindwithoutinterruptinghim.However,onsome occasions,movedbyconcernthatIwouldnevergetmyworkdone,Iwould takeadvantageofapausebetweenstoriestotrytobringhimbacktothechants byaskinghimpolitelytosingformeachantforthisorthatoricha. Asmyworkwiththechantsprogressed,myrelationshipwithFelipeandhis familyValeria,hiswife,andhischildrenAjamu,Miguel,Atoyebi,and Tomasagrewcloser.Mylessonsinsomewaybecamepartofthefamilylife andwereinterruptedandenrichedaccordingtotheunpredictableand sometimeshecticrhythmsofFelipe'severydayroutines.Afterseveralmonthsof workingintherepertoryofchants,Felipe,whoknewofmydesiretolearnto playbatdrums,invitedmetojointhelessonshewasgivingtoawoman drummer,NanetteGar

Pagexv ca.Hehadalreadyexplainedtomehispositionwithrespecttotheprohibition thatbanswomenfromplayingsacredbatdrums.Hebelievedthatwomen shouldneverbeallowedtoplayaconsecratedsetofdrumsyet,hesawno harminteachingtowomenthemusic,therhythmsthatareplayedforeach oricha,aslongasthesewereperformedonunconsecrateddrumsoroncongas. Thismarkedthebeginningofmyinvolvementwiththedrums,whichlasteduntil November1994,thelasttimeNanette,Felipe,andIplayedbatdrums together. ThestoriesthatFelipeusedtointerpolatebetweenchantsorafterhavingtaught usabatrhythmconstitutethebasisformydissertationandforthisbook,and theycoverFelipe'sactivitiesasamusicianuntil1994.Musiccarriedpowerful associationsforFelipe,anditwasmusicthattriggeredhisreminiscences.Thus, evenafterIhaddecidedtousehisstoriesasthemainfocusofmydissertation,I eschewedformalinterviewsandlimitedmyquestionstoclarifyingthestoriesor argumentsthataroseoutofamusicalexperience,beitachant,arhythm,ora performingtechnique.Yetasidefrommusic,anotherstimuluswouldlaunch Felipeintolongmonologuesandexplanations.Thishappenedtypicallyafter Valeriareadtohimfromsomeofthebooksthatbegantobepublishedand circulatedinNewYorkaboutthetraditionsandthemusicoftheAfroCuban religions,orafterhehadanencounterwithsomeonewhohadinanyway questionedhisknowledgeorhiscredentials.Awareofthenatureofmyproject, hewantedtoexplaintomehisviewaboutaparticularissue,takingthisasan opportunitytosettherecordstraight. Felipewasnotthetypeofsubjectwhointerviewswell,andthefewtimesthatI formallyinterviewedhim,hisanswerslackedthefreshnessandforceofthe storieshetoldwhilehewasdrummingorsinging.IdecidedtousethematerialI hadgatheredduringourmusicmakingsessionsbyquotingitdirectly,editingit lightlywhennecessary.Iusemyown,authorialvoicetoincorporatethematerial IgatheredintheinterviewsandwhatIlearnedfromandaboutFelipeduringthe yearsIvisitedhishouseasastudentandasafriend.AlthoughFelipetaughtme manythingsabouthisreligiouspracticesandbeliefs,someofitwas,according toFelipe,tobekeptsecret.Ihaverespectedhiswishesstrictly. ImetFelipeagaininNewYorkin1998,wherehehadreturnedafterspending acoupleofyearsinCalifornia.Wespentmanydaystalking

Pagexvi aboutwhathadhappenedinhislifeandminesincewehadplayeddrums togetherforthelasttimein1994.IhadmovedtotheothersideoftheAtlantic (Sicily),whereIhavebeenlivingsince1995.Duringtheseyears,Ivisited Felipe'sfamilywheneverIcamebacktoNewYorkandtalkedseveraltimes withFelipeonthephonebutsincewebothhadleftNewYork,wecouldnot enjoylongconversations.Ihadsenthimacopyofmydissertationandgivenhis sisteracopytobringbacktoCuba,butitwasclearhehadnotreadit.You wroteallthosethingsinEnglishwashiscomment,althoughIhadgivena bilingualversionofallhisstories,somethingIknewcouldnotbedoneforthis book.Therefore,IwantedhimtobeawareofthestoriesIhadincludedinmy narrationbeforetheybecameapublishedbook.Felipeposednorestrictionson theuseofanymaterialandinformationandinfactstatedthatanythingtruecould besaidwhich,ofcourse,isnotequivalenttosayingthateverythingtruemustbe said.Accordingly,IhavenotincludedmanydetailsabouthislifethatIdeemed private,forthisisabookabouthisart(histrade,ashewouldrefertoit), tightlylinkedtohisreligiouspractices,butnotanautobiographyora conventionallifehistory. HavingdecidedtoworkonthemusicoftheAfroCubanreligionsintheUnited States,IdidnotvisitCubaaspartofthefieldworkformydissertation. However,IdidwhatIjokinglycalledlongdistancefieldwork.Severalclose friendsvisitedFelipe'sfamilyduringtheseyears,bringingbackvideotapes, recordings,photographs,andstoriesthattheysharedgenerouslywithme. Throughthem,IgottoknowFelipe'slargerfamilybetterandwasabletocross checksomeofthestoriesonhispersonalandfamilyexperiencesinCuba. ThroughsourcesindependentofFelipe,Ilearnedabouthisreputationasa drummerinMatanzas,listenedtotapesofthegrouphehadorganizedbefore leavingCuba,andlearnedaboutotheraspectsofhislifeinCuba.Ialsogotto knowFelipe'srelativeswellthroughreadingthecorrespondencehegotfrom Cuba.AlthoughFelipe'swife,Valeria,spokesomeSpanish,shehadproblems decipheringthelettersFelipereceived.Felipe'seyesightwasverypoor,soI wasaskedfrequentlytoreadtheselettersoutloud.AsIread,Felipeand Valeriawouldcommentonthepersonwhowroteitandsharethefamilygossip connectedtothatperson.IalsometseveralofFelipe'sfamilymemberswho visitedNewYorkasmembersofAfroCubanmusicalensemblesthattoured theUnitedStates.AfterIdecidedtowritethisbook,Ivisited

Pagexvii MatanzasandmetmanymembersofFelipe'sextendedfamily,includinghis mother,withwhomIsharedalotofstoriesandanecdotesIalsoattended rehearsalsofthegroupAfroCubaandvisitedandtalkedtothefamousbat drummerEstbanBacayaoChacha. Therearenoclearanswerstothemethodologicaldilemmasonefaceswhen transcribing,editing,andtranslatingthetypeofmaterialsusedtowritethis book.Whattoinclude?Whattoleaveout?Wheretostop?Moreover,in presentingapersonwithwhomonehasworkedforyearsandwhohasbecome adearfriend,onehastoaimforadifficultbalancewhereidealizationis undesirableandneutralityimpossible(Myerhoff1978).Awareofthe impossibilityoffindingtherightanswerstotheseandotherqueries,Ilimit myselftodescribingthestrategiesIadoptedinordertogivethereaderanidea ofhowthefinishedtextmovedthroughdifferentcontextsofbecoming. MychoicesweremainlyguidedbythethreadIwasinterestedinfollowing:the storyofatrade,AfroCubanreligiousdrumming,viewedthroughthelifeofa specialperson.Concerningtheuseoftrade,awordofexplanationmaybein order.IadoptthetermfromFelipe,whousesittorefertohisactivitiesasa drummer.Thewordseemsapttosuggesttheideaofaguild,arestrictedgroup withkindredinterests,definedobligationsandcommitments,adistinctsetof goalsandactivities,admissiontowhichisgrantedafteralongprocessof apprenticeshipthatselectsthosewhowilllaterbecomethemastersofthe trade. Felipe'sstories,monologues,andexplanationshadtobeorganizedintoan intelligiblestory.Thisinvolvedrearrangingthestories,summarizingthosethat wererepetitive(inwhichcasesIdonotusedirectquotationbutnarratethe accountmyself),andusingmyauthorialvoicetoconnectorlinksections.The wayinwhichthematerialiswoventogetherandorganizedintoachronological lifesequencetoenhancereadabilityisobviouslytheresultofmyintervention.I foundthatachronologicalpresentationofthematerialechoesthewayinwhich onebecomesamemberofaspecializedtrade:theroadfromapprenticeshipto mastery.Thus,IdividethestoriesintothreesectionsthatfollowFelipe'slifeasa musician:beforetheCubanRevolution,aftertherevolution,andasan immigrant/refugeeinNewYork.However,some

Pagexviii ofthematerialincludedineachsectionisnotorganizedstrictlychronologically butbytopic. Besidesthewellknownandwidelydiscusseddifficultiesthatanytranslation poses,Iwasconfrontedwithdilemmasthatarosefromtheparticularitiesofthe textandthesubjectIwasworkingwith.GiventhatFelipeisablackCuban, livedinablackneighborhood,andismarriedtoanAfricanAmericanwoman, shouldItranslatehiswordsintoblackAmericanEnglish?Howtotranslatethe grammaticalirregularities,theincompletesentences,andtheunexplained referentsthatpervadespokenlanguage?Inevitably,manyoftheessential qualitiesofeverydayconversationandnarrativeandthesubtletiesandmusicality ofFelipe'sspokenlanguage(CaribbeanSpanish)arelostintranslation. Strugglingwiththeseproblemsandlimitations,Ihaveaimedatpresentinga readableandunderstandabletext.IhaveimposedonFelipeavoiceinEnglish bytranslatinghiswordsintostandardEnglish,followingthewayinwhich informantsarequotedintheanthropologicalliterature. AsJamesCliffordstates,referringtosignificantinterventionsofauthorswritinga lifehistory:Onecannothaveeverythingtheperformancewithallits divagations,andalsoaneasilyunderstandablestory.Concessionshavetobe madetothereadership(CliffordandMarcus1986:106). Afterseveralyears'involvementwiththeAfroCubanreligiouspracticesinNew YorkandwithmusicianswhowerelinkedinonewayoranotherwithAfro Cubanreligiousmusic,IfoundmyselffacingwhatIthoughtwasoneofthemost challengingproblemsposedbythissetofculturalpractices:eachhouseofocha, eacholbat,offeredaviewofthecommunityandofitsmusicaltraditions thatcontrastedwithordivergedfrom(sometimesinmattersofdetailbut sometimesinissuesthatwereconsideredfundamentalinthetradition)thoseof anotherhousetempleoranotherdrummer(e.g.,drumsthatwereconsidered sacredandrituallyeffectiveinonehousetemplewerenotdeemedsoin anotherthemusicalliturgywasshortenedinsomehousesforsomeevents, whilesuchpracticeinanothertemplewouldhaverenderedtheritualinvalid).I detectedinternaldifferentiations,arguments,contradictions,conflictsofinterest andbackgroundthatcouldnotbeeasilysmoothedaway.Allthisisreflectedin thepertinentliterature.

Pagexix Focusingonanindividualandontheparticularitiesofhisexperiencesemerged asamethodologicalstrategythatcontributedtocorrectinggeneralizationsthat misrepresentedandobscuredthecomplexityandheterogeneityofthepractices Iwasstudying.Itenabledmealsotogiveavoice(althougheditedandshaped bymyown)toaspecialindividualwho,althoughnotatypicalbat drummersomeonewhocouldbeusedtorepresentbatdrummersasa grouporafamousorwidelysuccessfulandwellknownone,was neverthelessamasterinhistrade.Followinghisstories,welearnsomething abouthowanindividualmusiciancreativelyselects,recreates,renovates,and modifiestheculturalpracticesconsideredpartofhisheritagetoconstructa complexmosaicthatispersonalandunique.Wefollowhimashenotonlylives throughhistorybutmakeshistory,asheshapesafragmentedidentitythat cannotproperlybedescribedwithgeneralitiessuchasCubanimmigrant, minority,black,religiousdrummer,butthatneverthelesspartakesofallofthem. Naturally,Iamawareoftheriskofunderestimatingorofappearingto underestimatetheformativecharacterofculture.Ihavethustriedtotemper theemphasisontheindividualbymeansoftwoapproaches.Thefirstviewsthe individualasacarrierofcultureandexamineshowanindividualmusician constructsorreconstructshishistory.Thesecondexamineshowthismusician hascontributedtothediffusionofparticularculturalpractices(sacred drumming,buildingofdrums,andcraftingofreligiousobjects),andhowthese practiceshavebeenacceptedandmodifiedinaparticularenvironment (MatanzasinpreandpostrevolutionaryCuba,andNewYorkintheUnited States)(Fox1991:110). Felipe'sstorypromptsustoexaminetheinteractionbetweenlargersocial, political,economic,andculturalforcesandthespecificactionsofanindividual. Hisstrategiessuggestmoregeneralthemesandproblems,forexample,the professionalizationofmusiciansaftertheCubanRevolutionandlifeasan immigrantintheUnitedStates.ThroughFelipe'sstorywecangaininsightsinto themusicallifeofCubaduringandaftertherevolutionandintothelivesof immigrantmusiciansinpresentdayNewYorkCity.Byrelatinghislifetoits historicalcontexts,wemayunderstandhowhistoryhasshapedandgiven meaningtoFelipe'spersonalexperiencesandthewaysinwhichhislifehas contributedtothishistory. Onanotherlevel,Felipe'slifehistoryhelpsusexaminethehistory

Pagexx ofaspecializedmusicaltrade,sacredbatdrumming.Itisademandingmusical professiontowhichserioussacredbatdrummersdedicatetheirwholelives. However,mostofthesedrummers(inCubaaswellasintheUnitedStates)are notabletosupportthemselvesandtheirfamilieswiththeincomeearnedthrough ritualdrumming.Mosthavetosupplementtheirincomethroughallsortsofjobs orsearchforalternativesasseculardrummers.Thesemoves(whichvary widelyfromdrummertodrummer)affectandshapetheirdedicationtothebat drumsandtoritualdrumming.Thesechoicesandtheiroutcomesilluminatehow actualcircumstancesandpersonalexperiencesarecrucialtotheconstitutionof experience(AbuLughod1991)inthiscase,musicalexperience.An exampleisFelipe'slackofsuccessinreestablishinghimselfasaritualdrummer intheUnitedStates,eventhoughtheSanteracommunityinNewYorkislarge enoughtoofferperformingopportunitiestosacreddrummers.Thatthereare competingregionalstylesofdrumminginCuba,andthatthestylethatprevailsin NewYorkisnottheoneFelipepractices,onlypartiallyexplainsthisoutcome. Personalandfamilyconstraintshavealsoshapedit. Wealsolearnhowbatdrummingisatrade,withapprenticesandmasters, wherethecriteriaforwhoisacceptedasamemberandtherulesthatjudge artisticqualityarenegotiatedconstantlyaccordingtochangingcircumstances, andwheretherulesthatgoverntheconstructionandtransmissionofpower betweensetsofbatdrumsalsovaryaccordingtospecificmomentsandthe needsofaparticularlocale.Moreover,infollowingFelipe'sactivitiesasabat drummer,wecangivenamestoafacelesscommunity.Namingnamesina traditionwhereknowledgeableolbatsandomasandthenumberofsacred setsofbatdrums(inCubaaswellasintheUnitedStates)maybecountedon thefingersofthehandsbecomesawaytoacknowledgetheirhistoryandto advance,inpart,thehistoricalreconstructionofthistradition. Followingtheintricateceremoniesthataccompanytheconstructionand consecrationofbatdrumsandthelineagesthatarisefromtheprocessofthe transmissionofsacredpowerfromonesetofdrumstoanothernotonlyaddsto thestudyofmusicalinstruments,inparticularbatdrumsandtheirhistoryin CubaandtheUnitedStates,butatthesametimeillustratesthewayinwhich musicalinstrumentsincorporatelayersofhistoryandcanbe,foramusician,not onlyasourceofincomebutlifeitself.

Page1

PARTONE

LearningtheTrade

Page2 (Overleaf)Felipe'ssignatureasapalero(hisfirma),whichappearsinaflagon Felipe'saltar.Felipealsousesitinhispresentationcards.COLLECTIONOF


FELIPEGARCAVILLAMIL.

Page3 Itisorwouldliketobeamicrohistory[microstory],the history[story]ofatradeanditsdefeats,victories,andmiseries, suchaseveryonewantstotellwhenhefeelsclosetoconcluding thearcofhiscareer,andartceasestobelong. PRIMOLEVI,ThePeriodicTable Incertainsocietiesatleast(forexampletheYorubaandtheAkan) drummingisahighlyspecializedactivity,withaperiodof apprenticeshipandexclusivemembershipsothattoagreater extentthaninmostformsofspokenart,drumliteratureisa relativelyesotericandspecializedformofexpressionunderstood bymany(atleastinitssimplerforms)butprobablyonlyfully masteredandappreciatedbythefew. RUTHFINNEGAN,OralLiteratureinAfrica IamFelipeGarcaVillamil,BalognforthirtyyearsOla,ofMatanzas, Cuba,foraboutfortyyearsOmaforalmostfortyfiveyearsOllyesTata Nganga,AmasaNkita,RompeMonteQuinumbaMariaMunda,ofthelineYo ClavaLoTacaaRubIsunekueofthePotenciaEfikKunambereofMatanzas PonponteMioSiroAkanabinandmytitleinAbakuis:IsunekueBijuraka Mundi,IsunekueAtaraYiraAtaraKond,IsunekueBaiboEyeneBaibo. IamthesonofTomasaVillamilCrdenasandBenignoGarcaGarca(with sevendegreesinPalo),thegrandsonofTomasaCrdenas(daughteroflobl Crdenas)andJuanVillamil,andthegrandsonofAniseto(Kongo)Garca GmezandCarlotaGarca.1

Background
FelipeGarcaVillamilwasthefifthoftenchildrenofTomasaVillamiland BenignoGarca.Hisparents,likemanycouplesfromtheirsocioeconomic backgroundinMatanzas,wereunitedinacommonlawmarriage.Itwasnot uncommonforpeoplelikeFelipe'sparentstohavesuccessiveunionsduring theirlives,andforchildrentobebroughtup

Page4 byfamilymembersotherthantheirbiologicalparents.Householdswere complexdomesticunits,wherethelivingspacewassharednotonlybypeople linkedthroughconsanguineousoraffinaltiesbutbypeoplerelatedtoone anotherthroughritualties.Felipe'sfatherhadelevenotherchildren,tenfroma previousrelationshipandonedaughterbornafterheseparatedfromFelipe's mother.EveryyearatChristmastime,BenignoGarcawouldgatherallhis childrenaroundthedinnertableinthesmallcountrytownwherehewasborn, Camarioca.Felipethusknewallhishalfbrothersandsisters,whomhe regardedasbrothersandsisterstakingawaythehalf.Manyofthemwere broughtupinTomasa'shouse,andtheyalwaysshowedherrespectand affection. TherelationshipbetweenFelipe'sparentsremainedcordialandsupportiveafter Felipe'sfatherleftthehousewhenFelipewasabouttenyearsold.Evenafter bothTomasaandBenignohadenteredintoothercommonlawunions,Benigno wouldvisitfrequentlyandstayinTomasa'shousewhenhewassickandneeded someonetotakecareofhim.Feliperemembersthatevenwhenhisparents weretogether,hisfatherwasalwayscomingandgoing.Sometimesthewhole familyhadtofollowhiminhisperegrinationsashesearchedforwork.Felipe recallshow,whentheeconomicsituationofthefamilygotroughandtheycould notaffordtoliveinthecity,hisfatherwouldcarrythemallinraggedclothes andwithoutshoestothecountrysidetoworkinabateyasugarmill. Theywouldallworkeventhesmallestchildeachaccordingtohisorher strengthandcapabilities.Felipewasveryyoungwhenhebegancuttingand loadingcane.Healsohelpedhisfatherbuiltabohioathatchedroofhut whentherewasnohousefortheminthemills. Benignowasawellknownandactivepalero(priestofthePaloreligion)and trainedFelipeashisritualassistant.Evenwhenhewasnotlivingwiththem anymore,hewouldfrequentlycallonFelipetoassisthimintheceremonies. BenignowasalsoanAbaku,amemberofanallmalesecretsociety.2 Althoughhecouldnotreadorwrite,Feliperemembershimassomeonewho hadawaywithwords,whocouldcommunicatewellwiththeintellectuals.He hadlinkswithmanylocalpoliticians,andasFelipedescribesit,heusedtodo politicsforothers,whichmeansBenignowouldgetvotesforthem.During electiontime,hewouldrunaroundwiththelocalpoliticians.Aftertheelections,

Page5 thefamilywasusuallyabletoreturntothecity.AccordingtoFelipe,thesewere thebestperiods:Hisfatherwouldrentahouseandbuyclothesandshoesfor everybody. WhenFelipewasborn,thefamilywaslivinginabighouseinMatanzas,ina neighborhoodcalledPuebloNuevo.Felipedescribesthisasasofter neighborhood.Thefamilywasgoingthroughoneofthegoodperiods,andthe housetheywerelivinginwasthebestFelipeeverknew.ThishouseinPueblo Nuevohadfourbedrooms,alivingroom,adiningroom,akitchen,andabig patiosurroundedbymangoandavocadotrees.AfterFelipe'sparents separated,althoughBenignocontributedtothefamilyexpenses,thefamilywent throughhardperiods.TomasathenhadtoleavePuebloNuevo.Thefamily movedseveraltimesuntilfinallyTomasasettledinLaMarina,aneighborhood thatuptothisdayisoneofthepoorestinMatanzas.Thestreetshavenodrains, sowhenitrainsheavilytheybecomemuddyrivers.Bigwoodenboardsarethen thrownfromonesideofthestreettotheothersothatpeoplemaycross.Other membersofTomasa'sfamilylatermovedtoLaMarina,andthisneighborhood becametheterritoryoftheVillamilfamily. WhenonevisitsFelipe'sfamilyinMatanzas,addressesanddirectionsare unnecessary.OnearrivesatLaMarinaandsimplyaskstobetakentoseethe Villamil.Beforeyoucometoanyofthehousesoccupiedbymembersofthe family,thewordhasalreadygottenaroundtheyarealreadyexpectingyou. ManyhousesinLaMarinaareofthetypeknowninCubaassolar.Although thearchitecturaldesignofthesolaresvaries,ingeneraleachconsistsofaseries ofroomsthatopentoalongandnarrowpatiothatrunsthelengthofthe building.Eachroomhasaporchthatisusedasakitchen.Thetoiletfacilitiesare sharedandareusuallyfoundattheendofthepatio.Theroomsthatfacethe patioareeithersingleoralargespacedividedintosmallerrooms,bycurtainsor bypartitionsthatdonotreachtheceiling.Felipe'ssisterBebasharesthe differentroomsofoneofthesesolareswithherchildrenandhergrandchildren. ThefurnishingsinBeba'shousearesparseabed,adiningtable,afew chairs,awardrobe,analtarfortheorichasthespiritualentitiesofSantera. OtherhousesinLaMarinafollowthetraditionallayoutofmanyhousesinLatin America:alivingroomattheentranceandagalleryofbedrooms,eachwithtwo doorsadoortoconnectoneroomtothe

Page6 nextandadoorthatopenstoacentralpatiolocatedinfrontofallthe bedrooms.Bertina,Felipe'ssister,livesinoneofthesehouses,whichFelipe builtbeforeheleftCuba. ThehousewhereFelipe'smotherusedtoliveislocatedattheintersectionof twostreets,oneofwhichisadeadendstreetflankedbyariver.Thathouse hasentrancesfrombothofthestreets.WhenIvisitedMatanzas,Tomasa sharedthehousewithOsvaldo,theritualexpertofthefamily,andhisrelatives. ThedayIvisitedOsvaldo,Iwasreceivedthroughtheentrancefromthestreet thatfacestheriver.ThedayIwastakentoseeTomasa,wecameinthroughthe otherentrance,whichseemedtobethemainone.ThehouseofTomasathe centeroftheritualactivitiesofthefamilyandtheplaceofrefugewhentimes werehardhasseveralroomsinsuccessionalongsidethestreet.Alargepatio islocatedoppositetheentrance,delimitedbythegalleryofroomsandthe housenextdoor.Thisisthepatiowhereritualsthatinvolvedancingtakeplace. Heremanyoftheritualherbsaregrownandtheanimalsforthesacrificesare kept. Felipelefthismother'shousewhenhewasveryyoungandelopedwithhis girlfriendSofia.Findingaseparateplacetoliveasacouplewasexpectedof anyonewhoeloped,acommonpracticeduringFelipe'sadolescence,whenthis wastheroadmanyfollowedtoinitiateacommonlawunion.Theyoungman wouldbringthegirltothehouseofoneofhisrelativesforseveraldays,after whichthefactoftheirunionwasconsideredestablished.Felipedroppedoutof schoolinthesixthgradeand,withthehelpofhisfather,builtalargeroominthe solarwherehisfatherlived.HemovedtherewithSofa,andinthissolartwoof theireightchildrenwereborn.AfterFelipeandSofaseparated,helivedwith MaraSalom,themotheroffourofFelipe'sdaughters.WhenheleftCubain 1980,FelipehadbeenlivingwiththemotherofhisyoungestCubanson, Yaimel,whowasjustoneyearold. AlthoughFelipelivedinmanyplacesafterhelefthismother'shouse,hekept returningtherewhentimeswererough.HomeforFelipewasalwaysTomasa's house. WhenTomasaVillamil,Felipe'smother,wasborn(around1903),only seventeenyearshadelapsedsinceslaveryhadbeenfullyabolishedinCuba.In contrasttocountriessuchastheUnitedStates,wheretheslave

Page7 tradeendedintheearlynineteenthcentury,inCubaslaveswerestillarrivingin theearly1870s.Oftheestimatedsevenhundredthousandto1millionslaves broughttoCuba,85percentwereimportedinthenineteenthcentury.3 Tomasa'smaternalgrandfather,Iobl,musthavearrivedinMatanzaswiththe slavesbroughttoworkonthesugarplantation.Cuba,whichhadbeenlatein joiningotherCaribbeancountriesintheplantationtypeofeconomy,by1840 hadbecometheworld'slargestproducerofsugarcane(Klein1986:93).This sugarrevolutionrequiredalargeworkforce,whichtheimportationofslaves provided. MostoftheslavesbroughtovertheAtlanticduringthelastdecadesofthetrade endedupworkingonthesugarplantations.Hence,slaveryconcentrated increasinglyinthemajorsugarzones.Amongthem,theprovincesofMatanzas andSantaClaraaloneheld46percentoftheslavepopulationin1846by1877 ithadincreasedto57percent(Scott1985:80). AbolitioninCubawasaslowprocessthatbeganinthe1860sandwas completedonlyin1886.Thus,wellintothenineteenthcenturynewslaves arrivedinCuba,carryingwiththemtheirAfricanculturesandreligiouspractices, therebyrevitalizing,replenishing,andinfluencingthereligiousknowledgeofthe existingslavepopulation. Althoughthelivingconditionsoftheslaveswereharsh,thesystemofslavery wasnotmonolithictheseconditionschangedfromoneperiod,oneregion,or oneingenio(sugarplantation)toanother.Inmanyplacestherewerecracksand fissuresinthesystem,whichtheslavestookadvantageoftopiecetogethertheir brokenlives.Indoingso,theslaveshadtocreatecoreinstitutionsthatwould allowthemtodealwiththemostordinaryyetmostimportantaspectsoftheir lives,thatwouldanswertoeverydayneedssuchascooking,cleaning,giving birthandraisingchildren,buryingthedead,establishingfriendshipsand worshipingtheirdeities.Theseinstitutionsconstitutedtheframeworksbywhich thematerialculturetheybroughtfromAfricacouldbepartlymaintainedand transformedinnovativelytoadapttothenewenvironment. Inadditiontotheinstitutionstheslavescreatedwereothersthat,thoughcreated bythemastersandgivenlegalsanction,playedanimportantroleasplaces wheretheculturalmaterialtheslavesbroughtwaskept,replenished,mixed, standardized,reinterpreted,andtransformedintonewtraditions.Theinstitution parexcellenceofthistype

Page8 inCubawascalledthecabildo.InCuba,theethnicgroupsthatrepresentedthe majorculturalandlinguisticgroupingswithintheslavepopulationwerereferred toasnaciones(nations).Cabildos,officiallyrecognizedbythechurchandthe state,groupedblacksthatbelongedtothesamenationandplayedthedouble roleofmutualaidsocietiesandcentersforentertainment.Inthesesocietiesthe slaveswereallowedtoworshiptheirgods,playtheirmusic,andparticipateasa groupinofficialgovernmentalandchurchactivitiessuchasprocessions, parades,andcarnivals.Eachcabildohadahouse,frequentlyownedbythe members,thatservedasitsheadquarters.Monetaryquotaswerecollected amongthemembersandthenusedtofinancetheactivitiesofthecabildo,to helpthemembersinneed,tofinanceburials,andsometimestobuymembers' freedom.Thecabildoleaderswereelectedandweregivennamessuchasking, queen,andcaptain. Thegovernmentbegantorestricttheactivitiesoftheseinstitutionsfrom1790 on,withaseriesofmeasures.In1877theirmeetingsbegantobesupervised, andin1882itbecamemandatoryforeachcabildotoobtainalicense,which hadtoberenewedeveryyear.Theprocessoflegalinterventioninthelivesof thecabildosintensifiedaftertheabolitionofslaveryin1886andculminatedin 1888withalawthatforbadetheformationofanycabildointheoldstyle, allowingthemtobeorganizedonlyascommonlawassociations.Many cabildosdisappearedunderthesepressures,butmanyotherscontinuedto operateoutsidethelaworbecamecasasdesanto,orhousetemples.4 Felipe'smaternalgreatgrandfather,aslavewhoboughthisfreedom,wasthe headofoneofthesecabildos.LikemanyotherslavesintheSpanishcolonies, Ioblmusthaveobtainedhisfreedomthroughalegalprocessknownas manumission,whichwasbasedonaSpanishlawthatgavetherighttoslavesto obtaintheirfreedomandwhichtookplaceduringthewholecolonialperiod. Oneofthemostcommonsystemsofmanumissionwasthecoartacin,which involvedthepaymentofapreestablishedfeetothemaster(Castellanosand Castellanos1988:7778). IoblwasaLucum,thenamegiveninCubatoslavesofYorubaorigin.The slaveswereassignedethnicortribalnamesthatwereusuallyattachedtotheir personalnamesandhelpedidentifytheregionofAfricatheycamefrom. However,theselabelswerefrequentlyinexact,contradictory,orerroneous,not onlybecausetherecordstheslave

Page9 traderskeptwerenotalwaysaccuratebutbecausethecriteriausedtodefine theprovenanceofslaveswerenotuniform.Thus,someslavesweregiventhe nameoftheportwheretheyhadbeenembarkedinsteadofthatoftheirplaceof originotherswerenamedaftertownsthatlaterdisappeared.Frequently, Africannameswerechangedordeformed,andinmanycasesgroupsofslaves werefalselyclassifiedasbelongingtothegroupsthatwerepricedhighestinthe market.Yet,inspiteoftheinconsistenciesanderrorsincurredinascribingthese ethnicandtriballabels,suchnameswereusednotonlybytheslaveownersand thegovernmentauthoritiesbutbytheslaves,andtheyinfluencedtheinteractions betweenbothslavesandownersandamongtheslavesthemselves. Theslavesusedthesenamestodesignatetheircabildos,institutionswhere ethnicprovenancewasusedasacriterionformembership.Wefindthelabels alsoingovernmentdocumentsaboutslaverebellionsandrunawayslaves,in testaments,aswellasinthedocumentskeptbytheownersofthesugar plantations(ingenios).Theyappearfrequentlyintherecollectionsofformer slavesthatLydiaCabrerahascompiledinhermanybooks(seethe Bibliography),whereitisinterestingtonotetheimportantrolemusicplayedin theconceptualizationofgroupsamongslaves.Gaytn,oneofCabrera's informants,referringtothegroupknownasMaku,says:Theymadetheir musicwithtwosmalldrums.Onewasplayedwithsmallsticks,theotherwith thehands.WhentheCongosfromLasTejasfinishedtheirmakuta,theMaku begantoplay(Cabrera[1975]1986b:71).Nino,anotherinformant, encounteredmanyLucumsandCongos:TheLucumlikedmealotandwith themIlearnedtheirlanguagebutmynaturalinclinationbroughtmetotook forthecompanyoftheCongos[b]ecauseIlikedtheirsongsanddances better(Cabrera[1975]1986b:19). Theseethnicgroupnamescontinuetobeusedtothepresentdaybypeoplelike Felipe,whosepaternalandmaternalancestorswerelinkedtothethreeethnic groupsornationsthatwerepredominantintheslavepopulationof nineteenthcenturyCuba:theLucum,theCongo,andtheCarabal.5 Thus,Felipe'smaternalancestorsbelongedtothegroupofslavesknownas Lucum,whocamefromthesouthwesternpartofNigeriaandincludeda heterogeneousgroupoftribesknowntodayastheYorubatribessuchasthe Oyo,Egba,Ijebu,Iyes,andtheirneighbors.6This

Page10 groupdominatedamongslavesimportedduringthelastyearsofthetradeand werestillarrivinginCubanotlongbeforetheabolitionofslavery.Thishelps explainthefactthattheirreligiousbeliefsandtheirmusicwhichplayedsuch animportantroleinshapingthemostwidespreadAfroCubanreligion,Santera prevailedamongalargenumberofslaveandfreeblacksinCuba.Untillate inthenineteenthcentury,newarrivalswerereplenishingthereligiousknowledge oftheirfellowsontheisland.Thus,researchershavepointedtoasubstantial numberofYorubacontinuitiesorsurvivalsamongtheLucumiinCuba,the mostsalientonesbeingthedivinationpracticesstudiedbyWilliamBascom (1952),theworshipoftheorichas(thoughmajormodificationswereintroduced inthemythologyandintheritualpractices),theritualrelationshipsandthe exchangewiththedeitiesthroughsacrificeandpossession,andtheritual language.However,whatflourishedinCubawasnotjustacontinuationof Yorubareligiousandculturalpracticesbutsomethingnew,bornfromthe encounterofthediverseYorubatribeswithoneanother,withnonYoruba Africans,andwiththeEuropeansinanewenvironmentandanewsocialorder governedbysetofinstitutionsdifferentfromthoseofAfrica.Lucum,which originallyreferredtotheslaveswhocamefromsouthwesternNigeria,wasthe namechosentodescribethecreolepracticesbornfromthisencounteritwas thenamegiventothereligionandtothesacredlanguageusedintherituals. LucumwasthenameusedbyFelipe'selderstorefertotheirtradition,their music,andtheirreligion. Felipe'spaternalancestorsbelongedtothegroupcalledCongo,orBant, whichweresaidtocomefromAngolaandsouthernCongo.Althoughnotby ethnicaffiliation,Felipe'sfatherwasamemberoftheAbakusociety,asecret societyestablishedbyslaveswhobelongedtothegroupknownasCarabalin Cuba,whichoriginatedinsoutheastNigeria(Calabar)andwestCameroon. Asidefromthesethreenations,theotherimportantethnicortribalgroups broughttoCubapriortothenineteenthcenturyweretheGang,Arar, Mandinga,andMina(CastellanosandCastellanos1988).Ofthese,onlythe ArarhadaninfluenceintheAfroCubanreligiousworldofthenineteenth century.TheArararesaidtocomefromDahomey(Castellanosand Castellanos1988Ortz1975a)however,somescholarsmaintainthatthey reallycamefromArdra,akingdomsouthofDahomeythattheDahomeanshad invaded,andthattheDahomeans

Page11 soldtheArarasslaves(LpezValds1985:62).InCuba,manyArarswere foundintheprovinceofMatanzas,theonlyprovincewhereuptothisdaytheir religiouspractices(inwhichtheculttothedeityBabalAyisofgreat importance)andtheirdrummingstylesarekept,tosomeextent,bytheir descendants.

EntranceintotheAfroCubanReligiousWorld
Felipe'sfamilyinCubahasbeendescribedasahousewithtwodoors:aLucum doorofYorubaoriginandaPalodoorofCongoorigin.7However,thereis anotherdoorthatescapestheunawarevisitor,asecretpassage:theAbaku. ThesedoorsopenontotheworldsofthreeofthefourAfroCubanreligious systemsthatexistnowadaysinCuba.8 ThefirstdooropenstotheworldofLucum,RegladeOchacommonly knownasSanteraareligiouspracticebasedontheworshipofYoruba deitiessyncretizedwithCatholicsaintscalledorichasorsantos.Worshipersof theorichasarecalledsanteros.Theseconddoor,theReglaConga,Palo,or Mayomb,openstotheworldofpaleros,whoworshipthespirits,inparticular thespiritsofthedeadinthesacredworldofpaleros,thewilderness(elmonte) herbs,plants,trees,earth,sticks(palos),andanimalsplaysacentralrole. ThesecretpassagetraversedonlybymenleadstotheworldoftheAbaku,an allmalesocietythatevolvedfrompracticesbroughttoCubabyslavesfromthe CalabarregioninNigeria.InCuba,membersofthissocietyarecalledigos.9 ThesectionthatfollowsisanoverviewofSantera,Palo,andAbaku, addressedtoreadersunfamiliarwiththeseAfroCubanreligioussystems.Those wellacquaintedwiththesereligiouspracticesmayskipthissectionandbeginto openthedoorstoFelipe'shouse. Overview Theresourceful,flexible,anddynamicwaysinwhichAfroCubanslikeFelipe mergedthereligiouspracticesofancestorsofdiverseethnicoriginsareinno wayunusualorunique.BackinAfrica,theborrowingandincorporationof foreignreligiousideasandpracticeswasnotun

Page12 commonreligiousideasmovedwitheasethroughvariousregions,frequently crossingethnicandpoliticalboundaries(Brenner1989). InCuba,slavesofdiverseethnicbackgroundswereforcedtolivetogetherand confronttheculturalpracticesandreligiousideasofvariedAfricanethnic groups,aswellasthosebroughtbytheEuropeanconquistadors.Fromthis forcedencounter,throughaprocessoftransculturation(awordusedto describetheencounteroftwoactiveculturesthatcontributetotheformationof anewreality)inresistanceorinrespect,inconfrontationorincooperation acreoleculturewasformedinCuba. AfroCubandeitiesinhabitthiscreoleworld,wheretheyhavemixedandfused withotherdeitiesfromAfricaontheonehandandwiththeCatholicsaintson theother.InCubaitiscommontofindsomeonelikeFelipe,whoworshipsthe AfricandeityofmetalsandofwarinbothitsLucum(Ogn)anditsCongo (Sarabanda)incarnation,celebratingthefeastofthesedeitiesonJune24,the dateassignedintheRomanCatholicChurchcalendarforthefeastofSaintJohn theBaptist,withwhomthesedeitieshavebeensyncretizedinMatanzas. InSantera,thespiritualentitiesthathavebeensyncretizedwiththeCatholic saintsarecalledorichasorsantos.Orichasaredeitiesofmultifariousnature, disparateorigins,anddistinctpersonalitytraitsthesepersonalitytraitsand attributes(caminosoravatares)arenumerous,complex,andsometimes contradictory.Orichasareidentifiedwithspecificcolorsornumbers,show predilectionsordislikesforcertainfoods,andareassociatedwithparticular herbsandplants.Furthermore,eachorichapossessesabodyofchantsanda repertoireofdrumrhythmsanddancemovements.Thereisalsoalargecorpus ofmythsorsacrednarrativesabouttheorichasthatrecountepisodesoftheir livesandtheirrelationshipswithoneanother.10 Althoughpalerosdonothaveapantheonascomplexastheonefoundin Santera,theirreligiouspracticefocusesontheworshipofthespiritsofthe dead,thespiritsofnature,andahierarchyofsuperiorspirits,mpungu,who havebeengivenacreoleidentitybyidentifyingthemwiththeorichasandthe Catholicsaints. Bothpalerosandsanterosbelieveinasupremecreatoroftheworldwho,after theactofcreation,retiresfromit,becomingunreachablethus,noprayersor sacrificesareofferedtothiscreator.Thistranscen

Page13 dentcreatureisknownasOlodumare,Olorn,orOloflinSanteraandas Sambia,Nsambi,orSambiinPalo. ThefocusofreligiouspracticeinSanteraandPaloiscenteredonthe relationshipestablishedwiththedeitiesandspirits,acomplexrelationshipthat involvescelebratingtheirfeasts,offeringthemsacrifices,consultingtheirwill, followingtheiradvice,andsometimesevenmanipulatingthem.Cubansanteros andpalerosengageinreligiouspracticelookingforthehelpofthesedeitiesand spiritsincopingwithdailyproblemsandtheobstacles,challenges,andchanges oflife. Santerosandpalerosapproachtheworldofthesacredthroughthepracticesof divination,sacrifice,andtrance.Involvementinthesepracticesrequires undergoingaseriesofinitiationritualsthatmarkdifferentstagesinthereligious lifeofthepractitionerandcreatedifferentrolesorrankswithinthereligious community. Tobeinitiated,asanterogoesthroughaseriesofritualsthatculminateina sevendayceremonycalledasientoorkariocha(toplacetheorichaoverthe head).However,religiousparticipationisnotlimitedtothosewhoundergothis initiation.Santeroswhohavepassedthroughoneorseveraloftheinitiation ritualsthatprecedetheasientomayparticipateactivelyinthereligiousactivities ofthehousetemple,althoughcertainactivitiesarelimitedtothosewithspecial knowledgeorcertainlevelsofinitiation. Theinitiationprocessbeginswhentheinitiatereceivesthebeadednecklaces, ilekesorcollares,thatserveasdwellingstothespiritualforcesoftheorichas andaregivenforprotection.Tostrengthenthisprotectionandthebondwitha groupoforichascalledthewarriors,whichincludesElegu,Ogn,andOchosi, santerosundergoanotherritualtoreceiveaseriesofsacredobjectsthatare consideredthematerialrepresentationoftheseorichas.Thefinalstageofthe initiationprocessistheasiento,sevendaysofcomplexceremoniesduringwhich thenovitiatereceivesthesacredstonesoftheorichas,theotanes,whichare housedinporcelaintureensknowassoperas.Thesestones,whichmustbe rituallyattendedandcaredfor,areconsideredtheembodimentoftheorichas, thefundamento,orcenter,ofeverypractitioner'sprivatereligiouspractice. Duringthecourseoftheyearthatfollowstheseceremonies,theinitiate, consideredonenewlyborn,oriyawo,dressesinwhiteandfollowsaseriesof prescriptionsandtaboosthatvaryac

Page14 cordingtotheorichaheorshehasreceived.Alsowithinthisyear,oraspartof thekariochaceremonies,theinitiateispresentedtothesacredbatdrums.The ceremonyofpresentationtothedrumsauthorizesthenovitiatetodanceinfront ofthesacreddrumsinanytoqueorfiestadesantoandcreatesaspeciallink betweentheinitiateandtheparticularsetofdrumsusedintheceremony. Santeroswhoaretoperformspecializedritualsfunctionsreceivefurther initiations. Asidefrominitiation,santerosareinvolvedinpermanentritualrelationshipswith theirorichasthatcoveragamutofceremonies,fromtheverysimpleand personalonesofsalutingtheorichasdailytothemorepubliconesofcelebrating bembs(ritualparties)intheirhonor.Centraltothereligiousactivitiesof santerosaretheofferings,calledeboregb,madetopropitiate,solicit, placate,orcomplywiththerequestsoftheorichas.Inmanycases,these offeringsinvolvethesacrificeofanimals,whosebloodisusedtofeedthesacred stones,theotanes. Ritualsaccompanysanterosallthewaytotheendoftheirlives,when,witha ceremonycalleditutu,thesoulofthedeceasedsanteroishelpedinthetransitto theworldofthespirits.Theitutusetsinmotionacycleofritualsthatendayear afterthesantero'sdeathwithaceremonyinwhichadishisbrokentosymbolize thedepartureofthedeceased. Allthereligiousactivitiesofsanterosareinformedandguidedbythewillofthe orichas,awillconsultedandinterpretedusingseveraldivinationsystems:the coconuts(obi)theshells(dilogn)thediviningchain(calledekuel,opel,or okuel)andthetableofIf.Theobiandthedilognareusedbyallinitiated santeros,whiletheekuelandtheIfareusedandinterpretedonlybythe babalaos,themalepriestsofOrula(theorichathatownstheoracles).Insome housetemples,inadditiontotheroleassignedthemintheinterpretationofthe oracles,babalaosexerciseimportantfunctionsintherituallifeofthefamily.In otherhouses,althoughthepresenceofthebabalaosisnecessaryforcertain ceremonies,thereligiousactivitiesrevolvearoundthefigureofaritualspecialist calledtheoriat.Felipe'sfamilyhousetempleinCubaisofthesecondtype. Communicationwiththeorichasisalsoaccomplishedduringpossessionor trance,whenanoricha,incarnatedinahumanbeing(referredtoasthehorse), givescounsel,warnings,andadvicetothosepresent.Thestateofpossessionis supportedbymusic.Musicand

Page15 danceareessentialelementsinvirtuallyeveryritual,wheremostoftheliturgical proceduresinvolvechanting,drumming,anddancing.Movementaccompanied bydrummingbecomesachannelofaccesstotheworldoftheorichas.Thus, thedrumsusedduringtheseceremonies,thebatdrums,areattributedthe powertotalktothedeities,invitingandenticingthemtodescendontheir children. Palerosareinitiatedthroughaseriesofritualsknownasrayamientos.Thisname derivesfromthemarksmadeduringtheserituals,withaknifeorsharpobject, onthebodyoftheneophyte.AsinSantera,therearemanylevelsof involvementinthereligionthus,apersonmaybecomeamemberofahouse temple,ornsonganga,simplybyattendingitsceremoniesandpayinghisorher respectstotheprendaornganga(thespiritofthedead)withoutundergoing furtherinitiations. Likesanteros,paleroscommunicatewiththespiritsormpungususingtrance anddivination.Thespiritsmaylettheirwillbeknownbytalkingthroughthe initiateswhohavebeenrituallypreparedtobecomepossessed,calledperros (dogs)orcriados(servants)ofthenganga.Thespiritsalsoanswerquestionsthe palerosposethroughvarioustypesofdivinationsystems.Palerosusetwo divinationsystemsborrowedfromtheLucumi,thecoconut(ndungui)andthe shells(chamalongos)andtwodivinationsystemsoftheirown:thefula (gunpowder)andthevititimensu(smallmirror). Toconsultthefula,thepaleroplacesacertainnumberofsmallpilesof gunpowderoveraboardoroverthefloor,inarituallyseparatespace.A questionisformulated,andthepalerosetsoneofthepilesonfireaccordingto thenumberofpilesthatcatchfire,theanswertothequestionisconsidered positiveornegative.Thevititimensu,asmallmirrorplacedintheopeningofa horn(mpaka)embellishedwithexquisitebeadwork,issaidtoplacethepalero incontactwiththespiritsandtogivehimaglimpseintotheotherworld.Itis readbyfillingthemirrorwithsmokesootfromacandleandproceedingto interpretthevariousshapesthatareformed. Thefundamento,orcenter,ofthereligiouspracticesofpalerosisthengangaor prenda,whichplaysaroleequivalenttotheoneplayedbythestonesin Santeria.Thewordprenda,ornganga,designatesnotonlyaspiritora supernaturalforcebutalsotherecipientanironpot

Page16 orcauldronanditscontents,suchasherbs,sticks,stones,andearthinwhich thisspiritdwells.Thisspiritprotectstheowneroftheprendaandisasourceof powerandsupportforpaleros.Everyngangaisalwaysbornfromanother,the ngangamadre(mother)fromwhichsomematerialsforthenewngangaare drawn.Atthedeathofapalero,accordingtopreviousconsultationwiththe spirit,thengangaiseitherburiedwithitsownerorinheritedbysomeone.The spiritintheprendashasanamebywhichthemayomberoorpalerowhoownsit isusuallyknownaswell.SomeofthemostfamousprendasinMatanzaswere knownbynamessuchasPasoLargo(LongSteps),VientoMalo(BadWind), andRemolino(Whirlwind).Felipe'sprendasarecalledMariamunda(aname) andRompeMonte(ForestBreaker). Musicalsoplaysacentralroleintheritualsofpaleros,whocelebratenotonly initiationandfuneraryritualsbutalsoritualstofeedthespiritsofthedeadthat mayinvolvethesacrificeofanimals.Paloceremoniesarenotaselaborate, expensive,andfrequentasthoseofSanteriathempungusarespiritsofnature, worshipedinamoreconstrainedandunostentatiousmanner.Thissimplicityis carriedovertothemusicusedduringtherituals,wheretherearenospecial rhythms,chants,anddancegesturesforeachspiritordeityasisthecasein Santeria.Anindispensableelementintheritualsofpalerosareanumberof magicsymbolsknownasfirmas(signatures)thatrepresentthespiritthatinhabits thenganga.Notonlyeveryspiritbutalsopaleroshavefirmasthatidentifythem. Thesefirmasaretracedonthefloor,onthewalls,ontheritualobjects,onthe scarvesusedbypaleros,andsoforth.Circles,lines,crosses,curves,arrows, themoon,thesunarecombinedtogivethesesignaturestheirritualpower. AsalientcharacteristicofbothSanteraandPalo,onethathasenabledthemto adaptflexiblytochangingcircumstancesandenvironments,isthelackof orthodoxy,theabsenceofahierarchicalcentralauthoritythatcontrolsreligious practicesandbeliefs.Theheadofeverycasadesantoornsonganga,guides thepracticesofhisorherownhousetemplewithtotalautonomy,without recognizinganyoutsidehierarchyorauthority,whilerespectingthetraditionas heorshereceiveditfromtheelders.Rankisrecognizedonlywithinthelimitsof eachhousetemple,variesfromonetempletoanother,andisbasedon knowledgeandlengthofmembershipinthereligion(countedfromthedateof initiation).Differencesamongthepractitioners,notnecessarily

Page17 ofahierarchicalnature,alsoarisefromthespecializedritualfunctionsperformed bysomeoftheinitiates.Suchisthecaseoftheosainista(whocollectsand handlestheritualsherbsandplants),theitalero(readerofthedilogn),andthe oriat(themasterofceremoniesofalltheinitiationrituals)inSanteraorthe mayordomo(assistantofthepadre[father]nganga),thetikatikankisi(the godmotherofthenganga),andthecriado(whomaybepossessedormounted bythespirits)inPalo.Nevertheless,inSanterathemalepriestsofOrula,the babalaos,areconsideredbymanytobeofhigherrankbecauseoftheexclusive natureoftheirpriesthood,astheyaretheonlyoneswhocaninterpretthemost importantdivinationsystems. Thesameindependencethatcharacterizestherunningofanilochaandanso ngangaexistsamongthenumerouschaptersoftheAbakusecretsociety, calledjuegos,potencias,tierras,orpartidos.TheAbakuisanallmalesecret societyofreligiousandmutualaidnaturethattracesitsoriginstotheCarabal cabildosinCuba.CarabalwasthenamegiveninCubatotheEfikandthe Ekpe,orEjagham(EkoiinCuba),fromsouthernCameroonandNigeria (Calabar),whointheirlandoforiginorganizedthemselvesinallmalesecret societiescalledngbeorekpe(leopard). ThefirstjuegoorpotenciaoftheAbakusocietyappearedinCubainthetown Reglain1836(Sosa1982:118).ThesocietylaterspreadthroughHavana, Matanzas,andCrdenas.Memberscametobeknownasigos,aword usedtodesignatethestreetdancersofthesociety(alsocalleddiablitosor iremes)whowerewellknownbythegeneralpopulationinCubathroughtheir participationinthecarnivalontheDayoftheThreeKings(January6),when theydancedthroughthestreetswearingtheirceremonialoutfit:amulticolored checkerboarddress,withaconicalheadpiecetoppedwithtassels.Initially,the Abakuacceptedonlyblacksasmembershowever,inthelatenineteenth centurytheadmissionpoliciesofsomejuegosorpotenciaswereliberalizedto includemulattosandwhites.Theobjectofthisconfraternitywastoprotectits membersspirituallyandtohelpthemeconomicallybymeansofamonthlyquota gatheredfromthemembersandalsousedtosupporttheactivitiesofthe society. Thesocietypossessesacomplexhierarchicalorganization,where

Page18 everymember,orobonekue,hasdetailedandspecificritualandsecular functions.Memberstreatoneanotherlikebrothersandareboundbyoathto keepabsolutesecrecyaboutthesocietyanditshermeticrituals.Eachjuegohas fromthirteentotwentyfivedignitaries,orplazas,whogovernthesocietyand celebratetherites,aswellasanunlimitednumberofinitiates.Thefourmain plazasareoccupiedbymemberswhoaregiventhenamesIyamba,Mokongo, Isu,andIsunekue(thepostoccupiedbyFelipeinhisjuego).Thesenamesare takenfromthecomplexoriginmythofthesociety,whichplaysapervasiverole intheritualsandinthehierarchicalorganizationoftheAbakupotencias. Asidefromitsactivitiesasamutualaidsociety,theAbakuperformselaborate ritualsandceremonies(plantes)fulloftheatricalityanddrama,particularlythose wherethemythoforiginisreenacted.Ceremoniessuchasinitiationsand funerals,thenamingofdignitaries,thefoundingofnewgroups,ortheannual homagetoEkuaresecretandtakeplaceinthesacredroomofthetemple, calledthefambe,irongo,orfambayn.Thisroomispreparedfortheritual usingmysticalsigns,calledanaforuanaorfirmas,thataredrawnontheritual spaceandobjects.ThispictographicwritingsystemisalsousedbytheAbaku toconveyinformation. AswithotherAfroCubanreglas,musiciscentraltotheritualsactivitiesofthe Abaku,whohavetwotypesofdrumensemble.Oneensembleisusedfor publiccelebrations,andtheother,asetofritual,symbolicdrums,isusedforthe esotericceremonies. Thefirsttypeofensembleismadeupoffouropen,slightlyconicaldrums,each builtfromasinglewoodlog.Thisensembleiscompletedwithotherpercussion instruments:tworattles,callederikund,andabell(ekn)madewithtwo triangularpiecesofirontowhichahandleisattached.Thelargestdruminthe ensembleissometimesbuiltfromstaves.Theskin(goat)ismountedonahoop, whichiskeptinplacebyaseriesofcordsandwedges(usuallyfour)calleditn orbekum.Thesedrumslackanytypeofornamentordecorativepainting.As sacreddrums,theyundergoaseriesofceremoniestobeconsecratedand requirespecialritualcare.Theyarefedwiththebloodofthesacrificesand theirskinhastobemarkedwiththeAbakuideographs,theanaforuana. Thelargestdruminthisensemble(approximatelyonemetertallandtwenty threecentimetersindiameter)iscalledthebonkenchemiy.Itisplacedslightly tiltedonthefloor,withtheendnottouchingtheflooronastoneorasimilar object.Onedrummer(monibonk)

Page19 sitsontopofthebodyofthedrumandplaysitwithhishands,whileanother (monitn)crouchesclosetothelowerendofthedrumandhitsthebodywith twostickscalleditn.Sometimesthedrumisplacedflatonthefloorandthe drummerstandswhileperforming(Ortz1952:vol.4,35).Theotherthree drumsaregiventhegenericnameofenkom.11Theirsizesrangebetweennine andteninchesinheightandeightandteninchesindiameter.Eventhoughthey donotdifferconsiderablyinsize,theyaretunedtoproducethreetypesof sound:thehighestdrumisthebinkom,themiddleoneisthekuchyerem,and thelowestiscalledtheobiaporsalidor(inSpanish).Eachisplayedbyplacing thedrumunderonearmandstrikingitwiththeother.Theplayingtechniqueis similartotheoneusedtoplaybongo,wherefingerstrokesinsteadofstrokes withthewholehandareinvolved.Traditionally,thefuneralliturgyisperformed usingthesethreedrumshowever,somejuegosusethefullensemble(Ortz 1952:vol.4,42).12 Theensembleofsymbolicdrumsisalsocomprisedoffourdrumsthe enkrkamo,theekuen,theempeg,andtheeriborseseribwhich, exceptfortheerib,aresimilarinmorphologytothedrumsdescribedabove. Asidefromthesefourdrums,however,isanothersymbolicdrum,theekue,a secretdrumthatiskepthiddenbehindacurtaininthesacredchamber,the famb.Thefourvisiblesymbolicdrumsdifferfromthoseoftheotherensemble inthewayinwhichtheyaredecorated:astaffwithfeathers,similartothestaff (muon)usedbythedignitaryinchargeofeachdrum,islocatedontheendof thedrum,wheretheskinisplaced.Eachdrumhasonefeatheredstaff,whilethe eribhasfour.Inadditiontothisornament,eachsymbolicdrumissometimes decoratedwithaskirtplacedclosetotheskin,madeofshredsoffibercalled belemorbelef. Theempeg,thedrumusedbythedignitaryofthesamename,isusedfor specialritualinvocationsandtoidentifytheparticipantsinaplanteasmembers ornonmembersofthesociety.Itisalsocalledtambordeorden(drumoforder) becauseitisusedtoimposedisciplinewithinthetemple.Itisalsothedrumthat opensandclosesalltherituals.Theekuenisthedrumusedbythedignitary whobestowsjustice.Thispersonageisassignedthetaskofritualsacrifices, whichhavetobewitnessedbythedrumthatpersonifieshim.Theenkrkamois thedrumusedtoconvenetheiremes,orlittledevils,thatrepresentthespirits ofthedeceasedorsupernaturalbeings.Theeribisbuiltsome

Page20 whatdifferentlyfromtheotherthreedrums:theskinisgluedorsewntoahoop madeofaflexiblematerial.Thesacrificialofferingsareplacedoverthisdrum, whichrepresentsthedignitarycalledIsu(saidtobethebishop).Thisdrumis highlyreveredbytheAbaku(Ortz1952,vol.4,6167). Thesecretdrum,orekue,isasingleheadedwoodenfrictiondrum,witha tensioningsystembasedonwedges.Atthebaseithasthreeopeningsthatform astandwiththeshapeofthreesmalllegs.Itisplayedbyrubbingastickover theskinofthedrum.Itisalwayshiddeninthesacredroom(famb).Thesound oftheekuesymbolizesthemagicvoiceofTanzethefish,whichaccordingtothe originmythoftheAbakuwasfoundbyawomannamedSikn. TheoriginmythoftheAbakuhasnumerousversions,someofthem contradictory.ItrevolvesaroundthetaleofhowthegodAbisidelivereda sourceofpowerintheformofafish,Tanze,totworivaltribes(knowninCuba withthenamesEforandEfik).Awoman,Sikn,firstfoundthefishintheriver, anddifferentversionsofthemythexplainthereasonforhersacrificeandforthe exclusionofwomenfromthesociety.SomesaySikn,whobelongedtothe Efortribe,indiscreetlyrevealedthesecrettotheEfikotherssayshebetrayed herpeoplebymarryingamemberoftherivaltribe.Inotherversionsofthe myth,Sikn,theoriginalownerofthesecret,iskilledbymentoseizethepower fromher,andtheybanwomenfromparticipationintheceremoniessothatthe powerwillneverreturntowomen'shands. Inoneversionofthemyth(Cabrera1970),twotribesfromCalabar,theEfor andtheEfik,hostiletoeachother,livedseparatedbyasacredriver,the Oddn,where,accordingtothetradition,Abisi(God)wastodeliverthesecret tothechosenones(theEfor).Itwasinthisriverthatfishermenfirstheardthe thunderingvoiceoftheSacred,asupernaturalforcethat,followingthe prophecies,hadassumedtheformofafishandpromisedhonor,wealth,and prosperitytothetribethatcouldsecureitspossession. Sikn,thedaughterofaprestigiouselderMokuireorMokongofromthe Efortribe,wenttotherivertofetchwater,asshedideveryday.Notlongafter shehadplacedthecalabashfullofwateronherhead,sheheardaghostly roaringsoundthatfilledherwithfear.Mokuire,havingbeenadvisedthatthefish wasinthehandsofamortal,followedthepathtotheriverandencounteredhis daughter.Head

Page21 monishedhertokeepthesecretofwhatshehadexperienced,fearingthe reactionofNasak,thesorcererofthetribe,whohadtoldhimthatwhoever foundthesecretshoulddie. Nevertheless,MokuirebroughtSikntothecaveofNasak,whotookthe calabashwiththefishandhidit.Themostimportantmembersofthetribewere notifiedandspentmanydaysconsultingtheoracles,discussing,inquiring,trying todecidewhetherornotSiknhadindeedseenthesacredfishTanze.Inthe meantimeTanzebecameweakerandfinallydied.Adrum,theekue,wasbuilt withpalmwoodandcoveredwiththeskinofTanze,butthesacredvoice refusedtotalk.Somethinghadtobedonetorecoverit.Nasakbelievedthat onlythebloodofSin,whodiscoveredthesecret,mightbringitbacktolife. Siknwassacrificed,butthedrumremainedsilent.Finally,Nasakperformed aseriesofritualceremonies,whichincludedthesacrificeofaroosteranda goat,andthefundamento,orpower,ofthedrumwasguaranteed,itsvoicewas recovered. TheEfor,underpressurefromtheirrivalstheEfik,agreedtosharethesecret withthem.Therefore,sevenmembersofeachtribemettosignanagreement, butNasakdidnotsign.Fromthisstemsthetraditionofhavingthirteenmajor plazasorpostswithinthesociety,recallingthethirteenoriginalmemberswho signedthepact(CastellanosandCastellanos1992). Thissummaryofthemyths,structure,andritualsoftheAbakusocietyhelpsus understandtheletterFelipewrote,whichIusedtobeginthenarrationabouthis lifeatthebeginningofthispart.Whenhelistshistitlesandthebranchofthe Abakusocietyhebelongsto,hesays:IsunekuedelaPotenciaEfik KunamberedeMatanzas,PonponteMioSiroAkanabin,andmytitlein Abakuis:IsunekueBijurakaMundi,IsunekueAtaraYiraAtaraKond, IsunekueBaiboEyeneBaibo. IsunekueisoneofthefourmostimportantpostsorplazaswithintheAbaku society.TheIsunekueisthecustodianoftheirongoorfambaynthe concealedchamberinthetemplewherethesacreddrum,theekue,iskept.He istheguardianoftheVoiceandrepresentsSikn.inoneoftheversionsofthe originmyth,IsnorIsunekuewasthehusbandofSikn.Thismustbethe versionkeptinFelipe'sjuego,becausewhenIaskedhimaboutthemeaningof Isunekue,hetoldmeitwasthenameofthehusbandofthewomanwhofound thesecret,thekeeperofthesecret.

Page22 EfikKunambereisthenameofthejuegotowhichFelipebelongs.Thispotencia isfromtheEfiklineandwasbornfromajuegocalledKerew.Accordingto oneofCabrera'sinformants:EkerewborderedthelandofEf.InEkerew therewerethreehills,ineachhilllivedthethreefamiliesofEkenern,Kerew MomiandKerewKunambere.Asneighborsoftheplaceoftheevent, Nasakmadethemkeepers,andwhenthesocietywasformedthey participatedinthesharingoftherelics(Cabrera1970:82).Felipe'sfather belongedtoajuegonamedKerew,fromwhichKunamberewasborn. AkanabinisthenameofaplaceruledbyKingAwan,thebrotherofIsn Bengu,motherofthefamousSikn(Cabrera1970:83). IntheAbakusociety,thedignitariesaregiventitlesaccordingtotheritualacts theyperform(Cabrera1970:176).Felipe'stitlesinthesocietywereasfollows: Whentakinganoath,theIsunekueiscalledIsunekueBijurkaMundi.Felipe definesitastheoathtakenbythehusbandofSikn,whopromisedtokeepthe secretinordertoavoidbeingkilled. AtaraYiraAtaraKondisdefinedbyFelipeasthekingborninagolden cradle. BaiboEyeneBaibo,accordingtoFelipe,isthenameofthehusbandofthe womanwhofoundthesecret. InprerevolutionaryCuba,rivalryamongdifferentAbakujuegosledfrequently toviolentconfrontationsthatconferredadubiousreputationuponthese societies.Theywereviewedbytheestablishmentaslinkedtoacultureof povertyandmarginalization.Inaddition,theallegedcriminalconnectionsof someoftheAbakusociety'smembers(sometimesaccurate),racism, sensationalistpressreports,andutterignoranceincitedcoercionand persecution. Attheendofthenineteenthcenturyandseveraldecadesintothetwentieth,to beanAbakuwasconsideredacrime(Sosa1982:328).However,duringthe republictheAbakubecameanelectoralforcethatcouldnotbeignored.Many politicianssoughttheirsupportandevenprintedsomeoftheirelectoralmaterials inEfik(Sosa1982:330). InpostrevolutionaryCuba,theAbakucontinuedtobethemost

Page23 repressedandmisunderstoodAfroCubanreligiouspractice.Inthe1960s, indiscriminatearrestsofknownAbakuswerecarriedout,andrepressive measuresagainstthemcontinuedintothe1970s(Moore1988:306). Thus,preandpostrevolutionarygovernmentshaveviewedtheAbakujuegos aspotentialcentersforresistance.Thethreatthesesocietieswereperceived toposetotheestablishmentmayexplaininparttheprejudice,persecutions, andmisrepresentationthesesocietieshavesuffered. EnteringFelipe'sHouse


Santera:TheLucumDoor

TheLucumancestorsbelongtoFelipe'smaternalside.Hismother,Tomasa VillamilCrdenas,wasthedaughterofTomasaCrdenas,theonlyfemalechild borninthehouseofanAfricanslavewhohadboughthisfreedom,Iobl Crdenas.13 IoblCrdenas'shomeinPuebloNuevo,onastreetcalledBuenViaje,was theheadquartersofawellknowncabildoinMatanzas.Felipespeaksalways withprideabouthisgreatgrandfather: IoblCrdenas,mygreatgrandfatherfrommymother'ssideof thefamily,wasakinghecamefromhislandasaking.Hehadhis ownhouseandhehadlandbecauseheboughthisfreedom.Inhis houseyoucouldn'tspeakthewaywearespeakingrightnow. There,youcouldonlytalkLucum. BecausewhatdidtheSpanishandslavetradersdo?Theydidn't allowtheslavestohavealotofknowledgeconcentratedinone place.ButtheymadeamistakewithMatanzas.Becausein Matanzasthey[theslaves]rootedthereligionfirmly.Somuchso thatinmanyfamilies,likeourfamily,thatoriginatefromAfricans, andinmanycasasdesantos,theyspeakLucum.Becausetherein CubawecallitLucumeventhoughhereintheU.S.,it'ssaidthat Lucumdoesn'texistandit'scalledYoruba. Imetamanthatbelongedtothebranchofourhouse.Hisname wasBenerandoAlfonso.Hewasoneofthewisemeninthe religion.Youcouldn'tspeakSpanishinhishouse.Youhadtogo inthathouseandgreeteveryonesayingagoandtheywould answeragoya.Youcouldn'tsay

Page24 goodmorningorgoodafternoonoranything,becausenobody wouldanswer.ThereyoucouldonlyspeakinAfrican.Everything wasAfrican,shoes,food,everything. BecausethosewhocamefromAfricahadanotherwayofthinking, aswellasanotherwayoftalking.Theycouldnotbringanything fromAfricaandtheywentthroughalotofhardshipsbecause theyweremadeprisonersinthoseshipswheretheycouldnot move.Crowdedinthoseshipsitwasnoteasyforthem.And thetripwaslong,three,four,five,sixmonths,andtheycouldnot seethesun.Theywouldsleepthere,eatthere,defecatethere,like animals.ThenthereinCubayoucanseehowtheytriedtolaythe foundationsfortheirreligioninspiteofallthechanges:thechange inclimate,thechangeinplants,ineverything.Sotheyhadtobegin tofigureouthowtodotheirthingsbecauseAfricawasdifferent fromCuba. Sowhenwearrivedatthereligion,ourancestorstookalongtime tobegintoteachusalittlebit.Someofthemrefusedtoteachtous criollos,becausetheywereafraidwewouldtakeoverormisuse theknowledge. WhenFelipetalksabouthishouseinCuba,hefrequentlyusesthewordhouse inthewayinwhichmanysanterosuseit,torefertotheilocha(ilorichaor casadesanto),orhousetemple,ofhisextendedritualfamily.InSanteria,a personwhoinitiatesothersintothereligionformsaritualfamilywhosecenterof worshipbecomesthehouseofthefoundingsantero.Thishousetemple,the fundamentalunitofworshipinSantera,issimultaneouslyaplaceofdwelling,a placeofworship,acommunity,andafamily. Threespacesofworshiparekeptwithinthehouse:theigbodu,orinner sanctum,commonlyknownasthecuarto,wherethemoreesotericritesare carriedouttheeyarnlaorsala,oftenthelivingroomofthehouse,usedfor semiprivateritualsand,inhouseswithoutapatio,alsoforpublicceremoniesthe ibanbaloorpatio,wherethepublicceremoniesareheld.Traditionallyusedfor drumdancesandcommunalmeals,thepatioisalsotheplacetocultivateplants andherbsandtokeepthesacrificialanimals. Furthermore,santerosconsidertheorichasmembersoftheirfamily.After initiationintothereligion,throughacomplexseriesofritualstheinitiate establishesaspecialrelationshipwithanoricha,whoissaid

Page25 tobeseatedorplacedovertheperson'sheadandfromthereguidesthe initiate'slife. Thus,whenFelipetalksabouthismother,hemaybereferringtoeitherTomasa Villamil,oneofMatanzas'sbestknownandrespectedoldersanteras,orOy, theorichathatgovernsherhead.Tomasa'shouse,locatedintheneighborhood inMatanzascalledLaMarina,istheseatofthefamouscabildoofSaintTeresa (theCatholicsaintsyncretizedwithOyinMatanzas)here,duringthemonthof October,weeklongfestivitiesareheldinhonorofOy. Inourhousewecelebratedceremoniesfromtheninthtothe fifteenthofOctober.Becausemymotherbecameinitiatedonthe twelfth,andwecelebratedalsothefeastofSaintTeresaonthe fifteenth.Soduringtheweekbeforethefifteenthpeoplestarted arrivingfromeverywhere:Havana,Coln,Canas,andduringthis periodalotofceremoniestookplace.Weplayedbemballday long,rumbaalldaylong,andgiro.14Therewasaconstant comingandgoinginthehouse,itneverstoppedandthebat drumswereplayedonthefifteenth. InSantera,religiousceremonies(thebemb,tambor,orfiesta)15wheremusic playsacentralrolearespecialoccasionsforinitiatestocommunicatewiththe orichas.Itisduringtheseceremoniesthatdevoteesmaybecomepossessedby anoricha,whosometimesusestheoccasiontogiveadvicetothosepresent. Santerosuseexpressionssuchasbeingmountedorgettinganorichato describethisstateoftrance. MymothergetsanOythatisphenomenal.Oyisphenomenal whenshedances!Oyisawarriorandafighter.Mymother's Oysingswhenevershearrives.Irememberachantsheusedto singalotthatsays:Look,chico,don'tyoubotherme,causeI amawomanthatwalksaroundwithninedeadspirits.Thewind takesmewhereverIwant.Iamawomanthatcanplaysanto,as wellasbrujo,aswellasmuerto.Don'tfoolaroundwithme becauseIkillwiththewind,Idon'tneedweaponstokill. ItisnottruethatOylivesinthecemetery.Sheistheownerofthe cemeterybutshelivesintheperimeteroftheworld.BecauseOy isthreethings:sheisfire,sheiswind,andsheistheownerofthe cemetery. Listentome,ataceremonyshewouldstandandtellyou: Tomorrowyou'regoingtobreakyourlegs,andsureenough you'llbreakthem.You

Page26 alwayshadtoaddressherwithusted[youformal]neverwith t[youinformal].Onceataceremonyamandaredtousethe tandOytookagourdfullofwater,gaveittotheman,andsaid: Nowheisgoingtobreakthebathroom.Doyouknowwhat wascalledthebathroom?Itwasoutsideinthepatio,alatrine.He wentoutthereandbrokethedoorofthelatrineandstuckhishead inthere.Hehadtoruntothebeachtowashhimselfup.Oysaid, IamOy,andlisten,thewindbegantoblow. ButIdidn'tfearherbecauseOybroughtmeup.Oyisvery good,verygoodtome.WewerechildrenofOy,wewereher children.IwasimpetuousIwascrazyaboutOy.IwasandIam. Butthere,inCuba,IwascrazyaboutOy.Iwouldbuildthe thrones,Iwouldlookforfoodandlookforeverythingformy mother'ssaint.Well,yes,thatsaintbroughtusup.AndwhenI wouldgetsickshewouldtakecareofmeandsaytome:Hewho knowsdoesn'tdie.Shehadusallprepared. Incontrast,whenFelipetalksabouthisfather,itisOgntowhomheisreferring mostofthetime,becauseFelipeisasonofOgn. Ilearnedtoplayiyesdrumsatthecabildolyes,becausethat wasthecabildoofmyfatherOgn.Ogn'scabildoinMatanzasis locatedinSalamancaandCampostelainthehouseoftheGarca family.ThatistheIyescabildowhereIusedtogo. ThecabildoIyesmoduSanJuanBautista,whereFelipebecamefamiliarwith theIyesmusictraditions,wasofficiallyfoundedonJune24,1845,and sponsoredbytheLucumcabildoofSantaTeresa,whichservedasits godfather.ThemembersofthiscabildoworshipalltheLucumiorichasbuthave aspecialdevotionforOgn(whomtheyequatewithSaintJohntheBaptist)and Ochn(thedeityofriversandstreams,syncretizedinCubaastheVirginofLa CaridaddelCobre),whomtheyconsidernativeIyesorichas.Nowadays, thiscabildoownstheonlysetofsacrediyesdrumsleftinCuba.16 OgnisnotonlytheorichathatownsFelipe'sheadbutalsoanorichathathas playedasignificantroleinthelifeofFelipe'sfamilyinCuba.Ognwasthesanto ofFelipe'smaternalgrandfather,Juan. Mymotherusedtotellmestoriesaboutmygrandfather,like: Whereisfather?Whereisfather?Becauseyouwouldbetalking tomygrandfather

Page27 andsuddenlyyoudidn'tknowwhomyouweretalkingtoit waswithOgn.ThatsaintOgnwouldliedowntolookforfood forhischildrenatverybadtimeswhentherewasnothingtolook for,whenMachadowasinCuba.Mymothersaysthatonetime theydidn'thavemoneyevenforfood,andmygrandfatherwas thinkingandthinkingsittingonanarmlesschair.Finallyhegot upandsaidtoeveryone:Todayyouaregoingtoeat,youare goingtoeathewentdownaroadoverthereandhelayinthe mud,helayinthemud.Helivedinthecountryside,thatisalso wheremyuncleJorgeusedtolive,itwascalledSumidero.A Moor17wascomingwithadroveofmuleswithfood:roasts,rice, everythinghehadastringofaboutfifteenorsixteenhorses, carryinghismerchandisedownthatroad.ThentheMoorsawmy grandfather.TheMoorspokeabitofSpanish,inthewaythey usedtotalk,andhepickedhimupfromthemud:Ayseor,what areyoudoinghere?Somygrandfathertoldhim:Iamhere becauseIhavemychildrenbackthereinthehouseandtheyhave nothingtoeat.Thenthemansaid:Buthowcanthatbe?And you,whatareyougoingtodohere?Youaregoingtodieinthe mud.Iamnotgoingtodie,Iamgoingtogetfood.Doyou knowwhattheMoordid?Heuntiedoneofthehorses,andhe gavehimthehorsepackedwithfoodthemule,muleincluded hegaveittohim,sothattheycouldgoandeatandthefamily hadfoodforabouttwomonths. Ognnotonlyprovidedfoodforthefamilybutalsoprotectedthemfromthe policeatthetimewhensanterosinMatanzaswerenotallowedtoperformtheir ceremoniesfortheirorichas.AfroCubanreligionssufferedfromthegeneral discriminationpracticedagainsttheblackpopulationduringtheearlydecadesof thetwentiethcentury.Prejudiceandignorance,fueledbysensationalistpress reportsthatlinkedAfroCubanreligionstocriminalactivities,unleasheda persecutionofreligiouspracticesofAfricanorigin.Duringthosedays,itwas commonforthepolicetoraidthecentersofworship,arrestthepractitioners, andconfiscatetheritualobjects.Manyoftheseobjects,whichnowadaysare keptinmuseumsinCuba,bearinscriptionsthattestifytotheuseofthesepieces asevidenceinjudicialcases.However,AfroCubansdevisedwaystorespond totheserepressivemeasures:Houseswereusedastemplesclosetswereused asaltarsCatholicsaintsstoodasthepublicfacefortheorichas. AtthetimeofJoseClaro,thepolicemanthatItalkedtoyou about,youcouldnotplaythedrumsinMatanzas.Hewasalways lookingforplaces

Page28 wheretherewasdrumming,andifhegrabbedthesaintshe wouldtakethemaway.Thepolicewouldarriveandtheywould takethesaintstothestation.AndinMatanzaseveryoneknew aboutit,eh?Celebrationsatmygrandfather'shousewouldbegin todayandendnextweek.Becausetheywouldplaymusicthey playedguitarandbassandbongosandeverythingalldaylong andthenatnightwasthebemb.Onedaywhenthesepeople werecelebratingthepolicecame:Wehearthatyou'replayinga drum.Butthere'snodrumhere,saidOgnstandingatthe door,there'snodrumherecomein,comein!Whenthepolice cameineverythingthere,allthefoodandallthethingsOgnhadin frontofhiminhisaltar,wereturnedintodrinksbyOgn.OK,if thisisafamilyreunion,letthefamilyreunioncontinue,saidthe cop. TwostoriesaboutOgnfiguredprominentlyinFelipe'snarrativerepertoire whenhespokeaboutthisoricha.18Felipeusedthemwheneverhehad argumentsonreligiousissueswithbabalaosinNewYork.Theyarerelatedto thedivinationsysteminSanteraknownastheekuel. Sohowcanitbepossibleforababalaotosaytomethathe doesn'trecognizethepowerofOgnifOgnwasthefirstaw? Youknowwhatawmeans?Itmeansdiviner.Becauseifitwas notforOgnthatdiviningchain,theekuel,wouldneverhave beenputtogetheragain.Becauseoriginallytheekuelwasnotthe wayitisnowbeforeitwasmadewithcoconutshellsandtheskin ofdeer.ButonedayObatal,inafurywiththethingsoflife withpeoplewhenhesawsomuchingratitudeandsomanybad things,tooktheekuelandsaid:Ah,nowIamnotgoingtocure anyoneandIamnotgoingtodoanythingandhetooktheekuel andflungit.Heflungitlandedontopofaroofanditstayedthere formanyyears.Buttheninatownalotofpeoplebegantoget sick,andtherewasnodoctor,nothing.Nobodycouldsay:Take thisplanttocurethissicknessorthat,nothingcouldbe said.SoeverybodymadeanofferingtoObatal,pleadingtohim todosomething.Obatalsaid:Fine,I'mgoingtopickupthe ekuel,butitisn'tgoingtobegoodforanything,becauseithas beenlyingouttherepickinguphumidityandwater.Sothereisan Eleguthatlivesupintheroof,andthisElegusaid:Iamgoingto gouptotheroofandbringtheekueldown.Hebroughtitdown, buteverytimetheythrewit,itwouldbreak,becauseitwasrotten, andnothingcouldbedoneaboutit.ThenElegusaid:Iknowthe onlymanthatcanfixthatthing

Page29 here,andhewenttolookforOgn.WhenOgncamehetold everyone:Fine,Iwillfixtheekuel,butIwanttoknowwhat shareI'mgoingtogetinit.Theothersstaredateachotherand finallysaid:Well,youdecideonwhatshareyouwanttohave. AndOgnputhimselftoworkandbegantomakechainsandto tietheekuelwithchains.Thenhesaid:Whiletheworldisa world,thoseseedswillspeak,tiedbyme.Sothatisthe participationhehasintheekuel,thechains.Thenifababalao doesn'tgetalongwellwithOgn,heisnobody,becausehe doesn'trespectOgn,whoistheonethatfeedshim. Well,letuscontinuewithOgn.Thereisapicturethatiscalledthe GreatSupper[theLastSupper]whereyouseesomeonestanding closetoJesusChristthatoneisOgn.Becausewhathappened wasthatthisgreatmeetingtookplaceandtheydidn'tcallOgn. Sohewentuptotheheavensandwantedtogointothekingdom, buttheguardiansstoppedhim.No,no,youcannotcomein becauseOlofiishavingameetingtherewithsomepeople.Who saysIcannotgoinifIamOlofi'sgreatambassador?Thereisan ordernottoletanyonein.Sowhoarethosepeopleinthere, dressedinwhite?SomebabalaosAh!Babalaosfine. Andheleftandwenttotheperipheryoftheworldandmadean ekuel,butnemadewithiron,andhethrewthatekuelandthe earthbegantotremble.SoOlofiasked:Whyiseverything trembling?Well,Ognisouttherethrowinganekuel.Andhe hadOgncalledin,andwhenOgnarrivedatthetabletherewere twelveguestsandhearrivedbuthedidn'ttakeaseat.He remainedstanding,tellingOlofiwhathadhappened.Thatisthe reasonwhy,forsanteros,thirteenpeoplearenotsupposedtosit atatable. Whoeverpaintedthatpicturedidagoodjob,thatpictureofthe GreatSupper.Becausetheonethatisstandingthere,thatisOgn whorefusedtosit,andheisstandingtheretellingOlofiwhat happened.Forusthatisthetraditionthereadingofthatpictureis thatwayforus. Thus,SanterahasbeenapowerfulpresenceinFelipe'slifesincehisyouthand wasanintegralpartoftheeverydaylifeofhisfamily.Hefrequentlyand passionatelyemphasizeditinourtalksasthefoundationandthesourceofhis ritualknowledge,especiallywhenhecomplainedaboutthewayinwhichsome ofthereligiousceremonieswerecarriedoutinNewYork,comparedtothe wayinwhichtheywereconductedinCuba.

Page30 IknowbecausesinceIwaslittle,I'veseenthis,I'vebeenseeing thissinceIwasakid.I'veseenhowthesethingsaredoneinmy house.Whatwehavebelieved,thatiswhatwedo.Theyearsgo by.Mymotherisahundredyearsold.AndIhaveafamily,very bigbutveryoldmyfamilyhasalotofoldpeople. WhenFelipetalksabouthisoldfamily,heisreferringtotheeldersthosewho kneweverythingabouttherituals,thecarriersofreligiousknowledge,the bearersoftradition.Thenotionoftheelderasthesourceofreligiousknowledge hasitsoriginsinCubaintheplantations,whereeldersweresparedworkinthe fieldsandhadtimeandspacefortheirreligiousactivities,servingasguidesand teachersofotherslavesinreligiousmatters.MostoftheeldersFelipelearned fromarenowdead.ItisFelipe'sgenerationthathasbecomethesourceof knowledgefortheyoungermembersofthefamily.
PaloMonte:TheCongoDoor

Eventhoughhismother'ssideofthefamilywasheavilyinvolvedinSantera, Felipewasnotinitiatedintothisreligionuntilearlyadulthood.Hefirstbecamea palero,practicingthereligionofhisfather,Benigno.Benigno'sfamily,the Garca,camefromatownintheprovinceofMatanzascalledCrdenas,where Palotraditionsareverystrong. Iwasfirstapalerobeforebecomingasantero.Myfather,thisone hereinthepicture,hadsevendegreesinPalo[sevenlevelsof initiation].Ihavesuchstoriestotellabouthim.Well,myfather wascalledBenignoGarcayGarca,sonofAnicetoGarca GmezandofCarlotaGarca. Myfatherwasincredulous.Hedidn'tbelieveinSantera,he onlybelievedinthepot19andnothingelse.AndImadesanto quitelatebecauseofhim.Theproblemwasthatheusedtosay thatwhilehewasalivenoneofuswouldmakesaint.Butthose wereothertimes. Iwasrayado[namegiventotheinitiationprocessinPalo]whenI wasbornIhavebeenrayadosincethedayIwasbornfrommy mother'sbelly.Look,inmyhouse,whensomeonewasborn,the onethatwenttopickthenewbornupfromthehospitalwasthe oldmanmyfather.Itwasfromthehospitaltothehouse,so thatnobodywouldhavetheopportunitytotouchhimornothing. Inthehouse,thefirstplacewherehetookhimwastothe

Page31 prendaandatnighthewouldperformaceremonyandthenthe newbornhadtobetakentomygrandfather'shouse,andthey wouldperformanotherceremony.ThankGodwenevergotsick. Justlikeeverybody,asmallheadacheorsomethinglikethat,but neverabadsickness.Wewerebroughtupintheworstpatiosof CubabecausethatMarinawasbad.Iwasreallybornin PuebloNuevo,inBuenViaje17butduringtheworsttimewe had,wehadtoleavethehouse.ThenwemovedtoLaMarinaina smallhousewherewepaidless,butitwasinbadcondition.InLa Marina,filthwouldrunalloverthestreetsandcoverthem, becausetherewerenodrains.Wewouldwalkinthatdirtywater catchingfishwithalittlenet. Felipe'sfathertaughthimwhathethoughtFelipewaspreparedtolearn.What parentstaughttheirchildrenwasselectiveanddidnotincludealltheirritual knowledge.Furthermore,notallthechildrenweredeemedeligibleorqualified tolearnthesecretsoftheancestors.ThereluctanceFelipe'sfathershowedin revealingthesecretsofhisreligiouspracticewasverycommonamongthe descendantsofCongosinCuba.Congosneverlikedtocommunicatetheir knowledgeandwerekeenonsecrecy.Thissecrecyandtherolethecultofthe deadplaysintheirreligionfavoredfrequentmisrepresentationsoftheirreligious practicesviewedwithsuspicion,itwasnotuncommonforCongopracticesto bedefinedorcharacterizedbymanyasbrujera(witchcraft).20 Theyusedtocalluscriollos,butwedidn'tstopbeingtheir children.Criollosyes,becausewewerebornthereinCuba,we werenotbornintheirlands.Mysonisacriollo.Thenyouknow thatwhentheysayacriollo,itisthesonofaCongooraLucum oranAfricanborninCuba. Theydidn'twanttoteachus,theirownchildren,becausewewere criollos.No,theysaid,wearenotgoingtoteachthesepeople, becauseifweteachthemwearegoingtobecheated.Because theyarefromhereandwearefromthereyousee?They didn'ttakeintoaccountthatweweretheirownchildren,thatthat wasnotgoingtohappen.IfthehumanracebroughtthemtoCuba asslavestheythought:Atleastwearealive,andifthesepeople grabthisknowledgeandlearnit,theyaregoingtotakeitfor themselvesandtheyaregoingtokilluswiththisverysamething. Wearenotgoingtoteachthem. Myfatherusedtotellmethattherewerealotofthingsthathe wouldn'tteachme,becauseIdidn'tbelongtohisgeneration,and atthetimehe

Page32 learned,hehadtoworkhard.Andhewouldtellusthesamething hisancestorsusedtotellhim:You'llendhumanityifIteachyou. See?Andhetookmuchknowledgewithhimtothegrave. Becausemyfatherwasonethatwouldmaketheselittlefigureshe hadinhisprendawalk.Yousee?Sothatwasonetraditionhe didn'twantustohaveandhetookitwithhimandthatwastheend ofthattradition. Iwasmyfather'smayordomo[ritualassistant].Iwentwithhim everywhere.HeoftentraveledfromMatanzastoHavanaandI alwayshadtogothere.Whenhehadanythingbiggoingon,he wouldsendforme.ThethirtyfirstofDecemberIhadtobethere ifIwasnottherehewouldcomeandlookforme:Come,Icame tolookforyoubecauseyouhavetobepresentinthe ceremonies. Whentheyhadceremonies,well,thenIhadtosittherecloseto theprenda.Hewouldputabenchthereforme,andIwouldbe sittingtheretakingcareofeverything.BecausewhenMariamunda came[whenthespiritpossessedFelipe'sfather],Iattendedto everythingshedemanded.Andmyfatherwouldsay:Giveme this,andabitofthatthisisusedforthisandthisisusedforthat, andgivemethisotherthingandIwillnottellyouwhatitis usedforandsoon.Justlikethat,hewouldtellmeonething butnottheother.GraduallyIwaslearningbutNinomybrother, theywouldcallhimmanytimesandhewouldsitbesideme,buthe didn'thavemuchinterest,Ninowasjustnotintoit,yousee? MariamundawasthenameofFelipe'sfather'sprenda.Prendasaremorethana sourceofpowerandsupportforpaleros.Theyrepresenttheknowledge paleroshaveacquiredfromthosewhoinitiatedthemintothereligion.Felipe explainsthatthewordprendaderivesfromthefactthathisancestorshadno wealth,land,orpropertytoleavetotheirchildren.Theonlypossessionthey hadwastheirculturetheknowledgeoftheirrituals,theuseofherbs,the divinationsystems,andsoforthwhichwassymbolizedbytheprenda.This waswhattheylefttotheirchildrenasinheritance.21 Formeprendaissomethingyoulearngradually,bysteps.It meansmedicine,itmeansgooditisasourceofpower.Myfather usedtotellus:Ihavenohouse,Ihavenomoneysothisisyour onlyinheritance.Youhavetolearnthis,becauseitistheonlything Iamleavingtoyou,soyouwillbe

Page33 protectedfromtheevilthingsinlife.Inthatsensewetookthe ngangaasaprenda,becauseitwasthemostpreciousprendawe couldhave. FelipeinheritedMariamundafromhisfatherandanotherprenda,Sarabanda RompeMonte,fromhisgrandfather.AlthoughFelipenevermethispaternal grandfather,heinheritedhisgrandfather'sprendabecauseinthefamilyhewas consideredtohaveaspeciallinkwithhisgrandfather'sspirit.Theseprendasare nowhousedinFelipe'shomeinNewYork.WhenIfirstmetFelipein1992,he hadtransformedaclosetinhishouseintoanaltarwheretheseprendaswere placed. Whileonhismother'ssideofthefamilyOgnwasthesourceofprotection, Felipe'sfatherreliedonthepowerofMariamundaforguidanceandrefuge. BecausemyfatherisfromalittletowncalledCamarioca.And allhisfamilywerewellknowninCrdenasinacoloniacalled LaFest.ItislocatedclosetoCrdenas.Well,theyhadtheir prendanamedMariamunda.Becauseallofmyfather'srelatives wereveteransinthereligion.Fabin,myuncle,FabinGarcia, whowasaveteranalso,playedyukadrums.Buttherewasa periodwhenthingswerenotgoodforreligiousmatters.Duringthis periodtheywentonetimetotaketheprendainacarriagetothe cemetery.22MyunclewhosenamewasCundolookedforthe cemetery.Well,myfatherwentandtooktheprendawithCundo, CatalinoandFabin.Sotheywenttothecemeteryandburiedthe prendaanddidwhattheyhadtodothere.Well,acoachmanhad accompaniedthem,becauseinCrdenastherewereonly carriagesandnothingelse.Atthattimetherewerenomorethan fourcarsintown.Sothatsamecoachmanwentandreportedthem tothepolice.Hesaidthattheywenttothecemeteryandtheplace wherehetookthemandeverything.Thepolicewentandtook everythingthatwasinthecemetery.Thentheywenttolookfor them,becausethecoachmantoldthemthosethingsbelongedto them.Hegavethemtheaddresswherehehadpickedeachoneof themupsotheyweresenttoprison.Well,myfatherhadkepta pouchthatnightitwasasmalltriangularpouch.Hewastherewith thatpouchintheprecincttheyhadnottakenitawayfromhim.He wassenttotheprisoninCrdenas.Thenintheprisonyardhe lookedforastone,andheplacedthepouchunderthestoneand hedidhisceremoniesthere.Theirphotographcameoutthey werepho

Page34 tographedwithallofwhattheyfoundinthecemetery,andthe pictureappearedinthenewspaper.AtthattimeinCubatherewas anewspapercalledElMundo,yes,ElMundo.Iusedtokeepthe clipofthatnewspaper,Ihadititwasalreadyyellow.Apparently theywerehitintheface,becausetheircheeksappearedswollen. Theretheywere,thefourofthem:Catalino,Cundo,Fabin,and myfather,prisoners.Heinthemiddlewiththeprendaandthe dollsandeverything.ItwasascandalinMatanzas,inthewholeof Cuba,becauseitcameoutinthepapers.Becausethethingsofthe paleroswereconsideredbadatthattime,reallybad.23 YouknowthatthejudgeinCrdenaswhohadtoexaminethe case,well,hecouldn'tsleep.Hewenttoseemyfather:Whois BenignoGarcainhere?Me.Hehadhimtakenout.Myfather said:Well,ifyou'regoingtotakemeoutyouhavetotakeoutthe otherstoo.Andthejudgesaid:TheonlythingIwantfromyouis foryoutosincerelytellmewhatthehellisI'mgoingtorelease everyone,everybodyisgoingtogoout,butIwantyoutotellme something.Ofthesethingshere,whatbelongstoyou?Myfather pointedtohisthings.That'swhatbelongstoyou?Thejudge saidtoapoliceman:Bringtwocops.Startpackingthat,and calledmyfatheraside:WhoiscalledMariamunda?Myfather waspanicky.WhoiscalledMariamunda?Mariamundaiswhat youhavetakentherefromme.Andthejudge:It'sbeendriving mecrazy,Ihaven'tbeenabletosleep.Well,afterthatincidenthe becamesuchagoodfriendofmyfatherthattheybecame compadres,becausehebaptizedmybrother.It'snotalie,my brotherNinowasbaptizedbyhim.Thisjudgepaidforhisstudies, hepaidforanythingNinowanted. Itwas,then,throughhisfatherthatthedoortotheworldofpalerosopenedup forFelipe.Byfollowingandcreativelymixingthesereligiouspracticeswiththe oneshelearnedfromhismother'sfamily,Felipedidwhatwasnotuncommon amongAfroCubansinMatanzasofabackgroundsimilartohis:Heworshiped theorichasandatthesametimetookcareofanganga,apracticeknownas cruzarpaloconocba(tocrossPalowithOcha).24
TheAbakuSociety:ASecretPassagefromCalabar

ItwasalsothroughhisfatherthatFelipebecameaigo,thenamegivenin CubatothemembersoftheAbakusociety.

Page35 IwasthirteenwhenIbecameanAbaku.Myfathergotusboth, NinomybrotherandI,in.Theoldmanbelongedtothejuego whereNinobecameamember,toKerew.Kerewwasoristhe nameofthatjuego. Ajuegoisapotencia,agroupthatiscalledjuegodeigosor juegodeAbaku.ThesameasinPalo,wherewecallitplantede Palo,thisoneisthejuegodeAbaku.Well,then,inameeting theyhadinKerewtherewasamisunderstanding.Beingbrothers inthereligiontheycouldn'thaveafistfight,onlywordstheycould offendsomeone,getmad,butneverusetheirhands.Well,after thisincidentmyfatherandPipedecidedtoformanothergroup. TheyexplainedtotheAbakugroupthatiftheywereallowedto, theyhadenoughmentomakeanewland[foundanewgroup]. ThemainmanofKerew,thelyambaofKerew,calledfora toastandsaid:Youcandoitwheneveryouwantto.25They wrotetheminutesandsignedthemandplacedtheirconditions. Thefourpeoplethatweregoingtoestablishthenewlandcame out:myfatherBenignoGarca,Pipewhowasapalerolikemy fatherManuel,whotheycalledManuelTortoise,andthe mulattoAbreu.Theytoldthemembersoftheoldgroup:We knowwehaveanobligation,soeachoneofthefourofusisgoing tobringapersonofourownbloodtoswearhimintothisjuegoso thattheystayhere.Theneachoneofuswillbringapersonofour ownbloodtoswearhimintothenewjuego.Somyfather broughtmybrotherNinotoswearintotheoldjuego,intothefirst juegoofmyfather,whichcontinuedtobeKerew.Iwassworn intothenewone,thesamedaythatthenewlandcameoutIwas swornin.Thefourplazas[dignitariesormembers]thathad foundedthenewjuegotookanoathsayingthatwhentheydied, thepersontheyhadbroughttothenewlandwouldinherittheir post.SoIinheritedmyfather'spost.IbecametheIsunekue,and mycousininheritedthepostofManuelTortoise.Thisnew potenciawascalledEfikKunambere. Itwasinthenucleusofthisfamilyassistinghisfatherinhisritualobligations, learningfromhimabouttheuseofplantsandherbsandaboutthewaytosingto CentellaandSarabanda,listeningtothechantsfortheorichasthathismother andauntssangdaily,hidingunderthekitchenstovewithtwostickspickedupin thestreetandimitatingthesoundsofthebatdrumshisunclesplayedduringthe Santeraceremonies,takingpartinthemeetingsandritualsofhisAbaku potenciathatFelipespenthischildhoodandhisadolescence.Itwastherehe learnedand

Page36 developedhisknowledgeofthemusicofthesetraditions,intheheartofafamily prominentinMatanzasnotonlyasperformersofsacredAfroCubanmusicbut alsoassecularmusicians,wellversedinthepopulargenrethathasmadethis regionfamous:therumba.

EarlyMusicalExperiences
Bornin1931inMatanzas,Cuba,Felipebeganplayingthedrumswhenhewas onlyfourorfiveyearsold.Hehidunderthekitchenstovetoplayoncans, sticks,smalldrums,whateverpercussiveobjecthecouldgetholdof. Iwasnottaughtbyanybody.Ijustplay.Ibeganatthecomparsas [carnivalstreetbands].Iwouldarriveatacomparsaandtheguys wouldtellme:No,no,playthislikethisandplaythat.Ididn't wanttobeoneofthebellplayersIwantedtoplaythedrums.So Ihadtograbadrum. Toputitinfewwords,Godgavemearesourceanditwasthat, drumming.IbegantoplaydrumswhenIwasjustakid.Theyused tohitmeforplayingcansunderthehearth.Iwouldsnuggleunder thestove,astheycallitherebutinCubaitismadeofcementand thefiredoesn'treachunderneath.Iusedtosnuggletheretoplay. Myfatheralwayssaidplayingwithcanswasabadthing,andhe reallygaveittome,hehitme.Myfatherdidn'twantmetobea drummer,becausehesaidthatdrumswereforblacksthatdidn't work.Itmeantforhimanaguardientedrinker,withtheshirt knotted,standingatthecornerwearingpeasantshoeslikethe gallegos.26Drummingdidn'tgiveanything.Hewantedatradefor me.Hewantedmetolearnatrade:shoemaker,mechanic,some othertradebutdrumming.HethoughtIwaswastingmytime drummingandthatIwouldneverlearnanything.Buthedidn'tgo outtolookforaplaceformetolearnatrade.Iwasleftonmy own,andIdidwhatIlikedtodo,drumming.Whenmyfatherfirst sawmeplayingthebatdrum,hehadtocomeintotheroomto listen.Heusuallynevercameinbecausehedidn'tlikeSantera ceremonies,hewasapalero.Whenhecameinandfinallysawme playingthebatdrum,hehadtocongratulateme.Whenhewas abletosee EventhoughFelipelearnedmanytradesandheldallkindsofjobsduringhis adultlife,drummingwashistrade,theonehemasteredand

Page37 identifiedwith.Hebecameamusicianwhohadtoearnhislivingasan electrician,aplumber,adockworker,abricklayer,tonameafewofhis occupations. Listen,letmetellyousomething,there'sawordthatweusein CubatodescribewhatIdid,wecallthesepeopleamphibious. Thereisalsothatexpression:musician,poet,drunk,andcrazy.In CubaIwasbothanamphibiousandamusician.Ineversaidnoto anything.Iworkedasanelectrician,acarpenter,amason.ThenI alsogotintothesugar,andworkingthereinthesugarwasgood forme. Butthedrum,well,IbeganplayingthedrumssinceIwasinmy mother'sbelly. Felipebeganearningmoneyasadrummerattheageoffourteen,playing congasinabigbandconductedbyRafaelSomavillainMatanzas.Somavilla wasamongagroupofbrilliantorchestratorsandcomposersthatincluded, amongothers,ArmandoRomeau,BeboValdz,ArturoOFarill,andDmaso PrezPrado,whobuiltsuccessfulcareersinthejazzbandsthatbeganto appearinCubaduringthe1930s.Thesejazzbandsslowlyunderwentaprocess ofCubanization,includingintheirrepertoireCubandancegenressuchasthe rumbaandthedanzn(Acosta1983:2223). Well,aroundtheyear1945or46Iwasveryyoung,Iwas likefifteenyearsoldIplayedwithabandinCuba,oneofthe bestbandsinMatanzas.IplayedwithaprofessorcalledRafael Somavilla.Everyoneinhisfamilyisamusician.Hehadalotof power,alotofconnectionswiththeCasinoEspaol,withpeople fromaboveinhighpositions.Hegavelessonsatanorphanagethat wascalledtheCasalAsylum.Hemadealotofkidsfromthe streets.Itwasanorphanagethatwaspaidforbythemasonsand hewasthemusicdirectorthere.Itwasforkidswithproblems,but notallofthemwerestreetkids.Somebelongedtothefamiliesof masons,andhadtalent,sotheyweresentthere. IhadagreatfriendshipwithSomavilla.Somavillahadalotof affectionforme,andhewantedmetolearntoplayaninstrument. ButIdidn'twanttostudyaninstrumentIlostthatopportunityby chasingthedrumsinthestreets.Also,inmyhousemymother wouldhavefiestasdesanto,andIwasalwayshangingaroundat thosefiestas.

Page38 SomavillasawFelipeatabemb,andwasveryimpressedwithhisplaying.He contactedhimthroughoneofFelipe'sneighbors. Somavillafirstsawmeatabemb.Iusedtogotothebemb behindmyfather'sback,youknow?OnetimeSomavillawas walkingbyabembandcamein.He'saCatholicandallofthat, butheisamusicianandhewentintosee.Iwasplayingcongasat thatbemb.Hestayedthereforawhilelookingatallofthosewho wereplayingandhefellinlovewithmypersonality.Thenhesaid toElisamyneighbor:Isawamorenitotherewhoplayedthe drumsandIwouldliketoknowifheplaystumbadoras[congas] atleastalittle,toseeifwhenIorganizethebandIcanincludehim, becauseIlikethatblackkidyoucanseethatthatblackkid ElisahadbeenwatchingformeforfourdayssoonedaythatI passedbyshecameouttothedoorandsaid:Boy,I'vebeen lookingforyouforthepastfourdaysandIhaveaerrandforyou. Look,takethesepesetasforthebusandgotothisaddress becausetheyarelookingforyoutojoinaband.Oh!Iwentwild. FelipejoinedSomavilla'sorchestra,wherehebegantoearnhisfirstwagesasa musicianandacquiredexperienceperformingpopularCubanmusic. Ithoughtitwasanorquestatpica,asmallband.Butno,itwasa bigjazzorchestra,ajazzbandwell,fivesaxophones,four trumpets,threetrombones,drumsethere,bongos,tumbadoras. ThenIstartedworkingintheband. Theyplacedtwocongasinfrontofme.Iwasreallyscared becauseeverybodytherewaswhite.Iwastheonlyblackafly insidethecoffeethatwasme.SoduringtherehearsalIknew therhythmwentthisway:[Heplaystheostinatorhythmusedin salsaonthetable].Atthattimethisrhythmwasplayedsomewhat laidback.ThenthebolerostintintintinpatapatiFine,it's fine.Thefirsttryoutwentverywell.IjoinedthebandandIreally maturedtherebecauseSomavilla'ssonwouldthenhavea rehearsalwitheachsection.Andthatmulattowouldtakeabell, andwouldtakethepiano,andhewoulddotinkitin,andsoonand soforth,tous.Wewouldtakeanumberandripitoffinnotime. Theywerepracticallytheoneswhotaughtme. Wewouldplayatallthematineesattheofficers'club,wewould playallthemusicoftheofficers'club,wewouldplayinthebest placesinVa

Page39 radero,wewouldplaywiththeChavalesdeEspaa,almost alwayswewouldjointhosegallegos[Spanish]theresoI wouldearnmymoney. Thenhetalkedtomeaboutthemunicipalband,Iwenttheretohis houseandhetoldmeabouttheband:IfyoubehavewellIwill makeyouapartoftheband.BecauseIwasnotofageto becomeamemberofthemunicipalband,intheorchestrahecould getmein,butinthebandhecouldnotgetmein,thebandwasa governmentthing.So:Ifyoubehavewellwhenyouarealittlebit olderThenhewouldask:Whatinstrumentdoyouwantto play,whatinstrumentwouldyouliketolearn?Learnsomething. Youhaveanear,youhaveanearboyyoucouldbeateacher.I wouldsaytohim:YesbutIwasneverinterestedindoingso.I neverwantedtostudyanything,becausewiththetumbadoraalone Iwasdoingwell.

LearningtoPlayBat
MusiciscentraltotheritualsofalltheAfroCubanreligioussystems,whereitis usedasachanneltocommunicatewiththesacredworld.InSanteraritualsthat includedrummingthosethatareopentotheuninitiatedaspecificsetof drumsrhythms(toques),chants,anddancemovementsaddresseseachoricha, anditisthroughthemediumofmusicthattheorichasdescendduringritualsto possessormounttheirhorses. SeveraltypesofinstrumentalensemblesareusedintheseSanterarituals.Inone ensemble,threebeadedgourdsofdifferentsizes,knownaschekersorgiros, areplayed.Anotherensembleusesdrums(usuallycongas),chekers,anda guataca(ahoebladeplayedwithametalrod).Theensemblemakeupdepends onthenumberofmusiciansandinstrumentsavailable.InCuba,wheretheyare stillavailable,asetofdrumsknownasbembdrumsreplacethecongasinthis secondensemble.Thethirdtypeofensemble,thebat,isusedforthemost involvedceremoniesandisconsideredoneofthemostpowerfulchannelsof communicationwiththeorichas.Thisisanensembleofthreedoublemembrane bipercussivedrumsofdifferentsizes:theiyorcaja,theitteleorsegundo,and theoknkolooromel,shapedintheformofanirregularhourglass. Thesixheadsofthebat,andthediverseplayingtechniquesthedrummersuse opentones,slaps,closedtones(tapados),hittingthedrumattheedgewith onlytwofingerscreateacomplexmelodic

Page40 effect,aconversationthatcallstheorichas,towhichtheyrespondby descendingontheinitiates.Itissaidthatthebatspeaktongue,meaningthat theyimitatetherituallanguageusedtoaddressthedeitiesLucumoranag, alanguagethathasoriginsinseveralYorubadialects.Yorubaisatonal languageinwhichintonationhassemanticvalueintonationthatcanbe imitatedwiththedrums.ItissaidthatolderCubandrummerscouldunderstand thelanguagethedrumsspeak,butthisabilityhasbeenlostbytheyounger generations,whoplayinastyleorientedmoretowarddancing.Miguel Somodevilla,oneofthebestknownolderbatplayersinHavana,complained inthe1950sthatnowadaysyouhavetopleasemorethedancersandplay batwiththestyleofarumba(Ortz1952:vol.4,280). However,drummersstillconsiderplayingbatasconductingaconversation betweenandamongthreedrums,andtheyusemetaphorsbasedonthe dialoguethattakesplaceamongthedrumstoguidetheirperformancesand evaluatethem.Eachtoqueismadeupofasetofspecificrhythmicpatternsor structuresthatsupportaseriesofvariationswhatbatdrummerscall conversations.Theseconversationsresultfromthewayinwhichthedifferent rhythmsthedrumsplayinterlocktocreateaphrase.Thechangefromone rhythmicpatterntoanotherisreferredtoasvirar(toturn),andthedifferent patternswithineachtoquearecalledvirosorvueltas(turns).Thenumberof vueltasineachtoquevaries.Thetoquesforsomeorichas(e.g.,Ochosi)present acomplexinterplayofmanyvirosandconversations,whilethetoquesforother orichas(e.g.,Korikoto)arequitesimple.27 Attheendofthe1940s,Felipebeganplayinginthebatensemblethathis greatgrandfatherIoblCrdenashadfounded.TothispointFelipehad expressedhispassionforthesacreddrumsbysplittingtherailofhiswooden bedwhilepracticingtherhythmsheheardcomingfromthedrumsatthe religiousceremonieshefrequentlyattended,orbyplayinggroorcongasinthe manyreligiousfestivitiesheattended. Iamtellingyou,Ibrokemywoodenbedbyhittingitattherail,I brokeitbecausethatishowIlearnedtoplaythedrum.Iwould goandlistentoatamborandwhenIreturned,thetoque[rhythmic pattern]Ididn'tknowIwouldhavehereinsidemymind,andI wouldpracticeitonmybed. Ibeganaround1945,46,aroundthoseyears,itwasafifteenthof October.Iremembertheexactdatebecauseitwasthedayofmy mother's

Page41 fiesta[OyorSaintTeresa].ThisisadayIneverforgetbecause whathappensisthatinmyhousetherearenineconsecutivedays ofcelebrationduringallthosedaysdrumsareplayedinmyhouse: bemb,giro,andthenonthefifteenththebatdrumsareplayed. IthappenedatthetimeIwasplayinginthebandofRafael Somavilla.OnedayIarrived,IdidnothavetoworksoIarrived alldressedup,withmyhalfironedhair28andmytielikea personality,likeadifferentpersonality,no?Iwantedtostayinthe houseoftheoldladywatchingthedrums.Theretheywere playing,myuncleJorgeVillamil,anotherguy,whowasligado,he wasamixtureofAfricanandSpanish,andotherguys.Whenthey tookabreaktheybegantotalkabouttoquesandwhoknows what.Isaid:YouarealltalkingalotofrubbishbecauseIcan playthosedrumswithmyeyesclosed.Myunclereplies:You arecrazy,kid.Stoptalkingnonsense.Yes,yes,yesIcanplay. Youthinkyouareimportantbecauseyouplaybatandthat's nothing.IplayinabandthatsohowisitpossiblethatIcan't playthisrubbish?What?shoutedJorge,andhesatmedownat thedrumandtoldme:Nowyouhavetoplay.There,sitdown. Play!Yousaythatyouplay?Showit!Itwasjustajoke,Iwas jokingandtheytookmeseriously.BecauseyouknowhowI respectedmyuncles,andIrespectedtheelder,andJorgeeven more.Jorgewasaveryseriousperson.Ihavetobegratefulfor theencouragementhegavemeandforwhathetaughtme. Becauseasidefromthefactthatheknewhowtoplay,he understoodwhatwassaidinthechants.Hewasbroughtupinthat becausehewasthedrummerofthehouseofIobl. SoIhumbledmyselfalittle,youknow?Itoldhim:No,uncle,I wasjustHewenton:No,becauseyouthinkthatbyjust playinginabandwithallthewhiteguysyouaregoingtocome hereandSotheymarkedthetoqueofEleguforme,andI didn'tknowwhatIwassupposedtoplaysoIsaid:No,butyou havetoexplaintomehowitgoes.AndJorge:Butyousaythat youplayit,youdon'tneedexplanationsbecauseyouareaborn player,youareaplayerbybirthsoifyouwerebornplayingyou havetoplay.ItwasCanditowhohelpedmeandtoldme:Now, movethehandlikethishereandthereandyouwillseethatthe toquewillcomeout.SoIbeganlikekimp,kimp,kimp29and Ilikedthatfirsttoque.ItwastheonlyonethatIplayedthatday. ThenIwentandItoldmyuncle:Well,Iseeyouneedalad heresoIamgoingtostartlearningwithyouguys.Ibegantoplay withthem.ManytimesIwouldskipthejobsIhad,tobeableto gotothetoques.But

Page42 Ihadtowaituntiltheyaskedmetoplaywiththem.Inthosedays inCuba,therewasalotofrespectforthereligion,andunlessyou foundsomeonethatwouldcallyou:ComeIwantyoutodothis andtolearnthatyouwouldnotdoit,evenifyouwantedto. Felipewasattractedtothebatdrumsnotsimplybecauseofapassionfor drummingingeneralbutbecauseheconsideredithisfate,somethinghehad beenpredestinedtobyhismother'soricha,Oy. Ithadbeenpredicted,itwaspartofmydestinythatIwouldplay bat.Becausemymother'sOysaidthatIwasherofficial drummerthatintheearththerewouldbenoonethatwouldplay thedrumforherasIdid.Becauseifshewouldjustmoveanail,I wouldmarkthegolpe[hitthedrum].Itwasreallythatwayevery timemymother'sOymovedthisway,orthatway,Iwould immediatelyanswerwiththedrum.Oytoldmeshewouldmake ofmeadrummerofconditionsandthatIwouldprogramthe drumsalotthatIwouldbeonthestreetswiththedrums,upand downthestreets.Soitappearstobethatitwassomethingthat hadtobedone,yousee? Asanapprentice,Felipewasexpectedtoparticipateinasmanyritual ceremoniesaspossible,inordertofamiliarizehimselfwiththenumeroustoques usedtopraise,entice,andaccompanythedanceoftheorichasandwiththe extensivebodyofchantsandritualdancesthatarepartoftheLucumliturgy. Apprenticesusuallybegantheirtrainingbyplayingduringthatpartofthemusic ritualknownasoroseco(dryoro),becauseitinvolvesonlydrumming,not singing.Itisalsocalledtheorodeigbodu,alludingtothespaceinthehouse templewherethisceremonialmusicisperformed.Thisoroinvolvesaseriesof toquestosaluteandinvitetheorichastotheceremonyandtotransformthe secular,domesticspaceintothesacredplaceoftheritual.Theorosecois alwaysperformedatthebeginningoftheceremony,infrontofthealtarsetup fortheritual.Thecompositionandarrangementofthealtarsorthronesvaries dependingonthenatureoftheritual,thefinancialsituationofthecelebrants,and personalpreferencesandtastesofthesanterowhoiscelebratingtheritual.The emblemsoftheorichasandthesoperasmaybesetagainstasimplepieceof coloredcloth,ortheymayformpartofa

Page43 dazzlinginstallationthatincludesbeadedritualobjects,colorfulcloth,plants, flowers,fruits,andpreparedfood. Theinitialsalutetotheorichasinfrontofthealtarisusuallyperformedjustas theguestsarrive.Onlythepresenceofthepersonofferingtheritualis mandatory.Therefore,althoughrituallyimportant,thissectionoftheceremony isnotheavilyattended,anddrummerstakeadvantageofittogivetheir apprenticesachancetoplay.Becausetheorderofthetoquesisfixed,andno dancingorpossessiontakesplaceduringthispartoftheceremony,theoro secooffersagoodopportunityforapprenticestogainexperiencetheyneed beforetheyareallowedtoplayinthemorechallengingpartoftheceremony: theorodeleyarnla.Theorosecois,then,basictotherepertoireofevery ritualdrummerandtheskilleachhastomasterfirst.Apprenticesarethentaught thetoques,notaccordingtotheirtechnicaldifficultybutfollowingtheorderthey haveinthisliturgy.InanyceremonyElegu,theorichaofthecrossroadswho openstheway,hastobesalutedfirsttherefore,thisisthefirsttoquean apprenticelearns.30 Theorodeleyarnlaisperformedinthepartofthetemplewherethe uninitiatedareadmitted.Inhousetempleswithoutseparatespaces,itis performedinthesameroomastheoroseco,butthemusiciansturntheirbacks tothealtarandfacetheaudience.Alsoknownasorocantado(sungoro),this oroisassignedtothemoreexperienceddrummers,whoareabletofollowthe complexitiesofdrummingwhensinginganddanceareincorporatedintothe ritual.Thispartoftheceremonyislessstandardizedand,musically,more contextdependent.Astheenergylevelrisesandtheorichasmounttheirhorses, thedrummershavetobeabletofollownotonlytheconstantcallsandchanges oftheleadsingerbuttherequestsofthedancersastheyexalt,salute,lure,or calltheorichasor,whenpossessed,conveythepresenceofaparticularoricha throughtheirgestures. Thedrums,consideredthevoicesthattalktotheorichas,playanessentialrole duringthispartoftheritual.Theybuilduptheatmosphereandcontributeinthe creationofanemotionalclimatethatincitestheorichastomounttheirhorses. Oncepossessionoccurs,thehorseistakentoaseparateroom,dressedwith theritualoutfitthatbelongstohisorheroricha,andthenbroughtbacktothe ritualarea.Herethedeityparticipatesintheritual,answeringquestions,giving advice,dancing,andenticingotherstodance.

Page44 Musicisthuscentraltopossession.Theorichasdescendonlyinresponseto theirspecificmusicalthemes(drumrhythmsandchants),andoncepresent,they expresstheiridentitythroughstereotypeddancemovements(modeledonthe personalityoftheoricha)thatcarrysymbolicmeaningmeaningthatis culturallyconstructedandlearned.31Itisthroughmusicanddancethatthe presenceoftheorichaisconveyedtothegroup. Thedrummerswhoplayduringthispartoftheritualmustthereforebe thoroughlyacquaintedwiththerepertoireofchants,thedancemovements,the behavioroftheinitiateswhentheyareabouttobepossessedbytheirorichas, andthebehaviorthroughwhichthepresenceofaparticularorichais manifested.Rivalryamongdrummersisnotuncommonandsurfacesevenwhile theyareplayinginaceremony.Thusagooddrummernotonlyhastomasterhis drumbutneedstoknowwhattoexpectfromtheothertwodrummersinterms oftherhythmicconversationsthattakeplacebetweenthedrumsandtobeable todemanditauthoritativelyfromthem. Jorge,Felipe'suncle,madesurehisnephewsatateachofthedrumstoprepare himtofacethechallenge. InCubait'snotlikehere[intheUnitedStates].There,therewere nodrumlessons,itwasjustplayandplay.Itwasalsonotas closedasitishere,wheretheytakethedrumawayfromyouif youdon'tknowhowtoplaysomething.InCubatheymadeyou playtothesaint.Sittingintheoro,andnothingelseatleastinmy town,IamnottalkingaboutHavana.ThatishowIgradually studiedallthoserhythms. Yougoearlyandyoudoanoro,youlearnbyplayingtheoro. Onecomesinearly.Becauseyouhavetobethereearlyandcarry thedrumsandallofthat.Ifyoudon'tdoit,theywon'tletyousit andplay.IwasalwaysearlybecauseIwasinterestedinlearning. Theyexplaintherhythmstoyouastheyplay.Thedrummerthat usuallyplaysthedrumyouareplayingsitsbyyourside.Then whenyouarelosthegetsupandsays:Look,thisway,andyou followhim.Becauseatthattimethereisnooneinthehouseyet, onlytheownersofthehouse.Andtheguestsarejustarrivingand theyareawarethatyouarelearning. Anapprenticeinthosedayswouldbeginbylearningthepatternsofthesmaller drum(oknkolo),thengraduallymovetothemediumdrum

Page45 (ittele).andthenlearntoplaytheiy.Thisprogressionreflectedthecomplexity oftherhythmsplayedbyeachdrum.However,manydrummerswouldnever masterallthreedrums.Batplayerswithacompleteknowledgeofallritual songs,dances,andtoquesofthethreedrums,andwiththeabilitytoteachand toguideanensemble,wereaminority. Apprenticesusuallybeginwiththeoknkolothetimekeeperoftheensemble becauseitplaysfixed,simpleostinatopatterns.Althoughtheittele(or segundo)alsoplaysmanyfixedpatterns,ithastheroleofansweringthecallsof theprincipaldrumandconversingwithitandthereforegetstoplaymany complexandchangingpatterns.Thisdrumalsohasarepertoireofcallsthatthe drummer,whenheisaknowledgeableitteleplayer,canusetocallthe principaldrum.Thishappenswhentheleaddrummer(whoplaystheiyor caja)forgetstoperformthecallshimselforwhentheitteleplayerwantsto challengetheiyplayer'sability.AccordingtoFelipe,theitteleisthedrumthat sings,soifthesingerchangesthechanttheitteleplayerhastofollowthe changeandwarntheotherdrummersthrougharhythmiccue.Theiy,asthe headdrumoftheensemble,callsorcuestheswitchfromonetoquetoanother, introducestheviroswithinatoque,improviseswithintheframeworkestablished byeachpattern,andleadstheconversationswiththeittele. Togofromtheoknkolototheitteleittookmelikeoneodd year.ThedrumIusedtoplaywastheoknkolo.Istartedlikethat untilTano[oneofthedrummerswhotaughtFelipe]died.Thenwe madeanagreementthatduringtheorosecoIwouldplaycaja, andduringtheorocantadoIwouldplaysomesegundo.Because myuncleJorgedidn'twantmetoplaycajawithoutplaying segundo.Jorgewasadrummerthatplayedallthedrums,buthe likedtoplayasasegundero,Heusedtosaythatifyouarenot wellprepared,thenthesegunderoscomeandplaybadlyforyou. Theyplaybadlysothattheycanshineandyouareleftbelow them.ThatiswhatJulito[anotherdrummer]usedtodotome.He wantedmetoplaywithflavor,butthenhewantedtoplayhis drumashefeltlikeit.Julitohadthisthingthatifheaskedyoufora toqueyouhadtogiveittohim,otherwisehewouldbeannoyed. Butwhenyoucalledhimwithyourdrumhewouldnotanswer back. TheninmyhouseIwouldpractice.Iwouldhearatoque playedbytheoldguysIwouldgohomeandIwouldbeinbed playing.Iwouldwalk

Page46 thestreets[hepacesandhitshisbodylikeadrum]andpeople wouldsay:Man,youarecrazy.No,I'mnot,I'mgoingtobea cajero,yousee?AndsoIgotmyselfinthere,inthere,inthere. InadditiontohisuncleJorge,anolderdrummercalledTanoguidedFelipein masteringtheintricaciesofbatdrumming.HehadmetFelipe'sgreat grandfatherandhadnumerousanecdotestotellFelipeaboutthewayinwhich hisAfricangreatgrandfatherusedtoteachbattothemembersofhiscasade ocha(casadesantoorhousetemple). Tanotaughtmealot.IfIhaveanybodytobegratefulto,Ihaveto begratefultoTano.Tothatoldmanwhoeveryonesaidwasa blackbrujo[sorcerer],tothatone.Ihavetobegratefultohim becausehetaughtmeallaboutthedrums.Hewasoneofthose peoplewhoarepainted,youknowwhatImean?Hewasblack buthehadwhitespotsallover.Helivedinthesameneighborhood whereIusedtolive,closetomyhouse.Iwouldbuyapackof coffee,athreecentcigar,andtwocentsofsugar.WhenIbought thesugartheywouldgiveittomewrappedinabigpaper.Intotal Iwouldspendtencentseverytime.IwouldgotheretoTano's houseandIwouldsitdownwithhim.Hey!Youcame.Yes,I broughtyousomecoffeehere.Thenhewouldstarttellingme storiesaboutmygreatgrandfather.ThatwaswhatIwas interestedin.Ididn'tspeakaboutthedrumornothing.Thenhe wouldsay:Youknow,Ilikeyoucominghere,becauseyou alwayscomealone.Youdon'tbringanybodyanditcanbeseen thatyouareaseriousperson.Thenallofasuddenhewouldsay: BringdownthatdrumthatIamgoingtoteachyousomething. Thisisdonethisway,andthisthatway,thatgoesthroughhere andthatotherthingthroughthere.ThenIbegangrowing, growing,growinginthetoque,youknow?Imadealotof progressbecausewhenIgrewinthetoqueIbegantotakethe thingstomyhouse. Tanowasoneofthosewhousedtokeepanearthencookingpan closetothedoor,fullofthatwaterwithherbsandthose kindsofthings.Asmell!Youknow.Youhadtowashyourhands there,comeinandwetyourhands,incaseyoucame,astheysaid, dirty.Thenhewouldstarttalking,andhewouldstarttellingme storiesaboutmygreatgrandfatherIoblCrdenasonhow Ioblusedtoteachpeopletodrum.IamtellingyouwhatTano toldme,becausehewasalwaysinIobl'shouse.Look,my greatgrandfathergaveclasses,buttheywereclasseswhereyou wouldgetbeatenlikeamadman.Ioblwouldnevertellyouhow toplay,hewould

Page47 justplaywithhisfeetwhatyouwheresupposedtoplaywithyour handsandyouhadtofollow.Whenyoumadeamistakehewould hityouwithacuarta[largewhip],hewouldhityourhands.Ah! AndthatcuartaofIoblCrdenas!IsawitonceatUninde Reyes.Itdidn'tmatterifyouwereyoungorold,hewouldhityou withthecuartasowhoevercameoutoftherecameoutasareal drummer.Andeveryoneinmyfamilyisadrummer,everyoneisa drummer. BecomingabatplayerinCubabeforetherevolutionwasachallengingactivity thatrequiredmanyyearsofapprenticeship.Aspiringdrummerswereaccepted asyambokis(apprentices)byexperienceddrummerswhohadalready compliedwiththeritualandmusicalrequirementstobecomeanola(hewho knowsthesecretsofA).Undertheirsupervision,theapprenticesbecamethe servantsofthedrums. Asanapprentice,FelipewasexpectedtoarriveatthehouseofTanoBleque, theolbatownerofthesetofdrumsthatFelipewaslearningtoplay,afew hoursbeforeleavingfortheplacewheretheceremonywasgoingtobe celebrated,inordertohelppreparethedrumsfortheritual.Helearnedhowto clean,tune,andfeedthedrumsritually32andwasresponsibleforpacking andcarryingthedrums.Hewasalsoexpectedtolearnaboutandparticipatein themaintenanceofthedrums:repairingthedrums,fixingormakingtheliturgical ornamentscalledbandelesbeadedgarmentsthatarewrappedaroundthe drumsduringcertainceremoniesandlearninghowtomakefardela,a resinouspasteplacedintheheadoftheiyandtheittelefortuning.Itwas TanowhotaughtFelipethatthesoundofthedrumshadtobefoundina comerofthehousecornerswerethentheidealplacesfortuningthedrums. IsawhowtheoldmentherewouldtunethedrumsandIlearned totunethem.IlearnedwithTano.Iwaslearningwithhim,and whathedid,Idid.Ididn'taskhimquestions.Iwouldworkwith himandwhenwefinishedhewouldsay:Takethedrumover thereandgiveitthisyouhavetoputmorefardelaorremove somefardelaorThesoundofthedrum,youhavetolookforit atthecornersofthehouse,becausethereiswhereyoucanhearit better,thereiswhereyoucanfindit.ButIneverasked questions.Ithought:Whyishedoingthis?Well,hewouldtellme someday,whenhefeelsliketellingme.

Page48 Then,whenIstarteddoingitmyself,Iwoulddosomethingandhe wouldtellme:It'sfineorNo!lt'swrong,youhavetoputalittle bitmorefardela,etcetera,andIbegantoadapttothat,Ibegan toadapt. ThenIstartedtakingallthethingstomyhouse,becauseTanowas veryoldandhedidn'tcare.AndthereIwas,fixingthem,looking foracasetocarrythem,stretchingtheskin. EventhoughalltheaspiringbatplayersinCubawereexpectedasapprentices tolearnaboutandhelpwiththebasicmaintenanceofthedrums,notallofthem learnedhowtobuildthedrums,norweretheyallinitiatedintothesecretsof A,thespiritthatinhabitsthedrums,thesourceoftheirsacredpowerand efficacy. Acomestoinhabitthedrumsafteraseriesofelaboraterituals,which transformunconsecratedorunbaptizeddrums(alsoknownasjudosJews oraberikul)intosacreddrums.Theconsecrateddrums,alsoknownas fundamentodrums,areconsideredtheonlyonesthatcanbeusedtocallthe orichas.ForFelipe,Aisnotanoricha,yetitisamanifestationofthesame vitalforce,ach,thepowerorthestrengthofallthings,thattheorichasexpress andpersonify.Achforsanterosistheprincipleoflifethatanimateseverything. InhisstudyofSantera,whereheexaminesthecentralroleachplaysinthe religiouslifeofsanteros,JosephMurphyconveysinsightfullythelinkbetween thespiritthatinhabitsthedrums(A),aspiritcloselyrelatedtomovement,and thecurrentorflowthatisach.MurphyviewsSanteraasadanced religionbecausedancingexpressesthefundamentaldynamismofach,aforce orflowthatsanterosreachthroughmovement(Murphy[1988]1993:13031). FelipegainedhisreputationasaseriousapprenticewithTano,whoinitiatedhim intothesecretsofA.ButitwasamannamedAmadoDazwhotaughtFelipe howtomakebatdrumsandcompletedhistrainingasapriestofA. Amadoisapioneerofthat,apioneerbecauseanyinstrument,any objectmadeofwood,wearsoutitcanbeattackedbymoths, termites,orsomethingandithastoberenovated.Whatisinside no,becausewhatisinsideisthesecret.Makingdrumsandfixing themwaswhatAmadodidbutAmadoalsoknewallthesecrets ofA.AmadoisthenephewofCarlosAl

Page49 fonso[famousolbatfromMatanzas]becauseheisthesonof InsAlfonso.33 Hediednotlongago.Amadowastheonewhotaughtmehowto makedrums.Hewasacarpenter,anexcellentcarpenter.He taughtmebecausehehadadruminhishousethatnobodyplayed, anditwasmewhostartedhandlingthosedrumsforhim.Heused togivenamestohisdrumshehadlikefourorfivedrumsandhe wouldgivethemnames.TherewasonethatwascalledThe Atomic,becauseofthestoriesabouttheatomicbomb.There wasanotheronethatwascalledQuintnBandera,34andthen therewasonethatwascalledNobodyCanBeatMe nobodycanbeatmebecausetrulyenough,thedrumshemade! Theyreallyhadagoodsound.Hedidnotplaythedrumsalot becausehewasantirhythmic,buthemadesomedrums,andhe tunedthembecauseheknewalot,hereallyknew. IntroducedintobatdrummingbyhisuncleJorge,andwiththeguidanceof peoplelikeTanoandAmadoDaz,Felipenotonlygainedknowledgeand experienceasasacreddrummerbutfollowedthestepsandwentthroughthe necessaryinitiationstobecomeanolbat.Thethreemainstepsintheprocess aredescribedbyFelipeasfollows: Sotherearethreestages:[first,]washingthehandstobeableto ochicha,toworkwitha,anditgivesthepowertositand playthedrums.Thehandsarewashedwithanomiero[sacred herbalmix].Thencomesthestepofmakinganoathtothedrums, whenyoutakethatoathyoubecomeanoma,becauseyou takeanoathwiththesecretthatdrumshave.Asmallcrossis madeinyourwristyoubecomethenasonofA.Ifthenyou wanttocontinueandyouhavetheintelligence,yougoandyou hanginthere,youknow?ThewayIdid.Sotimepassesandyou becomeanolbat,hewhoknowseverythingaboutthebatol meanswise,becauseheknowshowtomanageeverything concerningthebat. Thehierarchythatexistedamongbatplayerswasindependentfromthe priestlyhierarchy.Onedidnothavetobeinitiatedasasanterotobecomean omaorolaitsufficedtobeacceptedbytheothersdrummersand undergotheapprenticeship.AswasthecasewithFelipe'steacherAmadoDaz, theownerofasetofsacreddrumsthe

Page50 ola,whoalsowasgiventhenamealadidnothavetobeadrummer himself.Hewasthekeeperofthedrumsandtookcareoftheirmaintenance.

HistoryoftheDrums
Batdrumsareculturalartifacts,objectsthatspeakandshouldbeheardas significantstatementsofpersonalandculturalreflexivity(Babcock1986:317). Followingthehistoryofasetofdrums(whobuiltthem,forwhom,whocould ownthem,etc.)helpsusunderstandthesocialrelationshipsthatdeterminethe significanceofbatdrumsasculturalartifacts(Johnson1997). Forsanteros,batdrumsarenotjustmusicalinstrumentstheyareaspiritual entity(a)inandofthemselves.Drumsareconsideredtohaveawilloftheir own,whichcanopposethedrummer'swill.batdrums,notbatdrummers,are sacredtheyaretheonessalutedandpaidtributetoduringtherituals.Itiswith thesetofdrumsthataninitiate,afteraspecialritual,establishesaspecial relationshipthatwilllastduringhisorherlifetime.Drumstalktotheorichasor speakwiththevoicesoftheorichastheyaretheactors.Drummersarevehicles tomakethisvoiceheardtheyaretheinstruments.Thehistoryofsacredbatd drumminganddrummersis,then,intimatelyintertwinedwiththehistoryof sacredbatdrums. InCuba,sacredbatdrumshavetobebornfromapreviouslyconsecrated setofdrums,whichtransmitstothemthevoice,thatis,thepowertotalkto theorichas.Theoldersetofdrumsbecomesthegodfatherofthenewly consecratedsetinthisway,lineages(orfamilies)ofdrumsarisethathavegreat significanceforsacredbatdrummers,whorelyonthemforthereligious credentialsoftheirdrums.Drumsthatarenotgiventhevoicebyanalready consecrated(fundamento)setofdrumscannotbeusedforritualpurposes. Therefore,lineagesareimportantnotonlytodrummersbuttosanteros,who, whenofferingatambororbembtotheiroricha,worryabouteverydetailof theceremony'sritualpropriety. Mostofwhatisknownatpresentaboutthehistoryofbatdrumsandtheir lineagescomesfromthewritingsofFernandoOrtiz,whoworkedmainlywith drummersfromHavanaandofferslittleinforma

Page51 tiononthelineagesofdrumsinMatanzas.35Anemicchronicleonthehistoryof thesacredbatdrumsinMatanzas,suchastheoneFelipegivesus,isoneof thefewsourcesavailabletothoseinterestedinreconstructingtheirhistory.36 ThesecondpartoftheletterthatopenedFelipe'sstoryfollowshere: Mydrumsarecalledaboy[abi,thesonofa].Theywere bornfromioblcrdenasandtheycametomyhandslikethis: Thefoundersofthedrumswerefourblackmendenacin[bornin Africa)borninthelandnowadayscalledNigeria: IoblCrdenas,grandfatherofTomasaVillamilfromher mother'ssideofthefamily37 MauricioPiloto,grandfatherofTomasaVillamilfromherfather's sideofthefamily ObaEnkol AbiawoOchabiowo ThehouseofioblcrdenaswasinCalleBuenViaje#96of PuebloNuevo,inthecityofMatanzas,Cuba.Thesefourpeople taughtothershowtoplaythebatdrums.Thefollowingarethe omasinitiatedbyioblcrdenas.Someofthemalsocameto beolasthatistosay,apersonthatkeepsthedrums,feeds them,fixesthem,etc. JuanVillamil,mygrandfather,whodidn'tplay,becauseevery timeheplayedhewaspossessedbyOgn PedroJosCrdenas,sonofIobl,whosang BonifacioMartinezCrdenasPatato TanoBleque JorgeVillamilCrdenas,grandsonofIoblCrdenasandmy ownuncle ErnestoChambelonaTorrienteheplayedcaja,heleftfor Havana CandelarioFernndezheplayedoknkoloandsegundo,he wasnotfamily Juanthemailman(LittleJuan)omelplayer,hewasnot family DionisioPipeUlloacajaplayer,hewasfamily

CandelarioFernndezheplayedoknkoloandsegundo,he wasnotfamily Juanthemailman(LittleJuan)omelplayer,hewasnot family DionisioPipeUlloacajaplayer,hewasfamily

Page52 Togetherwithaboy,ioblcrdenasmadeanothersetof fundamentodrumsthatwascalledlla.Thesetaboywas usedonlyinthecabildoofioblCrdenasthellasetwas playedinceremoniesinotherhousesofocha.38 Fromthehandsofioblthetwoasetswenttothehandsof PatatoBonifacioMartnezcrdenas(Alangay)[hisreligious name],myuncle,whowasaluggagecarrierintherailroad.That Bonifaciowasthebesthisdrumcouldn'tbeplayedbyanybody becausehewasahugemanwithlargearmsandsohiscaja wasofthesizeofasofa.Patatohadatalentamongsanteros,it seemstobethathehadaninfluencefromtheancestors,who taughthimeverything.Whenhesaid:Thisisgoingtohappen,it happened.Whenhehadthedrums,thosedrumsusedtoplay everywhere,eveninHavanaandinthecabildoofRegla. FromPatatothedrumswenttoDionisic,PipeUlloa,another uncleofmine.TheycalledhimEscopeta[shotgun]becausehewas alwaysdrawingouthisrevolver,eventhoughheneverdidanything wrongbecausehewasanintelligentblackman,andwasalsovery goodlooking.Pipewasawellrespectedman,whowasalsoan Abaku.Hewastheiyambaofmyjuego.39 Pipe,inturn,gavethedrumstoTanoBleque.AnditwasTano Blequewhotaughtmehowtoworkwitha.Hewasthe osainistaofthehouseofiobl,becausehewastheonewho lookedfortheherbsandpreparedtheomiero. ForFelipe,asareligiousdrummerwholearnedhistradeintheolddaysin Cuba,thelineagesofthesacredbatdrumsareofgreatimportance.Whenhe leftCubafortheUnitedStates,hefoundhimselffacingapracticeofSanterain whichthewrittenwordwasgivenasignificanceitneverhadinCuba.Thus, Felipefelttheneedtoregisterthehistoryofhissetofdrumsinabook.Backin Matanzas,fordrummerslikeFelipethistypeofwrittenrecordwasnotonly unnecessarybutunknown.Amongsanterositwascommonknowledgewho ownedasetofsacredbatdrums.Thedrumsofioblandthedrummerswho playedthemwereknownbyallofthesanteros. Therearesomethingsthat,ifnotkeptproperly,alotoftraditionis lost.WhenmydrumarrivedintheU.S.Ihadtomakeabook,a notebook:howdidIplay,withwhomdidIplayeventhough manypeoplehereknowmefromCuba,knowthatIhavebeena drummersinceIwasborn.Theyknow

Page53 IplayedwithAmado,theyknowIplayedwithallthosedrummers inMatanzasthatIusedtoplaywith.TheyknowthatIwasan officialdrummer,whoplayedinalltheplacesinCuba,inHavana, hereandthere.WhatImeanisthatIhavetomakeanaccount becausethisdrumisgoingtolivehere.IfIdon'thavesome documentshowthemanualworkwasdone,whobrought them,whoplayedwithmeinCuba,whothedeaddrummersthatI knowfromCubawerewithoutthatIhavenothing.Rightnow, youaskanyofthesepeoplethathavedrums:Whoplayedwith youinCuba?andtheydon'thaveathingstampedonapaperthat cansay:Look,thisiswhatitis.InCubaitwasdifferent, becauseinCubayoudidn'tneedthistypeoforganization. Accordingtoortz,thefirstsetofbatdrumsmadeinHavanawasbuiltin1830 byJuanelCojo(aab)andFilomenoGarca(Atand)drumsthatwerelater inheritedbyoneofCuba'smostfamousbatplayers,AndrsRoche(ortz 1952:vol.4,31516). Therearenorecordsaboutthetimewhenthefirstbatsetswerebuiltin Matanzas,andFelipedoesnotknowthedatewhenthesacredbatdrumsof ioblweremade.Itisconceivablethataprocessofreconstructionofthe traditionofdrumbuildingsimilartothatwhichtookplaceinHavanaoccurredin Matanzas,consideringthelargeLucumpopulationpresentinthisprovince,who ledanactivereligiouslifeinthemanycabildosoperatingduringthefirstdecades ofthenineteenthcentury. ThefirstdrumtherewasinMatanzas,itwasthedrumofiobl crdenasthosewerethedrumseverybodylearnedon. Because,yes,therewasthesetofCarlos[CarlosAlfonso],but Carlosdidn'tapplyhimselftothat,Carlosdidn'tplay.40 Thedrumsofioblwereborninhishouse.Becausehewasa king.Hewasakinginhisland.InCuba,afterheboughthis freedom,hehadhisownhouseandhehadhislineofdrums. Thereweretwosetsofdrumsinthehouseofioblcrdenas, becausetherewasasetofdrumstoplayforthehouseonly.At mygreatgrandfatherioblcrdenas'shousetheyheld celebrationsforLaMercedesandSanLzaro.Theothersetwas usedtoplayinotherhouses. Ithinkthosedrumsweremadesometimeinthe1800s,because mymotherwasbornlikein1903andthedrumswerealready there.Theymust

Page54 befromthepastcentury,becauseIwasborninthethirtiesand didn'tgettoknowmygrandfather,andthesewerethedrumsof mygreatgrandfather. DuringoneofthefrequentperiodsinwhichAfroCubanreligiouspractices wererepressedanddrumsandritualsobjectswereconfiscatedbythepolice, thefundamentoorawhatmakesthedrumsacredofiobl'sdrums wastakenoutandsaved,whilethebodiesofthedrumsweredisposedof. InMatanzas,aroundthethirties,therewasapersecution accordingtomyancestors.Theytoldmeaboutapoliceinspector calledJosClaro.AtthetimeofJosClaro,playingdrumsin Matanzaswasnotallowed.Theyhadtotakethefundmentooutof thedrums,whichatthattimeusedtobeinMatanzas.Theywere inthehouseofmygreatgrandfatherioblcrdenas,wheretwo setsofbatdrumsusedtorule.IwasverysmallbutIstill remember,inaneighborhoodthatiscalledLaCalletheyusedto callitLaCuadrita,andwehadahousethereinLaCuadrita.Back thentheycouldn'tplaythedrums,theycouldn'tdoanything.They hadtotakethefundamentooutandthrowthedrumsinsidea blindwelluntilthepersecutiondisappeared.Buttheactivities werenotstoppedbecauseofthis.41 Theykeptonplayingbecausetheyhadthefundamentosoutthey wouldputthefundamentosinabaginsidetheirpockets,andthey playedandpresentedwithgiro.Theywouldplaywithgiro becausethegirosarenotsoloud.Atthattimethetoquewith girodidn'trequiredrums.Nowwithusdrumsareused,wewere theonesthatintroducedtheuseofdrumsintothegiro. Afterasanterohasundergonetheinitiationprocessknownasasiento,aseries ofcomplexritualsthatlastsevendays,heorsheisreadytobepresentedto thedrums.Throughthisritual,whichauthorizestheinitiatetodanceinfrontof thesacreddrums,santerosestablishaspecialrelationshiptothesetofsacred drumstowhichtheyarepresented.InMatanzas,atFelipe'shouse,this ceremonywasperformedimmediatelyaftertheasiento. ThedrumrepresentsacommitmentthathereintheStatespeople don'trespect.Becauseonceyouarepresentedtoasetofdrumsit islikeabirthcertificate.Itmeansthatafteryouputyourheadto adrum,youestab

Page55 lishadirectpactwiththatdrum,becauseitisthedrumthathas recognizedyou.Youhavetobeawarethatwhenyoudie,thatis thedrumthatisgoingtotakeyoutothathastosaygoodbyeto you.Itisalsotheonlydrumthatcanplayforyourbirthdayin santo.Forotherceremoniesyoucanchooseotherdrums,butfor yourbirthday,no. ThesetofdrumsinFelipe'sfamilywaswellknowninMatanzasandrespected bytheoldergenerationofsanteros,manyofwhomhadbeenpresentedtothese drumsattheirinitiationintothereligion.Havingbeenpresentedtothesedrums, theycontinuedtousetheminmanyrituals,eventhoughsomeofthemhad relativeswhoownedothersetsofdrums.ThiswashowitwaswithAdela Alfonso,themotherofthewellknownolbatCarlosAlfonso. Ourdrumswereverywellrespected,becausethemajorityofthe oldersanteroswerepresentedwiththatdrum,yousee?Mostof thealaguaswhoarenowdeadandtheolderpeoplethatarenow dead.InthehouseofFelipitaCalderbn,there,nootherdrum couldcomein,becausesherecognizedonlythatdrum.For AdelaAlfonso,forallofthem,nootherdrumcouldbeplayedifit wasn'tthatonebecausethatwasthedrumthattheyknew,the drumofioblcrdenas. However,duringTano'stimethedrumsbegantolosetheirreputation,because Tanowasoldanddidnotgivethedrumstheappropriatecare. Laterthedrumslostprestige.Ofcourse,Tanodidn'ttightenthe skinsoranything.Theoldmandidn'ttakecareofstretchingthem oranything.Hewasn'tuptoitanymore.Whenweweregoingto playthedrums,hewouldputtheminthesunandyes,theywould playwellforawhile,butthenofcoursetheywouldgooffand drop!Becausetheywerestretchedbythesun.Theywere stretchedbythesunandthesuninCubaisstrong.Atthattime peopleusedtocallourdrumslalata[thecan],becausethey soundedlikecans.Who'splayingtoday?Well,lalata.Sothe reputationofthedrumswentdown.Itistruethattheysounded likecans,becausewhatthesundoestotheskinsistoastthem andmakethemsoundlikecans.SowhenCarlosAlfonsobrought hisdrumsfromthecountrysideeveryonewenttohim.Atthattime thedrumsbecamedividedbyneighborhoods.

Page56 TheywerethedrumsfromSimpsonandwewerethedrumsfrom PuebloNuevo.Sowhentheywereplayingtentoqueswewould beplayingonlytwo,yousee? WhenFelipelearnedenoughabouthandlingthedrumshebeganworkingwith them,tryingtotunethemproperlyandimprovetheirsoundinordertoregain thereputationonceenjoyedbythesesetsofbatdrums. WhenIbeganplaying,thepeoplethatweretherewereoldand didn'tbusythemselveswithanything.Then,Iwastherefixing things.Sooneday,there,runningmyhandsthroughthedrumsI said:IknowwhatIhavetodo,andsaidtoTano:Oldman,I canstretchthatdrumbecauseIhavetheskill.Youthinkso? Takeit,letmesee.AndwhenhesawthatIcouldtightenithe gaveittome,andthenthethingstartedrisingagain. Therewereadditionaldifficultieswithonesetofbatdrums.Theiythatused tobelongtoPatato,animposingmonumentalmanwithhugearms,hadbeen builtaccordingtomeasurementsthatmadeiteasyforhimtoplay,butwhich createdproblemsfordrummerswithshorterarmssoitwasdecidedthatthey wouldmakeanewiyfortheset. Wespokewiththisguy,whoalsodied,whoiscalledAmado Diaz,sothathewouldmakeusashortercaja.ThenIgotmyself intoAmado'shouseitwastherewhereIlearned.Whenthecaja wasmadethedrumchanged,yousee?WecalledBenerando Alfonso,andBenerandoAlfonsowastheonethatwashedit,he washedthewoodsothatwecouldmakethedrum.Thenthedrum startedsoundingdifferent,itregainedstrength. WhenTanodied,thesetofdrumsthatwasnotdismantledwasinheritedbyhis stepsonRicardoSurezFantmas.Theaofthesetthatwasdisassembled waskeptbyFelipe'smotheratherhouse,andshesentittotheUnitedStates whenFelipeemigratedtothiscountry. OneweekbeforeTanodied,wewenttoplay,andhewantedme totakethedrums.Hetoldme:Ihavetwosetsofdrums,one that'sdismantledandtheotherthat'stheretakeone.Itoldhim:I don'twanttotakethedrumswithme.You'regoingtoregretnot takingthedrumswithyoubecauseI'mgo

Page57 ingtodiesoon.Tanogavethedismantledsettomymotherand toldher:Thisisasecretthat'sforFelipeforwhenIdie,don'ttell anybody. Onedaywewenttoatoqueandwhenwecamebackhe insistedagain:I'mtellingyoukid,takethedrumwithyou.No, youaren'tgoingtodie.Iwenthome,andatfiveinthemorning theycametolookforme:Listen,oldTanodied. TanoBleque'sstepsonwascalledRicardoFantmas,thesonof Tano'swifeSixtaPuey.AtthetimeofTano'sdeath,Ricardo Fantmaskeptthesetofdrumscalledlla.Butbeforedying, Tanohadtakenoutthefundamentofromthesetcalledaboy andhadwrappeditinapacket.Atthetimeofhisdeathhehad giveninstructionstosendmethepackage,andthatwaswhat happened. IleftCubain1980,butbeforeleavingIleftthepackagewithmy mother,TomasaVillamil,andshesavedit.Whenasanterafrom NewYorkmadeatriptoCuba,shevisitedmymother.My mothergaveherthepackagesothatshewouldbringittothe UnitedStates. WhenFantmasbecametheolaofthesetofdrumsknownasIla,he workedcloselywithFelipeinregainingthesoundthathadgiventhesedrums theirreputation.Anotheriywasmade,andnewdrummersjoinedthegroup. Ourdrumwasreallydiscredited.WhenRicardoFantmastookit, thenourdrumbegantosurge.Thatmanstartedfromthebottom. Theonewhoknewhowtofixthedrumstherewasme.SoI begantostretchthedrums,withthelittlewehadseen.Oneday Fantmassatwithmethereandhesaid:I'mgoingtolearn.And it'strue,whatanapprentice!Hestartedtakingcareofthem.There ismoreheinvitedmeandsowewentandcutalogandwe heldtheceremonyforthelogandwemadeadrum,anotherdrum. Inthesolar,wheremysisterstilllives,she'stheownerofthe wholesolar,therewedidthat.Well,thenwhenthedrumswere made,newguysstartedcomingMinini[leaderofAfroCuba] came,FranciscoZamora,ReynaldoGobelanephewofminethat wascalledJosetocame.Youngfacescame,andJulito,Daniel Alfonso,andIcomplementedtheyoungerones.Therewerealso myuncleJorge,ErnestoChambronasothegroupgrewstrong. Yearslater,whentherevolutionarrived,Fantmashadbuiltareputationasone ofthemostseriousandrespectedolbatsinCuba

Page58 andasoneknowledgeableintheartofbuildingdrumswithallthenecessary ritualsteps.Hisensembleofbatdrumswasincludedinthewellknown anthologyofAfroCubanmusiccompiledbyCubanmusicologistMariaTeresa Linares.42 OtherBatLineagesinMatanzas WhenoneinquiresintothehistoryofbatdrumsinMatanzas,twolineagesare alwaysmentionedasbeingtheoldestsacreddrumsinthecity:thelineageofthe drumsinFelipe'sfamilyandofthedrumsofamannamedCarlosAlfonso (CarlosAlfonsoDaz).AccordingtoOrtiz,CarlosAlfonso'sdrumswerebuilt byAtand,oneofthedrummakerswhobuiltthefirstsetofdrumsinHavana (Ortiz1952:vol.4,31518).CarlosAlfonso'sdrumsarenowinthehandsof ChachEstbanVegaBacayaoconsideredbymanythebestolbatin presentdayCuba. Alfonso'sdrumsusedtobeinCidra,intheprovinceofMatanzas.Whenthe drumswerebroughttothecityofMatanzas,Chachwascalledtofixthemand becomeamemberofthisensemble.Likeallsacreddrummers,Chachlearned byplayingwithmanyolderdrummershowever,herecallsinparticulara drummerwhomheconsidershisteacher,MiguelAlcina.Drummerswell knowninMatanzas,suchasIsaacCaldern,FelipeCaldern,andErnesto Torrigente,usedtoplayinthegroupwithAlcina.Thiswasalsothegroupin whichFranciscoAguabellalearned.43AguabellalaterleftforHavanaand,in 1954,cametotheUnitedStatesasamemberoftheKatherineDunhamDance Troupe.Heremainedinthiscountryandhasbeeninstrumentalinestablishing batdrummingontheWestCoast,whereheremainsactiveasapercussionist. ThedrumsofAlfonsowereinthecountryside,andwerenot played,becausehewasn'tintotoquesorintoanything.Hehad madeChangbuthewasintowomen,politics,andthelike alwayswithhissuit,histie,andallofthat.ThenAlfonsowent theretoCidrathereweretwosetsofdrumsinCidraand pickedonesetofdrumsandbroughtthemtoMatanzas.They beganplayingpolitics[competing]withPipeandbegantoget hiredformostoftheceremonies. SothelineofdrummerswhoplayedthosedrumsofAlfonso were:Chach,IsaacCaldern,FelipitoCaldern,andakid, Baton,hewas

Page59 knownasBatonhediedveryyoung.Ah!AndMiguelAlcina, whowasthenumberoneplayerinMatanzas.Matanzas?No,the wholeofCuba.Heleftthedrumbecausehehadproblemswith Chach,afterthatheplayednomore.Buthesangandplayedlike itwastheendoftheworld!Thatmanmadethedrumtalk,the drumsreallytalkedwhenheplayed.ItwasagiftGodgaveto MiguelAlcina,andAlcinawasthebiggestthingMatanzasgaveto thedrums.AfterAlcinacameJorgeVillamil,thenChach,called Bacayao,EstbanBacayao. Ortiz(1952:vol.4,317)mentionstwoothersetsofdrumsinMatanzas.One wasbuiltbyAtandforManuelGuantica.Ortizdoesnotprovideany informationabouthim,butaManuelGuanticaisanephewofCarlosAlfonso. Hisfullname,accordingtoFelipe,isAmadoManuelDiazGuantica(theAmado whotaughtFelipetobuilddrums).TheothersetofdrumsbelongedtoEduardo Salak,thefatherofthedrummerErnestoTorrigente.Nolineagescamefrom thissetofdrums,andafterthedeathofSalak,theywerenotplayedanymore. Unlessadrummerownedasetofbatdrums,itwasnotunusualforhimtoplay withdifferentensemblesortochangetheensemblewithwhomheplayed regularly.Numerousreasonscontributedtothismobility,themostfrequent beingmisunderstandingsorconflictsamongdrummers. Itwasnotunusualalsofordrummerswhoplayedonesettobepresentedto anothersetofdrumswhentheywereinitiatedintothereligion.Thishappened especiallyifthesettheywerebeingpresentedtowasthattraditionallyplayed forthehouseintowhichtheywerebeinginitiated.Thus,manydrummerswere presentedtothesetthatbelongedtoFelipe'shouse,asitwasoneoftheoldest inMatanzas.Thiswasthecaseforthesonofoneofthemostfamousolder santerasfromMatanzas,FelipitaCaldern. FelipitaCaldernhadamystery,thatwomanhadamystery,and theoneswhoplayedforherhousewereus,andnobodyelse.The childrenofFelipitaplayedwithCarlos,butwhenCaldernmade Elegu,weweretheonesthatpresentedhim.Hewasnot presentedtothedrumsheplayed,becausehemadesaintinthe houseofhismother,FelipitaCaldern.Inthathousenodrum couldgoinbecausesheonlyrecognizedonedrum,thatofiobl.

Page60 Althougheachbatsethasasacredname,thenamegiventoa,nowadays batdrumsbothinCubaandintheUnitedStatesarecommonlyknownbythe nameoftheowneroftheset. FromtheoldersetsofbatdrumsprominentinMatanzasnewsetswereborn. Felipehimselfcontributedtoestablishingsomeofthenewsetsofdrums.Before FelipeleftCuba,threesetsofnewbatdrumshadbeenrecognized:one belongingtoamannamedPucho,whosenameinsantowasEchudinaanother belongingtoamanwhohadCalvoashislastnameandthethirdonethesetof MiguelAlcina,whodiedbeforeheevergotachancetoplayhisownsetof drums.Chach,too,wasinstrumentalinbuildingnewsetsofdrums,bornfrom theoneshehadinheritedfromCarlosAlfonsobutallthesetshemadewerefor drummersoutsidethecityofMatanzas.Twoofthesesetsweremadefor drummersintheUnitedStates.44 OtherDrummingTraditionsinMatanzas FelipeknewmanybatdrummersinMatanzaswhonotonlyusedtoplaywith severalbatsetsbutalsowereproficientdrummersofothertraditions,suchas theIyes,Olkun,andArar.AlthoughFelipeneverplayedasaritualdrummer intheseensembles,fromchildhoodhelivedcloselywithpeoplewhoretained thesetraditionsandparticipatedintheirrituals.Bycontactandclose observationFelipegainedknowledgethatwastobeusefultohimasaleaderof afolkloricensembleaftertherevolution. TheIyes(asubgroupoftheLucumiinCuba),notwithstandingthemany similaritiesandthesyncretismoftheirpracticeswiththoseoftheLucumi santeros,keptsomeoftheirownliturgicalpractices,theirensembleofdrums, andarepertoireofchants.Earlierinthetwentiethcentury,Iyescabildoscould befoundintheprovincesofMatanzas,Havana,andLasVillas.Atpresent thereisonlyoneIyescabildoleftinCuba,theonementionedbyFelipe,which islocatedinthecityofMatanzas.Felipe'scasadeochahadstrongtieswiththis cabildo,andmanymembersofFelipe'sextendedfamilydrummedthere. Theiyesensembleismadeupoffourwoodendrums(ilocha),twoironbells, andarattle(agbe).45Thedrumsarecylindricalandhavetwomembranes,but onlyoneisusedinplaying.Theskinisattachedonhoopsandlacedtothedrum byabandofropeswovenintodifferent

Page61 typesofpatterns(NorVshaped.).Thelargestdrumisplayedwiththehands, whiletheothersareplayedwithsticks.Likethebatdrums,theiyesdrumsare sacredandarethereforetheobjectsofspecialritesintheirconstructionand theircare.Thedrumsareusuallypaintedwiththecolorsofthetwoorichasto whichtheensemblebelongs,yellowandgreenforOchnandOgn.46 Another,lesswellknownLucumidrummingtraditionisthatoftheolkun drums,usedtoworshipOlkun,theLucumideityofthebottomlesssea.The ensemblehasfoursinglemembranecylindricaldrumswithwedges.Thelargest (olkun)isplayedwiththehandoftwootherdrums(yegu),oneisplayedwith onehandandastickandtheotherwithtwobarehandsandthesmallestdrum (oddu)isplayedwithtwosticks(Ortiz1952:vol.3,41314). InMatanzasatthetimeofFelipe'sadolescence,therewasasetofolkun drumsatthehouseofafamoussantera,FerminitaGmez. ErnestoTorrigenteplayediyes,playedarar,andplayedolkun, theolkunfromFermina'shouse.Butheonlylikedtoplaybathe likedthebatbetter.AlltheyoungkidsthatarenowintotheIyes arealsobatdrummers,soitcouldbeseenthatthetraditions werebeinglost.Iamtalkingabouttheyoungerdrummers,thenew ones,becausetheoldonesaretoooldnow,andaredyingor died.Loretodied,alltheoldpeopledied:LoretoGarcfa,who lastedonehundredoddyears47hisson,calledJorge,whowas affectionatelycalledLuzBrillante[literally,brightlight]because itseemsthathewasalwaysdrunkacompadreofminethatwent blindandaladthatwasabellplayer.Mynephew,theoneyou know,whoishereintheStates,playedintheiyesalso.48 InmycaseIdidn'tliketheIyes,becauseIusedtolistentothe IyesandIwouldsay:No!No!I'mleaving.Iusedtowatch theirceremoniesandgotothecabildoandsalute,butnothingelse thenIwouldleave.Becausetherewassomethinginthatmusic, thatifIwascomingfromafarthattoquemademedizzy,itmade medizzy.That'swhyIdidn'tliketoplayIyesbutIknewhow toplayit.Look,inmyhouse,thehouseofTomasaVillamil,they playiyesallthetwentythirdortwentyfourthortwentyfifthof June.That'ssomethingthatneverfailed,soIusedtolistenand watchedthemplay.Firstthebell.Howdoesitgo?Iwatchedhow thisguyplayed,andhowthisotherguyplayed:tinguiling, tangalang,andIpracticeditbymyself.Iwasstudyingbymyself,I playedwithnobody,justbymyselfpracticingwhatIheard.I

Page62 wouldtakethefirstbell:kinkinkakakinkinkaka.Iwouldtakethe secondbell:tantantitintantantitin,andaloneIwouldbegin annexingtheminmymind.Lateronthatknowledgecamein handy.IknewverywelltheoldestmanfromtheIyes,whowasa hundredoddyears,oldLoreto.Heusedtoplayclave:tintintintin tintintintin.Thenmycompadrewouldbegoing:keeenkeken keeenkeken.ThewayIdohereintheStateswhenIteach, that'sthewayIusedtodoitbackthen.Istudiedalltherhythms andcombinedthemlater.ThatishowIlearnedhowtoplayiyes, becausenobodytaughtmehow.Whenplayingiyestherhythms thatgivemoretroublearethebassandthecaja.Iusedtopractice themthesamewayIteachthemtoJessynowItellhim tukutun,withthiscallI'mtellinghimwhentocomein.ThenIteach himhowtoanswerwhenthecajacallshim. TheArartraditionsofDahomeanoriginalsobecamecloselyrelatedtothe LucumiinCuba.Theirdeities,calledvodorfoddn,areidentifiedwiththe orichasandalsocommunicatewiththepractitionersthroughdivinationand possession.AsinthecaseoftheLucum,musiccomprisesafundamentalpart oftheirrituals.Nowadays,theArarReglahasfollowersonlyintheprovinces ofMatanzas,LasVillas,andOriente,Matanzasbeingthemostimportantcenter forthesetraditions.HeretheworshipofBabalAyhasbecomecentraltothe religiouspracticesofthisreligiousgroup(Vinueza1988). TheArarhadtheirownbranch,theArarwerenottogetherwith us,withthesanteros,withtheLucumistheywerealone. Therefore,inMatanzastheArarcouldn'tgotothecelebrationsof theLucum.Becausetheydidthingsdifferentlyfromus.Theydid theirsaintsandtheirthingsseparately.Wecouldn'tgointotheir ceremoniesbuttheydidn'tgointoourseither.Sotherewasan Arar,thedeceasedMayito,whohadalotofunderstandingand whoalsounderstoodalotaboutsanto.AlthoughhewasanArar hehadstudiedalotofsanto,andheknewalot.Hesaidoneday: Herewehavetounify,becauseourthingandyoursisthesame thing,gentlemen.Theonlydifferenceisthatourancestorcame fromanotherland,butitisthesamethingwithdifferent characteristicsintheendthefood,riceandbeans,isthesame. SotheArarstartedinvitingustobegintopromotetheunion. Wearegoingtosendfiveorsixofourpeopletoworkwithyou andyousendfiveorsixofyourstoworkhere.Theunification beganlike

Page63 that.Thereafterwebegantogotothemtocleanseourselves,to sing,andtohelpintheirceremonies. TheArarinCubarecognizedthreesubgroupsamongthemselves,basedon originandethnicity:ArarMagino(MahinoorMajino),ArarSavalR (Sabal),andArarDajom(Dahom)(Vinueza1988). Theydon'thaveArarinHavana,onlyinMatanzasandinthe provinces:inPericoandJovellanosandcrdenas,whichhavethe samesystembutitisMagino,ofthelandofSanLzaro,butthe toqueissimilar. Presentdayararmusicensemblesusefromtwotofourdrums,anironbell (ogn),andametalrattleolderensembleshadfourtofivedrums.Thearar drumsareunipercussive,singleheadedwoodendrums,withtheskinattached tothedrumsbypegsormountedonahoopheldthroughasystemofpegsand laces.Theyarefootedandslightlyconical.Oldersetsofarardrumswere heavilydecoratedwithcarvingsandpaintingspresentdaydrumsareonly painted.Aswithothersetsofreligiousdrums,thearardrumsbecomesacred afterundergoingaseriesofreligiousceremonies.Theyareplayeddirectlywith thehandsorbyusingastickwithoneendslightlyhooked.Thenamesgivento thedrumshavechangedwithtime,andinpresentdayensemblestheyare commonlycalledcaja,mula,andcachimbo(Vinueza1988:71).However, whenFelipereferstothelargestdrumoftheensemble,heusestheoldname, yonof. ThegoodararplayersinMatanzaswere:MayitoChiquitico [LittleOne],onewhowascalledChiquitico,whohadmade ChangandJuandeDios.Allthosepeopleplayedarar.After therevolutiontheyoungguysbegantoplayarar.Evensomebat playersFranciscoZamoraMinini,whoplayswithAfroCuba, wereplayingarar.Butforawhile,whentheoldonesdied,the ararwentthroughsomehardtimesandalltheirthingswereleft unattended. Aftertherevolution,withtheattentiongiventothesetraditionsbythe government,youngerpeoplestartedtoplayotherdrumsinadditiontothebat. Whenthedrumsarenotavailabletothem,theylearnthe

Page64 rhythmicpatternsandsubstitutethemissingdrumswithothers,suchascongas. MaraElenaVinueza,amusicologistwhoresearchedthearartraditionsinthe 1980s,considersFranciscoZamoraMinini,thedrummerFelipementioned, whoiscloselylinkedtoFelipe'sfamilyanddrummedwithhiminthebat ensemble,asoneofthethreemostoutstandingararplayersinMatanzas (Vinueza1988:86). IneverparticipatedintheritualsoftheAraraasadrummer.I learnedtoplayararbymyself.WhenIwenttotheirritualsand wouldlisten,IwouldwatchthemplayandthenIpracticed.I wouldgototheircabildoforawhilewhenIhadsometime.Back thenIhadacomadre[godmotherofone'schildren]whobaptized mydaughterMercedes.Everytimeshehadafiestashewould inviteme.Sheisanarar,andwhattheyplayedinherhousewas arar.There,bylistening,Ilearned. BeingalsoapaleroandanAbaku,Felipewasfamiliarwiththemusicofboth thesetraditionsandparticipatedactivelyintheirceremonies,notonlyasa drummerbutalsoasaritualexpert.Hisfatherhadtaughthimtheuseofthe variousherbsandplantsandhadalsotrainedhimintheritualslaughterof animals.Athisfather'sside,Felipealsolearnedalargerepertoireofmambos, thePalochantsthataresungantiphonallybyaleader(galloorinsusu)anda chorusduringrituals.49 Asidefromthemusicusedintheritualsofpaleros,somesecularmusical traditionsofCongooriginfrequentlywereperformedafterthereligious celebrationshadtakenplace,suchasthedancesknownasyuka,makuta,and man.WhatcharacterizesthedancesofCongooriginisamovementknownas vacunao(alsousedindancingtherumba),apelvicthrustusedtomimicagame ofseductionbetweenamaleandafemaledancer.50 Thedanceknownasman(peanut)isapugilisticdancesimilartotheBrazilian capoeriabutincontrasttothelatter,thedancersofthemantrytostrikethe opponentsnotwiththeirfeetbutwiththeirhandsastheydance.Accordingto therulesofthegame,blowsareallowedontheupperpartofthebodyonly:on thestomach,thechest,andthehead. Me,nobodyhadtoteachmealotofthings.BecauseifIheard yukabeingperformed,Icouldplayyuka,andifIheardman,I couldplayman.

Page65 InmyfamilytheplacewheretheyhadthePalodrums,theyuka wasinthehouseofmyfather'sbrothers,CundoandFabin,that islocatedincrdenas.Thosedrumswerethere,tiedup,andthey hadthemcovered.ThosedrumsarelinkedtoPalo,andin crdenastheyplayedalotofyukaandman.Itislikeadance,like alongparty.OnedaywewouldgiveafiestadePalo[ritual ceremony]andthenextdaytheywouldsay:Let'splaymanor Let'splayyuka,whichareCongorhythms.Theyaredancesto havefunwith,thatbelongtotheCongos.Inthosecelebrations theywouldplayyuka,makuta,andman.Theyplayedinthe verbenas,whichistosaylikeapopulardance,apartybutoutside ofPalo,outsideoftherituals.However,theywouldusePalofor strengthbecausemanisagameofblows. Theninthedanceoftheyukatheywouldplacesomesugarcane andsomeonewouldcomewithamacheteanddancingtocut thecane,likethis:shshshsh.Ithadthingsofdanger,yousee?It hadalotofthingsthatnowadayspeopledon'ttalkabout.In themakutatheyusedthevacunaooftherumba.It'slikeasensual dance,adanceofprovocationwiththewomanmimickinga chickenandthemanmimickingtherooster,andthosethings. AllthosedanceswerenotPalo.ButtheyusedPalotohavethe strengthtodancethem,theylookedforpowerinPalo.So frequentlytherewerepeopledancingthosedanceswhilethey werepossessedbyPalospirits,inordertohavemorestrength thantheothers. Themakutadrumensembleconsistsoftwodrumstwomaracas(rattles),which aretiedaroundthewristofthemaindrummeracopperbellcalledngungaand acircularrattlewithahandle(maraca).Thesingleheaded,barrelorcylinder shapeddrumsareplayedwiththeperformerstandinganddirectlystruckwith thehands.However,athirdmusicianusesasticktostrikethebaseofthe seconddrum.Thesedrums,likethebat,aresaidtohaveasecretpowerinside them.Theyareconsideredpersonsandarerituallyfed.Drummersalsohave toundergoaseriesofceremoniestobeabletoplaythem.Thisensemblebegan tobeusedtoaccompanyseculardancesandby1952mainlywereplayedto accompanysuchdances.Aroundthesameperiod,thesacredrhythms(toques) playedonthesedrums,whichvariedaccordingtothedeityorspiritbeing praised,invoked,orsalutedweredisappearinginCuba. TheyukadrumensembleresemblesthebembensembleoftheLucumsinthat itisusedforsecularoccasions.Thedrumsarenotfed,nor

Page66 dotheyhaveasecretinsidethem,anddrummersdonothavetoundergo specialinitiationstoplaythem.51Itisanensembleofthreedrumsofdifferent sizestwowristrattles(maracas)twowoodensticks,usedtoplaythelower bodyofthelargestdrumaguagua,whichisatypeofwoodenslitdrumanda metalidiophone,themuela(apickusedforplowing).Thedrumsarewooden, singleheaded,nailed,andshapedaselongatedcylinders.Thelargestdrum, calledcaja,isperformedwithonehandandalargestick.Sometimesthedrum isplacedoverasupport,andthedrummermountsitwhenplayingitanother musicianplaysthelowerpartoftheframeofthedrumwithtwowoodensticks. Sometimesthispartofthedrumiscoveredwithcanstogenerateaspecial sound.Theseconddrumiscalledmula,isslightlysmaller,andisplayedusinga stickandonehand.Thesmallestisperformedinthesamefashionandiscalled thecachimbo. AlthoughFelipe'smaternalunclesownedasetofyukaandmakutadrums,these drumswerekeptinthecountryside.WhenFelipewasyoung,thistypeofdrum ensemblehadbecomeuncommoninthecity,wheretheywerereplacedby threecongasandthemuela.Theleaddrummerplayedhiscongausingastick andhishand,whilethetwootherdrummersusedonlytheirhands. Whentherevolutionarrives,wefindFelipeheavilyinvolvedinthetradehehad chosen,amongmanyothersthathehadtolearntobeabletosupporthimself andhisfamily.Heisadrummernotonlyadrummerbutacompleto (complete),anamegiveninCubatodrummerswhonotonlycanperformthe secularstyles,suchasrumbaguaguanc,yamb,columbiabutare familiarwiththedifferentAfroCubanreligiousstylesofdrumming.Itisatrade learned,asFelipesays: Watchingandlisteningandwatchingandlistening,andteaching also.Inaword:Godgavemearesourceanditwasthatone.

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PARTTWO

LifeasaMusicianduringtheRevolution

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Page69

MakingEndsMeet
WhentherevolutionarrivedFidelCastrotookpowerinJanuary1959 Felipecontinuedhisstruggletoearnaliving,workingallsortsofjobsalongside hismaintrade:music. WhileFelipewasworkinginroadconstruction,manyofthelaborersinthe sugarindustryfoundthemselvesunemployedbecauseofdifficultiesinthesugar tradeasaconsequenceoftheAmericanembargoandtheantimonocrop ideologyoftherevolutionarygovernment.Theyears1960and1962were characterizedbyastrongantisugarbiasonthepartofthegovernment,with emphasisplacedondiversificationandindustrialization.Schoolswereopenedto trainformersugarworkersforjobsinotherindustries. Felipehadworkedinthesugarindustrybeforetherevolution,andhisnamewas includedinthelistgiventothegovernmentofpeopleentitledtojointhetraining program.Hewascontactedanddecidedtojointheschoolbecausehewas paidtoattend. WhenFidelarrivedwewereleftexceeding[laidoff]fromthe sugar.AtthattimeIhadlikethreeorfourjobs,Iwasneveridle.If Iwasnotdoingsomemusic,becausethingswerenotgoingwell,I wasdoingsomethingelse.SowhenFidelcameIwassenttoa school.ButIcouldn'tstandthat

Page70 school,becauseIdidn'thavethebackgroundforthat.Theyspoke aboutneutrons,protons,machinery,energy,andwhatnot.Ikept goingtoschooltolettimegobybuttheyweredrivingmenuts. ThentheyopenedasugarplantandIfoughtandfoughtuntilI wentthere.DoyouknowhowmuchmoneyIwasearningatthat sugarplant?IdidthreeorfourshiftssometimesIdidn'tevengo hometosleep.Thiswasatimewhentherewasnocontrollater theybeganregulatingit. However,workinthesugarindustryintheearlystagesoftherevolutionwas notsecure,andsoonFelipefoundhimselfunemployed.Hewasthensenttothe EscambrayMountains,locatedintheprovinceofLasVillas,whichwerethe centerofcounterrevolutionaryactivitiesintheearly1960s. WhenIwasleftwithoutworkinthesugar,theytookmetothe Cambray[Escambray]Sierra.WhileIwasthereIdecidedto cookforthepeoplethatweretherewithme,becausenobody knewhowtocook.Ididn'twanttoeatrawfoodsoInamed myselftheofficialcook.ThereImetablanco[whiteman]who wascalledwell,DelPinowashislastname.DelPinobecamea captain,orratherlieutenant,lieutenantoftherebelarmy.1When thingswerenormalagainattheCambray,Iwenthomeandback tothesugar. OnedaythisDelPinocametolookformeatmyhouseandtook metoseetheheadofthestatesecurityforcesinMatanzas.This captain,orwhateverhewas,lookedatmefromtoptobottom andaskedme:Isittruethatyouareagoodcook?NotthatI know.Idon'tconsidermyselfagoodcook.Theworkisalldone bythefire.Iputthefoodthereandthefirecooksit,sothegood cookisthefirenotme.That'sagoodone,hesaidandthey gavemethekeysandallthethingstomanagethediningfacilities ofthesecurityforces.ThatmanDelPinowastakingabig responsibility,becausethereIwascookingforthesebigshots, andwhatifIdecidedtopoisonthem?ButDelPinoreallytrusted me,andIworkedthereuntilheleftforHavana.ThenIreturned againtothesugar. SoI'mintothesugarandintomusicatthesametime.Icoulddo thisbecausemusicwasdoneintheeveningsIcouldgotowork, worktheregularhours,andthendomymusic.SometimesIwould befallingasleepatworkbecauseofthehoursIspentwiththe music.Duringcarnivalwewouldplayeverydayfromfiveinthe afternoontothreeo'clockinthemorn

Page71 ing,andonweekendsintheafternoonfromthreetoseven.Butwe alsoplayedinamusicstandthatwasopentwentyfourhours. Becausewhentherevolutioncamenotthefirstyear,because thatfirstyeartherewerenocarnivalsoranythingitwasreally burningthetennisshoes[dancing].Theyweregivingpeoplea ball. Carnival,sincethetimeitwasreinstatedbytherevolution,takesplaceinevery towninCubaafterthezafra(sugarseason),thatis,atthesugarharvest.The typeofmusicFelipeperformedduringcarnival(comparsaorconga,pachanga, andmozambique)belongstoacategoryknownasbailable(musicfordancing), anditisspecifically,thoughnotexclusively,performedduringcarnival.The namesusedtodescribethesemusicgenresrefertoboththedanceandthetype ofensemblethataccompaniesthem. Wehadseveraltypesofgroupsorganizedforthemusicduring carnival.Tomarchinthecarnivalswehadthecomparsa.Wewent totheparade,thenwhenourcomparsafinishedmarchingweleft andwenttoplayforthosecomparsasthatdidn'thavemusicians.It waswildthewayweusedtodragpeoplealongwithourmusic! Peoplefromothercomparsasusedtorunovertousandsay: Listentotheseguys,theyarereallyburning.Ourcomparsawas ablast.Thatcomparsawasputtogetherforthewholemunicipality ofMatanzas.Wehadworkforthreeorfourmonthsbecause whenthecarnivalsendedinMatanzas,wewenttoVaradero, whentheyendedinVaradero,wewenttoColn,andsoforth throughoutthewholeprovince. Thentoplayinthetrochas,thosedrinkandfoodstandsthatwere setonthestreets,weplayedrumbaandweplayedpachanga. Thenatnineo'clockintheevening,whenthedancingbegan,we playedwithagroupofmozambique.

BecomingaCulturalWorker
Therevolutionarygovernmentconsideredallmanifestationsofcultureimportant toolstoachievetheideologicalgoalsoftherevolution(LICA1982:9).2Thus, thestatemonopolizedallculturalinitiativesandbecamethesolesponsor, promoter,manager,anddeployerofcultural

Page72 policies,emphasizingandencouragingcertainaspectsandvaluesoftraditional culturewhilereformingthosethatwereconsideredtounderminethe revolutionarygoals.Artistswereexpectedtoworkinandfortherevolution,if needbesacrificingartisticfreedomtoachievemorepressingrevolutionarygoals Inimplementingtheculturalpolicies,considerablefreedomofexpressionwas grantedtoaneliteofartistsandintellectualsplacedinthehigherechelonsofthe revolutionaryculturalandeducationalagencies(Marshall1987:210)who,in turn,guided,coordinated,andendorsedtheworkoftherestoftheartistic andintellectualcommunity,inparticularofthefolkloricartists.Moreover, freedomofexpression,likeallmatterspertainingtoculturalpolicies,wascaught upinthedynamicsofotherpoliticalandeconomicalfactors,nationaland international.Hence,culturalpolicieswentthroughseveralperiodsduringthe fortyyearsofrevolutionarygovernment:fromtheinitialcarnivalstageofthe revolution,whenfreedom,enthusiasm,andrenewalpredominated(Marshall 1987:99),throughwhatsomescholarshavedescribedasthecultural terrorism(Stubbs1989:77)ofthelate1960sandearly1970s,3toaless dogmaticperiodthatbeganafterthecreationoftheMinistryofCulturein1976, headedbyArmandoHartDvalos(Levinson1989:490Stubbs1989:77). Irrespectiveofhowweviewtheculturalmonopolyexercisedbythestate,it cannotbedeniedthattherevolutionplayedapositiveroleinmanyaspectsof theartisticandculturallifeofCuba.Duringthe1960s,therevolutiontook significantstepstoexpandtheculturalresourcesatthenationalandlocallevels, makingthemaccessibletoallsegmentsofthepopulation. Inthisframeworkofstrongsupportforartisticenterprises,musicinparticular washeavilysubsidizedandstronglypromoted.Thegovernmentorganized numerousmusicschoolsandperformingvenues,andtheCentrode InvestigacinyDesarrollodelaMsicaCubana(CIDMUC)wasorganizedto coordinateallinstitutionsconnectedwithmusic. Likewiseduringtheseyears,manymusicactivities,inparticularthoserelatedto msicabailable(dancemusic),wereorganizedthroughasystemofautonomous empresas(enterprises).Theseenterpriseswhichmanagedtheirownbudgets, enjoyedsomeindependenceinhiringanddismissinglabor,andimplemented theirownplanswereestablishedintheearly1960sunderthesupervisionof re

Page73 gionalplanningboardscalledJuntasUnificadasdeCoordinacinEconmica (JUCEI).4Othergenresofmusic(e.g.,classicalmusic)werehandledthrough centralized,statesubsidizedculturalinstitutions. Intheearly1960s,Felipeworkedforamsicabailablegroupthatinitiallywas privatelyownedandmanagedandlaterbecameoneoftheempresasunderthe supervisionoftheJUCEIofMatanzas.ThisplacedFelipeinthegroupof professionalmusicianswhowerepaidfortheirwork,asopposedtoamateur musicianswhowerenot. Whileworkingfortheempresa,Felipeenjoyedthetwoworkingstatusesthat existinCubaamongprofessionalmusicians:hefirstworkedbycontract,and laterhebecameaplantillamusician.Musicianswhoworkbycontracts(which canbedefiniteorindefinite)arepaidlessandhavelessstabilitythosewhohave definitecontractsarenotevenentitledtovacationandretirementbenefits. Thosewithdefinitecontractsareevaluatedeverythreemonths,whereasthose withindefinitecontractsareevaluatedeverythreeyearsandmayworkforany enterprise.5 Wehadonemusicgroupthatworkedforthreethings:the pachanga,themozambique,andthecomparsa.Itwasalldone throughtheJULCEI[sic],thatwasagovernmentagency.Inthat periodthegroupswerestillthepropertyofthepeople.Weplayed basedonacontract. AtthattimeCultura[governmentalculturalagencies]6hadnot openedinMatanzas.Sotheycreatedanofficetodealwithallthe culturalaffairs.Theyweretheoneswholookedforfundsforthe comparsa,theygavethefundsforthedrums,andeverything.The officewascalledtheJULCEIofMatanzas.LaterontheJULCEI wasgivenahardtimebecausetheleadersweremessingaround, sotheyformedtheORI[OrganizacionesRevolucionarias Integradas].ButwereallyworkedwellwiththeJULCEI,they werereallyorganized.Whenyouwenttheretolookfor something,bang!Thereitwas,realfast.7 In1962theMusicDirectorateoftheCulturalCouncilbegantoimplementa planforevaluatingandhiringmusiciansonapermanentbasisaswhatwewould callculturalworkersorartistsofthepeople.Thisprogram,whichinitially includedonlyclassicalperformers,by1968wasbroadenedtoincludepopular musiciansandaimedattheprofessionalizationofallthecountry'smusicians puttinganendtotheinstabilityandinsecuritywhichcharacterizedtheir avocationwhen

Page74 theywereoftenforcedtodojobsquiteunrelatedtotheirarttoensuretheir subsistence(Otero1972:2627). Whenthisprocessbegantoincludepopularmusicians,Felipe'sgrouphadtogo throughanauditiontobeevaluated.Theevaluationwascarriedoutbycouncils controlledbytheMinistryofCultureandtheBodiesofPeople'sPower.These governmentalagencieshadlocaldirectoratesintheprovincesinchargeof electingthemembersoftheArtisticCouncils,whowereinturntheones responsibleforratingmusiciansatthelocallevel.ThemembersoftheArtistic Councilswerechosenamongmusiciansreputedtobeknowledgeableand distinguished.Thissystem,however,hasbeencriticizedbecausealthoughthe councilswerecomposedofmusicians,theirmemberswerenotnecessarily familiarwiththegenresofmusictheyhadtoevaluate.8Inaddition,musicians feltthatdecisionswereattimesbasedmoreonpersonalorpoliticalreasons thanonmusicalskills. Initially,membersofthefolkloricensembleswererankedasCwhileclassical dancerswereclassifiedasA.Thefoundingmembersofthefolkloric ensemblesfoughtsuccessfullytogetcategoriesdefinedonqualityandnoton styleorgenre. Thereweretwoformsofevaluation:theoneFelipewentthrough,which consistedofanaudition,andanotherusuallyundergonebymusicstudents,done throughagraduationexam.Aftertheevaluation,Felipebecameaplantilla musician,whichbroughtbetterpayandaguaranteedminimumincome.Healso enjoyedjobstabilityandwasentitledtovacationandretirementbenefits. ThenIgotintoCulturaandIusedtoworkwell.But,what happenedwasthatthenIhadtwojobs:IworkedinsugarandI workedinthemozambique,yousee?Butwhentheevaluation camearound66or68theytoldme:Hereorthere,sugaror music.SoIthoughtaboutkeepingtheworkinthesugarbut peopletoldme:Don'tbeafool,youhaveaweektoanswer,and lookinthemusicyouaregoingtohaveclothes,youwon'thave topayfortransportationtogofromheretothere,andyouwon't havetoworkalot.Becauseworkinthesugarwashard,and withthelittlefoodwewereseeingthosedaysSoIthoughtfor awhileandthenIdecidedtojoinCultura. Fortheevaluationtheymadelikeanaudition.Thegovernment madeacommittee,ajury.Thereweresingersandpercussionists, trumpetplayers,tromboneplayers,musiciansofdifferentgenres, andtheyputtogethera

Page75 jury.Thenitwentlikethis.Theywouldgiveyouapieceofpaper withthepointsthatwereevaluated:presentation,wardrobethat ourgrouphadnoneappreciation,manners,etcetera.Becausein Cubait'snotlikehereintheU.S.,thatanyartist,iftheyfeellikeit, cancomeuponstagewearingshortpants,orwiththeirshirts openedup.ThereinCubayoucan'tdothat.Withthosepeople youhadtobeontopofeverything.Sowefulfilledallthe requirementsbecausewegaveapartytomakesomemoney. Thenweboughtourselvessomethingnicetowear,sowewould havesomethingtogouponstagewitheverybodylookingthe same.Everyonegotahaircut,everyonewithshoesreallyclean, watchingcarefullywhatwesaid,andsoon. AftertheevaluationIbegancollectingthreehundredpesosa month,myclothes,andmyshoes,sometimesbyjustsittingat home.ThenourgroupbrokeupandIwasleftwithoutajob.In ourgroupthereusedtobemanypeoplefromoutside,from Havana,fromhereandfromtheresotheybegantosaythatthe groupwasnotprofitable.Therewasalsotheproblemthatthose whowerenotfromMatanzaswantedtotrytomakeitcloserto home,andtheyleftthegroup.Sotheydissolvedthegroup:One musicianwassenttoperformwithapuntoguajiro,anotheroneleft forthemunicipalband,andsoon. Nowadaysitisverydifficulttoacquireplantillastatus,whichleavesmanyyoung musicians,whofrequentlycomplainaboutthefossilizationofthesystemof employment,withoutaccesstothemoreprestigiousandwellpaidmusical positions(Robbins1991:243).

PerformingAfroCubanReligiousMusicinSecularPublic Contexts
WhenFelipe'sworkwiththemsicabailablegroupended,hewasableto continueworkingasamusicianbyperforminginsecularpubliccontextsthe musicofthereligioustraditionsthatwerepartofhisheritage.Afterthe revolution,thesetraditionsbecamepartofthepoolofancestorsthatwere evaluatedandselectedforinclusioninthedefinitionofthenationalcultureofthe newsociety.Theprocessofselectionoftheculturalrootsofthenationand ofdefinitionofthenationalculturewasledbythestate,whichthroughits culturalinstitutesandagenciesdecided

Page76 whatancestorsweretobechosen,whatculturalpracticesweretobestudied, conserved,orrescued.Withinthisframework,AfroCubanculturewas reinterpretedtointegrateitintotheofficialnationalistnarrative. In1959theNationalTheater(TeatroNacional),headedbyArgeliersLen, organizedaDepartmentofFolklorethatundertookthetaskofdeveloping folkloreasanacademicfield.9In1961theresearchactivitiesofthedepartment wereseparatedfromtherepresentationalonesthustheInstituteofEthnology andFolklore,associatedtotheAcademyofScienceofCuba,andtheConjunto FolklricoNacionalwerecreated.TheConjuntoFolklricoassumedthetask ofrepresenting,asstageproductions,manifestationsofCubanpopularculture throughtheartisticstylizationofthefolkloricevent,basedonresearchand informationonthesetraditionsthatwassystematicallycompiled(CCS1982: 188PPCC1986:70). FollowingthesamephilosophyastheConjuntoFolklricoNacional,other folkloricgroupsdevelopedaroundthecountryandwerejoinedbylocalcultural organizations,suchastheCasasdelaCulturaandtheMovimientode Aficionados,inresearchingandstagingthefolklorictraditions.Workshopswere organizedandcontests,annualfestivals,andcompetitionswereinstituted. Moreover,themostprestigiousofthesegroupstouredmanyforeigncountries. Withinthisframework,themusicaltraditionsoftheAfroCubanreligionswere includedaspartofthefolkloricheritageofthecountry,10andtogetherwith otherfolkloricmanifestations,theyreceivedstrongsupportfromthestate. ThroughtheactivitiesofgroupsliketheConjuntoFolklricoNacional(who alsotouredextensivelyoutsideofCuba),thesemusicaltraditionsgotnational andinternationalstageexposureofamagnitudetheyhadneverenjoyedbefore. Manygovernmentofficials,artists,andscholarsbelievedthiswasapositivestep towardovercomingtheignorancethathadgeneratedcontemptforandneglect ofAfroCubantraditionsbeforetherevolution.However,whiletheAfroCuban musicaltraditionswereintegratedintotheculturalheritageofthenationand madepartofthenewsocialistculture,thereligiousbeliefsandtheritualstightly linkedtothemwereignored,discouraged,oratbesttolerated.Itwasassumed thattheywouldeventuallydisappearasaresultofeducationandthe improvementofthelivingconditionsofthegeneralpopulation.11

Page77 AmateurGroups Inthearts,themostimportantculturaltoolatthelocallevelwastheMovimiento deAficionados(AmateurArtistsMovement),whichbeganbyopeningschools forinstructors,whointurnorganizedamateurartistgroupsatthelocallevel.12 Themusicalgroupsthatbelongedtothismovementparticipatedinintensive concertactivityatboththenationalandtheinternationallevel.Amateuractivities werecontrolledbytwoinstitutions:CasasdelaCultura(HousesofCulture)and ConsejosPopularesdeCultura.Amateuractivitieswerealsosponsoredby massorganizationssuchastheCTC(ConfederationofCubanWorkers)and theCDR(CommitteesfortheDefenseoftheRevolution).Felipeparticipatedin anamateurgrouporganizedbytheCTC. Whentherevolutionarrivedtheybegantotakethereligiousmusic tothetheater.TheybegantoorganizetheConjuntoFolklrico, butorientedbythem.Theybegantodosobecausetheyhad somethinginmind.Theyknewtherewasarichnessinthere.You know,thecommunistswereverysmart.Everythingtheydid,they diditwithpencilandpaper.Theyknewtherewasacultural richnessinthosetraditionsthattheywerenotexploiting,andthatit hadtobeexploited,yousee?Slowlytheybegantolookforthe rootsofthesetraditionsinordertoteachthemeventhoughFidel hadthereligionsclosedatthetime.Theyfirstcreatedtheamateur groups.Thatwasaround61or62.andaroundthattimethe ConjuntoFolklricoNacionalalsocameout.Theytookthebest theaterstheyhadinHavanatopresenttheConjuntoFolklrico there.ThestrongguyintheConjuntoFolklricowasaguywho wascalledFur,whoisfromMatanzas.13 Tocarryontheworkofresearch,selectionandtheatralizationoftheAfro Cubanmusicaltraditions,amodusoperandiwasdesignedthatconsistedof identifyingagroupofcarriersofaparticulartradition(e.g.,Arar,Lucum), establishingwithitsmembersthenecessaryrapport,andengagingoneormore ofthemasinformantsafterovercomingtheirmisgivingsandtheirsenseofthe secrecyofthetradition(Guerra1989:3037).Atthelocallevel,manyof theseinformantswereemployedinorganizingandtrainingamateurgroupsthat notonlyperformedinlocalfestivitiesbutalsoparticipatedinnationwide encountersoffolkloric

Page78 groups.Manyresearchersandmusicologistsviewedtherecruitmentofreligious practitionersintotheseamateurgroupsasawaytoincorporatethereal carriersofthesetraditionsintothemassivediffusionofthesepracticestoall thepopulation,despoiledfromtheirancientreligiousfunction(Vinueza1988: 5657). IworkedinoneofthoseamateurgroupsstagingtheSantera dances.AguynamedJessFernndez,whoworkedasan instructoroffolkloricmusic,camefromHavanatoMatanzas.He sawusplayinganddecidedtoorganizeagroupwithus.Because inMatanzasitwasveryeasytofindpeoplewhoknewthedances, thechants,andwhocouldplay.There,youcouldfindeverything easily.Youhadnoproblemingettingpeopletodosomething. Theywouldbedyingforanopportunitytodanceandplay.The groupwasfirstcalledCTCandthentheCommerceGroup.There wereaboutfifteenpeople,youngstersmostofthem.Theywere peoplethathadagoodnotationandallofthatpeoplefromthe schoolandsomepeoplefromwork. TherestofthegroupwasmadeupoffivepercussionistslikeFelipe,whowere familiarwiththemusicofSanterabecausetheyeitherweresanterosthemselves orcamefromfamilieswhereSanteriawaspracticed.Theyweretheoneswho taughttheothermembersofthegroupthedancestothedifferentorichas, contributedtothechoreography,andprovidedthemusicalaccompaniment. WewenttoHavanaandstagedEleguOgn,Yemay,Chang, Obataldifferentdances.Wewenttopresentitatthattheater thatisfacingtheCapitol.Moreover,therewemet,well,Ialready hadmetBennyMor,butthereIwasabletoembracehim.14 OrganizingaProfessionalFolkloricEnsemble Notwithstandingtheproblemsthatarosefromcentralizedculturalpoliciesand statecontrolledculturalinstitutions,thesocialiststatecreatedinCubaastable culturalinfrastructure,whichallowedmusicianslikeFelipetoearnaliving exclusivelyfrommusicandentitledthemtobenefitshithertounavailable.When theempresaFelipeworkedforwasdissolved,hewasabletoorganizehisown groupandgetitapprovedbythelocalculturalauthoritiesinMatanzas,although hehadrefusedan

Page79 offertobecomeapartymemberandwasknownbyeveryoneinMatanzasasa practicingpaleroandsantero.Moreover,hebecametheleader(therefore entitledtobetterpay)ofhisgroupeventhoughhedidnotcomplywiththe literacyrequirementsthatmanyconsideredimportanttoadvancementinthe musicfield,especiallyinthecaseoftheconductorordirectorofanensemble. Literacyrequirements,althoughconsideredanidealtostrivefor,werenot imposedonpopularandfolkloricmusicianslikeFelipe(Robbins1991:243). Thisgroup,Emikek,wasactiveuntilFelipeleftCubafortheUnitedStatesin 1980,anditbecameinthe1970soneofthemostprestigiousfolkloric ensemblesinMatanzas.15WhenFelipeleft,thegroupdissolved,andmanyof itsmembersjoinedotherfolkloricgroupsinCuba,suchasthefamous MuequitosdeMatanzas,theConjuntoFolklricoNacional,andAfro Cuba.16 IbegantoorganizeEmikekbecauseIdidn'tbelongtoanygroup butwasgettingpaidasaplantillamusician.OnemonthIwould signthepayrollofonegroup,thenextmonthofanother.Iknew thissituationwouldnotlast.SoIgottogetherwithmyfriend Cheo,whoworkedintheunionandhadthesameproblem,and wedecidedtoorganizeagroupourselves.Wegotthe percussionists,Amado,Cundo,Reinaldoandlookedfortwo womendancers.Weputtogethertheproject,wrotealetter,and hadsomeonetypeitandsendeverythingtoCultura.Theyliked theideabecausetherewereothergroupsinMatanzasthat performedrumbaandthattypeofmusic,buttheydidn'thavea groupthatwouldperformallthereligioustraditions.Thegroup wasapprovedandtheygaveussomeinstruments,andsome woodtobuildothers.Atthebeginning,whilewegotallthe instruments,outfits,andeverythingelseready,weperformed popularsongs.Thenwewereabletodothefirstpresentationof thereligiousmusic,organizedbyamanwhoworkedinCultura namedMoline. Thatwasaround1970.SowhenImadethegroupweneededa name.ItoldthepeopleinCultura:Thegroupisgoingtobecalled Emikek.Theyaskedme:Sowhatdoesthatmean?Ireplied: Man,itmeanssmallgroup,causetherearenotalotofpeople. BeforeItalkedtoCulturaIalreadyknewthemeaningofthename becauseOsvaldo,mycousin,17hadexplainedittome:That namehastwomeanings.Youcansayomikekbecauseitisa smallwaterspringandyoucansayemikek,whichissaying:I little,yousee?

Page80 NegotiatingtheLimitsofSecrecy AstheleaderofEmikek,Felipefacedproblemsthatarosefromthe decontextualizationofmusicaltraditionsthathadbeen,untilthen,partof religiousrituals.Apractitionerhimself,hehadtoconfrontotherpractitioners (santeros,paleros,andinparticularAbakus)astheydefinedandsometimes negotiatedthelimitsofsecrecy,whichisattheheartofthesereligious practices. AccordingtoFelipe,whentheculturalinstitutionsoftherevolutionary governmentbegantopresentdancesandmusicoftheAfroCubanreligious ritualsinpublic,thesanterosinMatanzasweredivided:Oldersanterosdidnot approveofthesetheatralizedperformances,whileyoungersanteroswere generallyopentotheidea.18Therewasalsoadifferenceinattitudebetween thesanterosinHavanaandthesanterosinMatanzas.InMatanzas,santeros tendedtobelessopenandheldmorestronglytothepracticeofsecrecy. BecauseofthenonhierarchicalcharacterofAfroCubanreligiouspractices,the lackofacodifiedorthodoxy,andthewayinwhichworshipisorganized(no centralauthoritybutratherindividualizedandsubjecttoreinterpretation),many groupsandindividualpractitionersfoundnoprobleminopeningupto researchersandparticipatinginthefolkloricensembles.Others,however,kept theirdoorsclosed. Evenbeforetherevolutioncame,theoldersanterosinMatanzas wereagainstthosepublicperformances.Therewereeventwo radiostations,RadioSuaritoandLaMilDiez,wheretheowners apparentlywerebelievers.SoforthefeastofLaMercedes,La Caridad,SanLzaro,andSantaBarbara,theywouldbringdrums tothestationandgivetoquesforthosesantos,andyoucouldhear themontheradio.Theoldersanteroswerealwaysbotheredby that.Theydidn'tlikeit. Thentherevolutioncameandtheytookourthingstothetheater. Initiallysanterosdidn'tlookatitfavorably,yousee?Becausethey thoughtthatitwaslikedoingprofanethings.Theoldersanteros werereallybothered.Withinthatgrouptherewasn'taculture, aconsensus,toadmitsomethinglikethatornot.Sointhose days,theseoldersanterosshowedthemselvesasrebelsagainst openingup.Theysaid:No!No!Howaretheygoingtodothat? Thenotherpeoplebegantodevelopaconsciousness.They realizedthatwiththesepresentationstheyweremakingthese traditionsin

Page81 ternational,thattheirculturewasgainingrecognition.Sothey loosenedupalittle.Itwasonlythenthatyoubegantoseepeople withdrumshangingfromtheirnecks,goingupanddownthe streets,andnobodyranawayfromthem.Before,whensomething likethishappened,peoplewouldcomeoutoftheirhouses shouting:No!No!,No!That'sthedevil. AttheFolklricoNacional,manyofthosepeopletherewere santeros.ButsanterosfromHavana,whichisdifferent.Look,they neverwenttotheinteriorsearchingforsanteros,becausemaybe FurexplainedtothemthesituationinMatanzas.Thesituationin MatanzaswasdifferentfromthatinHavana.PeopleinHavanaare usedtobeingit'sacityandtheyareeasiertoconvincethanthe peoplefromthecountryside.It'snotthatinthecountrysidepeople arelesscultured.InMatanzastherewerealotofgoodsanterosat thattimethatcameoutoftheuniversityandthingslikethat.But theycarriedtheirSanterastrongly.Becauseitseemsthatineach regionpeoplearebroughtupdifferently.InMatanzasitwasnever easytopresentthereligiousthingsinpublic.Butslowlythings changed,peoplebegantochangetheirmind.Peoplealsohadto changebecausetheyhadtolookforawaytosurvive,andthose concertsforpeoplewereajob,theywerework. WhenFelipedecidedtoorganizehisgroupEmikek,hehadtopresentand defendhispositioninfrontoftheoldersanteros. Itoldthem:ThisisnotdoneasSantera,thisisdoneasadidactic thing,toteachourroots.NowIgiveanexampleinafiestacle santo,noteveryoneseeswhatisdoneinsidetheroom,19but everybodycanbepartofthefiesta,whethertheyhavesantoor not.Weareallchildrenofsantoevenifwearenotsanteros.What weplayinafiestaismusicwithwhichwearesendingamessage toOlofi,toasupremebeinginwhomwebelieve,toGod,OK? Everybodyhastherighttoparticipateinthataccordingtotherules ofSantera. Becausewhatwepresentintheconcertsisdance,anddancecan beseenbyanyone.Yougotoafiestaclesantoandyousee everybodydancingyouseethedrums,youseeeverything.Now, ifyouholdaceremonyatthetheaterwithplants,withanimals, withthepeople,withtherequiredthingsthatareusedinthe roomthenyouareprofaning.Butwearenotgoingtodothat. Weareonlyshowingorteachingwhatcanbeseen.

Page82 Manyoftheoldergenerationofsanterosnevercametotermswiththesepublic performances.However,Felipe'smothergavehimhersupport. WhenIstartedinCulturaitwasajob,likemanyoftheotherjobs Ihad.Mymothernevertoldmenottodosuchthings.Shesaidto me:Whatyoushouldnotpresentaretheceremonies,butthe restit'syourjob.Andshesupportedmeinthat,butnot everyoneisthesame. Eventhoughtherewasoppositionamongpalerosandsanteroswithregardto theperformanceoftheirritualmusicanddancesinpublic,theyweremoreopen thanthemembersofthedifferentAbakaplantesthatwereactiveinMatanzas, becauseofthemoresecretivecharacteroftheseallmalesocieties.Felipe includedsomeAbakumusicanddancesinthefirstimportantconcertofhis groupEmikek.TheConjuntoFolklricoNacionalhadstagedthefirstpublic presentationofAbakutraditionsin1964,organizedbyArgeliersLen.This presentationgeneratedalotofdiscontentintheAbakujuegosdiscontent thatwasmanifestedbysomeoftheAbakusaftertheperformance. WhenIbegantopreparefortheAbakuconcertinMatanzas, manyoftheAbakuwerefuming.Peopleweretellingme:Hey, look,becarefulcausetheyaregoingtokillyou.Isaid:Butto killmetheywouldhavehadtokillthepeopleoftheFolklrico Nacionalfirst. TheAbakawentaroundtellingothers:Wearegoingtoseewhat isitthathedoes,whatishegoingtosay,howandwhatishe goingtopresentinthetheater. IknewtheAbakuweregoingtocometoseewhatIwasgoing topresenttocheckiftherewasaceremony,orsomethingthat shouldn'tbeshown.ButIwasnotplanningtodoceremonies,I wasnotgoingtodoanythingthatwassecret.Itwasawhatdo youcallthat?aconcert,aseparateconcert,notreligiousandnot ofaprofanecharacter. FelipefirsthadtogainthesupportoftheAbakugrouptowhichhebelonged, becauseheknewtheycouldthenhelphimfaceanyoppositionfrommembers ofotherjuegos. Ifmyjuego,aswecallit,somehowrepressedme,everybodywas goingtoshutmeout.ButifIhadthesupportofmyjuegoIwas notgoingtohave

Page83 alotofproblems.IhadsomepowerinmyAbakuijuego.Soif themembersofotherjuegostriedtoblockme,Iwouldblock theminmyownjuego. MyjuegosupportedmewhenIsaidwhatIsaid.ButIhadtobe carefulwiththewayIsaidthingstothem.Becauseyousee,Iwas theonethatsewedandmadealltheritualoutfitsformyjuego.I didn'twantthemtothinkthatIwastryingtogetawaywith somethinginexchangefortheworkIdidforthem.Ibeganwitha storythatwhatthewholethingisallaboutisplaying,singing, sayingaprayer,andthat'sthat.Singingandplayingandsayinga prayerthereintheplanteisseenbywomenandisseenby everyone.Becausewhenyoudoaplante,everyonecomesin becauseit'sapubliccelebration.Youcan'ttellanybodynotto comein.Ifyoufeellikecomingin,youcancomein.Youevensee touristsnowadaystheretakingshots.Butnoonecancomeinto theroomwherewehavethesecrets.SoIwasnotgoingtodo anythingofwhatisdoneinsidetheroom,Iwasgoingtopresent onlywhatisdoneoutside.20 Youallhavetodecideandtellmeifit'srightorwrong.Anyway, IhavetotellyouthatIthinkthisisright.Thatifyouaregoingto repressmesomehow,IwantyoutoknowthatIdoitbecauseit's myjob.PerformingmusicishowIlookfortheeverydaybreadfor mychildrennotonlythefoodformychildrenbutthesupportof thethingsofmyreligion.IfIdon'tearnmoney,howwouldIpay herethequotasintheAbakusociety?HowwouldIgivea religiousfiesta?Iamgoingtodoit,andI'mmakingitclearhere thatI'mnotgoingtoprofaneit.I'mnotgoingtodoanyofthe profoundAbakuorSanteraceremoniesinpublicoranything. AndmyAbakugroupunderstood. AnotheroftheargumentsFelipeusedtosupporthispositionwasthatofusing theseperformancesasameansofeducatingthepublic,whichinitswayserved todefendtheAbakufromthewidespreadprejudicesagainstigosinCuba thatprevailedbothbeforeandaftertherevolution.Duringthewholehistoryof thesesocietiesinCuba,theyhavebeendiscriminatedagainstandpersecuted morethanotherAfroCubanreligiouspractices.Thiscontinuedtobethecase duringthefirstdecadesoftherevolution,whenthesesocietieswereconsidered thesiteofcriminalandantirevolutionaryactivity. PeopleusedtosaythattheAbakusweredrunkards,and murderers,andcriminals.ThingswerealsotoughfortheAbaku becausetheAbaku

Page84 havethereputationthattheynevertalk,theyprotecteachother. Soaftertherevolution,whentheystoppedpeopleinthestreetor tookthemtoprison,theywouldimmediatelybeginasking:Are youanAbaku?Becauseweknowyouguysdon'ttalk,buthere youaregoingtotalk.ThankGodIwasneverstopped,because therewasablackguardintheprisoninMatanzas,whomthey usedtocalltheasthmatic,thatwassomethingelse.Heusedto hitpeoplewithchains. SoIexplainedtomyAbakujuegothatwhatIwoulddowiththe concertswastoteachpeoplewhowereallywere.Thecultureof theAbaku,thecultureofourreligion,iswhatIwouldteach.I wouldnotshowinapublicperformancehowwearesworninto thesociety,norhowweinitiateanewmemberorgivearankto someone.Iwouldteachjustdanceandmusic.Iwoulduseonly theaccessoriesandobjectsthatcomeouttothelivingroom[the publicroom].Whatisseenbyanybodythatgoestothepublic fiesta.Thethreecanes:theonethathasthefigureofagoatontop, andtheotherswiththemoonandthesun.Sopeoplecanbetold andlearnwhattheyrepresent.Theyrepresentjustice.Oneisthe districtattorney,theotherthejudgeandtheotherthelawyer.The defenseattorneyisthemoon.Thegoat,thatisthedistrictattorney, andthesunisthejudge.Andthebigcrownwiththefeathers representsthechurch,andthepriests,yousee? Andthereisadrumforcallingtoorderwhenthatdrumpasses infrontofwherethemenare,iftheyarewearingahattheyhave totakeitoff.Becauseit'saninstrumentoforder.Theycanbevery upset,somuchsothattheywanttokilleachother,butiftheyare Abakuandtheyarefightingandthatinstrumentarrivesandthey playitandsay:Thisisfinishednow!Then,notawordissaid. Eventhebullies,thebulliesdoit,theyshutupbecausetheytook anoathonthatdrum.Thatdrumistheempeg,that'showthey callit,it'sadrumthatrepresentsorder,it'saworkoforder.The fiestabeginswithitandthefiestaendswithit.Andso,ifyoudon't saythattothepublic,thepublicthinksthatthecanesaretherefor whenatragedyforms,totakethosesticksandhitsomeoneon theheadandkillhim,yousee?Andthat'snotlikethat. Soitwasdonethatway.Itgotreallygood,becauseitwasina hallofthesocietyofphysiciansthatwascalledtheSalaWhite, Fidelnameditthatway.Inthathallit'snotlikeyoucanjust presentanything,becauseit'saluxurioushallandconcertsbygreat pianistsandbigshowswerepresentedthere.Whenwefinished thepresentationandIwentouteverybodywas

Page85 veryhappy:Thatwasrightbecauseyouwerelettingpeople know.Theysaythatweigos,thatweeatpeople,thatwetake thechildrenaway,andyouweretellingpeoplethatitwasnotlike that. Onewondersifthereinterpretationoftheirreligiouspracticesandthe negotiationanddebatesonthelimitsofsecrecythatpractitionerslikeFelipe undertookwouldhavetakenplaceifthepressuretomakealivingandthe opportunitytoresolvethismatterbybecomingaculturalworkerinthefolkloric ensemblesthatstagedthemusicaltraditionsofhisreligionhadnotexisted. However,santeroshavealwaysbeenflexibleandreadytoadapttheirtraditions totheeverchangingcircumstancesoftheirenvironment,astrategythathas allowedthemtosurvive,asasubculturalgroup,thenumerousstruggleswiththe hegemonicforcesthathavecontrolledthecountryinwhichtheylivedfirstthe Spanish,thenthepowerfulwhitecreoleswhodeclaredindependenceand organizedtherepublic,thentheoccupyingforcesoftheUnitedStates,and finallytherevolutionaryforcesthatestablishedthesocialiststate. PerformingOtherAfroCubanSecularandSacredDrummingStyles Emikek,likeotherfolkloricgroupsinCuba,gavedemonstrationsand performedmanyofthesacredandsecularAfroCubanstylesofdrumming, dances,songs,andchants.Seculargenressuchastherumbawereamust. However,other,lesswellknownseculargenresofCongooriginlinkedtothe religiousgroupknowninCubaaspalerosmakuta,yuka,andmanwere alsoincludedintherepertoire.Thegroupalsoperformedreligiousgenresthat Felipewasfamiliarwithbeforetherevolution:ArarandIyes. AlthoughFelipehadneverplayedararandiyesinareligiouscontext,hewas familiarwiththesestylesofdrummingandwiththereligiouspracticesthatwere attheirbasis.ThecabildoofFelipe'sfamilyhadstronglinkswiththeonly survivingIyescabildoinMatanzas.Felipehadalsoparticipatedinnumerous ArarceremoniesaftertheArarfromthecityofMatanzasopenedthedoors totheLucum.However,thoughthiswasthecasewithmostofthemembersof Emikek,the

Page86 samedidnotapplytomanyofthefolkloricensemblesorganizedafterthe revolution.Manyoftheseensemblesincludedpeoplewhohadnolinktothe AfroCubanreligiouspracticesorwhohadconnectionswithonlyoneofthem yethadtoperformthemusicanddancesofalltheotherreglas.Manyofthese performersweretrainedinprofessionalschools,outsidethetraditionalsystem ofapprenticeshipthatistightlylinkedtothecontextofreligiousceremoniesand rituals.Intheseschools,themusicalaspectsofthetraditionsweretaught withoutanyreferencetothesystemofreligiousbeliefsthatwasattheirbasis. I'mabatalero,andbeforetherevolutionIdidn'tplayararor iyesforrituals.EventhoughIknewhowtoplayararandiyes, IdidnotplayintheirritualsbecauseIwasnotpartofthose cabildos.Therewereotherdrummerswhoplayedwiththem,but notme.Still,Icouldplayararandiyesforaconcertof Cultura.21IfIhadtoplaywithanyarar,theywouldletmeplay becauseIknewwhatIwasdoing.IwasawareofwhatIwas abouttoplay.Inmygroupweplayediyesandwealsoplayed arar.Iknewthoserhythmsfromhavingheardthemsomany times,soIusedmyear.BecauseIhaveaspecialear,andI played.BecauseyouseeI'mamusicianamusicologist,ha!ha! ha! Andtheyusedtobringmespecialpeople,sothatIwouldgive demonstrationsofbat,anddemonstrationsofararandrumba. Andwehadtodothecyclesyousee?Theiyes,thearar,the batcycles.TheybroughtpeoplefromAfricawhoalsowentto Havana,andtheycomparedwhattheyheardinHavanawithwhat wasplayedinMatanzas.Theyusedtosaythatthestuffin Matanzaswasstronger,thatitlookedmoreoriginal. Likemanyotherrevolutionarypolicies,strategies,andprocesses,theprocessof selectingandpresentingonstagethemusicaltraditionsoftheAfroCuban religions,orreglas,hasundergonemanychangesduringthelifetimeofthe revolution.Intheinitialperiod,themusicalgroupshadmanymemberswho eitherwerepractitionersoforhadcloselinkstotheAfroCubanreligious practices.Duringthisperiodaseparategroupofperformerswasusedtostage themusicofeachregla:oneforSantera,anotherfortheArar,andsoforth.In time,manyofthemembersofthesefolkloricgroupswerecomingfromthe performingschoolsthathadbeenopenedaftertherevolutionandhadno personallinkstothereligiouspractices.Thegroupsbecamelessspecial

Page87 izedandwereexpectedtoperformalltheAfroCubanmusicaltraditions, sometimeswithinthesameconcert. ArgeliersLen,creditedfortheinstitutionalizationofthesestagedversionsof theAfroCubanreligiousrituals,consideredtheearlyperformancesofthe 1960sauthenticpresentationsofthetraditionsperformerswerebelievers deeplyinvolvedinthereligions.Incontrast,heviewedthepresentationsoflater decadesprimarilyasentertainmentandspectacle(Hagedorn1995:23436). Withstageexposureinevitablycomesaestheticization.AfroCubanreligious practicesbecomematerialforartistic(re)creationand(re)interpretation. Dissociatedfromtheirritualandreligiouscontexts,thesetraditionsare decontextualized,secularized,andsimplifiedtomeetthedemandsofthetheater. Secrecyandmysteryarelosttoglamorandtechnicalperfection.Themusicand danceofthesetraditionsnowarelearnedinperformingschoolswithhardlyany referencetothereligiousworldtheybelongto.

PerformingAfroCubanReligiousMusicinPrivateRitual Contexts
ThepositionoftheCubangovernmentonreligioningeneral(beitAfroCuban, Catholic,Protestant,orJewish)hasevolvedthroughaseriesofstages characterizedbyattitudesandapproachesthatrangefromhostilityto accommodationandacceptance,amixtureoftolerancewithselective repressionandcontrol(Eckstein1994:25). Withthetriumphoftherevolution,numerousperformancesofAfroCuban music(includingreligiousmusic)werefeaturedthroughoutthecountryin festivalsthatwereorganizedtopayhomagetotherevolutionaryarmy. PerformancessuchastheoneorganizedattheplazaofHavana'scathedral, underthetitleTheVoiceThatWasNotSilenced,andaconcertorganizedat theNationalTheaterbyArgeliersLenarejusttwoexamplesofthenumerous performancesofAfroCubanmusicthatfollowedtherevolution(CCS 1982:16465).FelipeparticipatedinonesuchfestivalorganizedbyLzaro Pea,whohadbeenanimportantleaderofthelabormovementinCubabefore therevolutionandwasthefounderoftheCTC.Pea,whowasamemberof theCommunistPartybefore1959,wasoneofthefewblackstooccupyahigh

Page88 positionofleadershipduringtheearlyyearsoftherevolution.Hewasalsoan initiatedsanteroandbelongedtothehouseofArcadio,awellknownsantero fromGuanabacoa. LikeayearafterBatistafell,agreategbwasheld,authorizedby thegovernment.LzaroPeawastheonewhoauthorizedit.That bigfiestathatwascelebratedinGuanabacoa'sstadium.The stadiumwasoneoftheheadquarters,butthemainheadquarters wasthecemetery.Thegovernmentgavehorsestomarchthrough thestreets,theygaveeverything.Itwastocelebrateamassforall ofthosewhohaddiedintherevolutionanditwascalledtheGreat Egb.Thereweresheep,goats,andsuchwalkingthroughthe streetincostume,withtheirmanteles[decoratedaprons],and thosewhitehorses.Thedrummersfrommyhousewenttoplay intheGreatEgb.Weweretherewithallthecabildosthatplayed. WealsoplayedinthehouseofArcadio,thatwascalledthehouse ofthebrujoofGuanabacoa,thatwasthesocietyofSaint Anthony.22 Aftertheinitialenthusiasm,aperiodofconsolidationoftherevolutionfollowed inwhich,asoccurredintheculturalfield,thegovernmenttookthepositionthat anyactivityconsideredtobeopposedtotherevolutionwouldbebannedor persecuted.Thegovernment'srelationswiththevariousreligiouscommunities duringthisperiodweretense,andinsomecaseshostile.AfroCubanreligious practiceswerediscouraged,whennotexplicitlyforbidden.ManyAfroCuban housetemplesandtheAbakusecretsocietieswereaccusedofbeingthefocus ofantirevolutionaryactivities.Consequently,themeetingsofthesetypesof groupsinitiallywerebannedandlaterweresubjectedtoapprovalofthelocal authorities(Barnet1988:57). Whentherevolutionarrivedeverythingclosed.Afterwardthey formedabureau,atleastinMatanzas,butbeforethebureau everythingwasclosed.Youknowwecouldn'tplay,santos couldn'tbemade,Abakuwasnotplanted,nothing.Wedidsome SanteraandPalo,butinhiding,youunderstand?Becausewe evenhadchildrendosantosecretly. ItwasworsewiththeAbaku.WhenFidelarrived,allourthings, allthefurnishingsthatwehad,gotruinedwecouldn'tfunction foraboutfouryears.Wehadeverythinglockedinaroom. Later,thepartyhadtocallpeople.Theywouldgiveyouasmall paper

Page89 summoningyoutotheMinistryoftheInterior:Presentyourselfat theMinistryoftheInterior,withoutexcuseorpretext.Whenyou wenttotheMinistryoftheInteriortheywouldtalktoyou:We knowthatyouareasantero.Yes.Andwhydon'tyouhave anyfiestas?Becauseyoudon'tgivethepermits.Well,you knowyoucan'tmake[initiate]children,youcan'tmakethisand that.Wearegoingtomakeabureau.Thentheybegantoaskfor pictures,andeverybodybeganbringingthepicturesandthey begangivingthepermits,yousee?23 Youhadtogetyourpermitthirtydaysinadvanceandtellthem whatthingsyouweregoingtodoandwhatsantoyouweregoing tomakeand,andbringapictureofthepersonwhowasmaking santo.Youhadtotellthemhowmanychickensyouweregoingto kill,howmanyroostersyouweregoingtokill,howmanypeople werecomingtothehouse.Theproblemwasthattheydidn'twant anymeetingsinthehouses.Sotheyaskedalotofquestions.They wouldinterrogatethepersonIwasgoingtoinitiateinfrontofme. Theywouldask:Isheintimidatingyouorwhat?Howmuchishe chargingyouforthis?Whyareyougoingtomakesanto?andso on.Thentheywouldcontinue:Look,thinkitoverwellbecauseif youmakesantorightnowthenyouwon'tbeabletobelongtoany oftheinstitutionsoftherevolution.Evenwhenpeopleinsisted:I amnotinterestedinbelongingtoanyrevolutionaryinstitution.I wanttodosantobecauseit'smytradition,theywouldcontinue askingthemgarbage. Duringthisperiod,membersofanyreligiousgroupwerebarredfromthe CommunistParty.Religiousaffiliationcouldalsohinderoccupational advancementandjeopardizeadmissiontouniversityprogramsandselective highschools(Rabkin1991:189).Therefore,itwasnotinfrequentthatsanteros wouldholdceremoniesandinitiateyoungsterswithoutauthorization. Wemadeoneortwosantoswithpermissionandtwoorthree withoutpermission,thoseweretheyoungstersbecauseyou couldn'tinitiateyoungsters.Theyhadtobeadults,becausethey saidthatifayoungsterthenwantedtojointhepartytomorrow,he wouldn'tbeabletodoso. AccordingtoFelipe,insomehousetemples,becauseoftheirconnectionsto membersoftheparty,unauthorizedceremoniesweremoretherulethanthe exception.

Page90 Atthatstage,therewasplacewheretheyplayedwithout permission,itwasinthehouseofArcadio.24Thathappenedwhile LzaroPeawasalive.LzaroPeawasacompadreofArcadio andhehadmadeObatalandthat'swhyhedidn'ttightenalot thebusinessoftheSanteriainHavana.BecauseLzarobelonged tothehouseofArcadio.Abigpictureofhimwasplacedthereat theentrance.LzaroPeawasblack,youknow?Hewastheone whomadeallthose[labor]lawsthatFidelhas.Therewerealso otherpeoplethatwerewithFidelinthesierra,thatpeoplesaythey werebrujeros.TherewasonecalledelGranPle,thatguywalked aroundthesierrawithoutshoesornothing,andhewasoneofthe oneswhohelpedFidel. WhenFelipeorganizedEmikek,hewasalsodoingvolunteerwork administeringadiningfacilityforthepartyinMatanzas.Hewasthenaskedto becomeamemberoftheparty. Tomethey[theparty]three,four,sixtimestheycalledme.At thattimeIwasworkinginCulturaandIalsoattendedadinerthat belongedtothem.Ididthatvoluntarily,outsideofmyregularjob. Iworkedsomanyhours,andmybehaviorwithpeoplewasgood. Sotheycalledme.Itwasasthoughtheywantedtopromoteme, youknow?Theydidn'taskmeanythingaboutthereligion,Iwas theonewhowassupposedtotellthem.Becauseafterthe interviewfollowsaninvestigation.ThefirsttimeIjustanswered: No,no,Ican'tbelong. Anothertimetheycalledmeandtoldme:Well,wearegoingto haveameetingandyouaregoingtoexplaintousthereasonwhy youdon'twanttobelong.ItwasthenIfinallyhadtosay:Look, Idon'twanttodeceiveyoubecauseIdoworkhere,butme,I don'tlikepolitics.IsaidIdidn'tlikepoliticssoIwouldn'thaveto sayIdidn'tlikecommunism.ThenIwenton:Iknowyouare goingtotellmeitdoesn'tmatterthatIamreligious,becauseyou thinkIdon'tgototheritualsanymore,thatIhaverenouncedthat already.ItistruethatatthattimeIhadsomuchworkthatthey couldverywellthinkIhadnotimetogotoritualsbutIalways foundthetime.Ialwayswenttomyhousewhentheywere playing,IwouldgotoanAbakuplante,IwouldgotoarumbaI wentwhereverIwanted. FinallyIhadtotellthem:I'mnotgoingtochangewhatI've knownallmylifeforsomethingIdon'tknow.I'mnotgoingto leavemyreligionnow,becausetomorrowyouaregoingto reproachmeforthatyourselves.You

Page91 see,therevolutionarrivedin59andIwasbornin31,underthat thingthatnowyousaydoesn'texistofSantera,ofbrujera [witchcraft],ofAbaku,andallofthat.ThatiswhatIwasborn seeingandthis[communism]isnewforme.Myreligionisoldfor meandyourthingisnew.Putyourselfinmyposition.Itisasifyou werenowtorenounceyourthingtogointomine,whichyoudon't knowanythingabout.It'sanewthingforyou,no?SoIdon't understandwhyIhavetorenounce.Myfeelingstellmenottodo it,becausetomorrow,inthesamewaythatI'mbetrayingmy religion,I'mgoingtobetrayyou,andIdon'twanttobeatraitor eithertomyreligionortoyouforthatreasonIcan'tjointhe party. Theydidn'twantreligiouspeopleintheparty.Buttherewere manypeoplewhowerereligious,sotheywouldlie:No,no,noI threweverythingaway.Becauseforthemtobeabletobe acceptedasmembersofthepartytheyhadtotakeallthereligious thingsandthrowthemaway.Sowhatmanysanterosdidwasto pickupstonesanywhereandthrowthoseaway,pretendingthey werethesacredstonesfromthesoperas. Tothereligiousindividual,theinterestorsupportthegovernmentshowed towardtheartisticmanifestationsoftheAfroCubanreligionsmeantlittle:Many partymembersstillviewedthereligiousbeliefsthemselvesassubculturesthat belongedtoalegacyofignoranceandunderdevelopmentthatwouldbe overcomewithsocialism.Prohibition(insubtleandnotsosubtledisguises), exclusion(fromemployment,frommembershipintheparty,etc.),andprejudice forcedmanysanterostoclandestinepractice,yetthenumberofinitiates continuedtogrow. Iwouldseepeoplefromthepartymakingsantoinhiding,they weremakingsanto.Isaaaawit!Becausewewereintothatand weusedtoplayfortheceremonies.WhenIplayed,Iplayedall overtheplace.IfIhadanimportanttambor,Iwouldgotothe doctorandhavehimgivemeacertificatesayingIwassick.ThenI woulddropworkandgotothetoque.Inoneofthosetoques,ina placethatiscalledtheNavedeMarianao,allthepeoplethatwere presentedtothedrumshadtheredcard[partyIDcard].They allmadesantoandthentheywereallinthatroom,likethirtyor fortypeople.Whenwebegantoplaytheorothemadrina [godmother]toldus:Playjustonechantgentlemen,onlyone chantthatthispeopleareinahurry.Thenthebigcarsarriving andallofthemgettinginandleaving.

Page92 Theyhadtohidethefactthattheywereinitiatedsotheydidn'tuse thebeads.25Alsowhentheymadesantoinsteadofshavingall theirhair,theywoulddoacrown.Otherscameupwiththestory thatIgotlice,soIhadtoshavemyhair.Theyhadtowaitand taketheirleavesfromworkforsevendaysinordertomakethe santo,buttheydidit. Inthe1970samoreconciliatorytonecharacterizedthepronouncementsofthe governmentonreligion,aswhentheCubanEducationalandCulturalCongress declaredreligiontobeaprivatematter,outsidethepurviewofthestate.In 1976theconstitutionguaranteedthefreedomtoprofessanyreligiousbelief. Duringthisdecade,theoppositionalattitudeofthegovernmenttowardAfro Cubanreligionrelaxed,andthesepracticesbecameofficiallytolerated.Other, parallelandconnectedactionsmakethistheAfricandecade:Duringthis periodCubaintensifiedmilitaryandeconomicinvolvementwithliberation movementsinAfrica,andculturalexchangebetweenAfricaandCubawhich CastronowdefinedasanAfroLatinnationfollowedsuit. DevelopmentssuchasarenewedinterestinallthingsAfricanthatthetroops returningfromAfricabroughthome,26increasednumbersofAfricanstudents educatedinCuba'seducationalinstitutions,andnumerousculturalandpolitical exchangesbetweenCubaandthenationsofAfricadefinitivelycontributedto theprocessofAfricanization,orreAfricanization,oftheculturaland religioustraditionsofCuba'sblackpopulationandhelpedintegrateCuba culturallyintotheglobalPanAfricanistdiscourseofthediaspora.Alogical offshootofthiswasthegrowingdiscourseonreturntotheroots,Africaasa motherland,andreinterpretationoftheAfroCubanreligiousheritage,a discoursethathasbeengainingstrengthsincethe1980S.27 AfterFelipeleftCubain1980,aradicalchangetookplaceintherelations betweenthegovernmentandtheCatholicandProtestantchurches,paralleled byasimilarrapprochementwithpractitionersoftheAfroCubanreligions.An OfficeofReligiousAffairs,attachedtotheCentralCommitteeoftheCommunist Party,wasestablishedin1984,andanAfroCubanscholar,JoseCarneado Rodriguez,wascalledtoheadit.WideexposurewasgiventoAfroCuban religiouspracticesinthemedia,andCarneadonotonlyorganizedmeetingswith severalbabalaosbutofficiallyinvitedtoCubatheYorubaleadertheOoniofthe lf,AlaiyeluwaObaOkunadeSijuwadeOlubuseII,whovisitedthe

Page93 countryin1986andmetwithtoprankinggovernmentofficials.28Alsoduring the1980s,thefirstinstitutionalizedgroupofAfroCubanpriestscameinto existencewhenseveralbabalaoscreatedaculturalreligiousgroupcalledIf Yesterday,IfToday,IfTomorrow(GranmaInternational,February28, 1988). ThesedaysinCubatheladsaremakingAbaku,arebecoming palerosandaremakingeverything.Becausenowtheyacceptit nowitdoesn'tmatterifI'mapalero,orifI'mwhatever.Thisis nowwiththenewconstitutionthatFidelmade.Abarefacedthat Fidel,ha!ha!ha!Itisbecauseheknowsthatsanteroshavea power,thattherearemanyofthem,sohedecidedtoletthemin. Theprocessofrapprochementbetweenthesocialiststateandthevarious religiousgroupsinCubawasinstitutionalizedin1991,whentheFourthParty CongressoftheCubanCommunistPartyapprovedthemotionthatreligious membershipofanykindshouldbenobartopartymembership.In1992the CubanConstitutionwasreformed,declaringthecountryasecularratherthanan atheiststate(Bunck1994:60,86).Animportanteventinthe1990sthat signaledthestate'sdecreasingoppositiontoreligionwasPopeJohnPaulII's visittoCubainJanuary1998,morethanadecadeafterthevisitoftheYoruba OonioftheIf. The1990shavealsobeenanimportantandactivedecadefortheofficialand publicstatusoftheAfroCubanreligions.In1992theFourthInternational CongressofOrishaTraditionandCulturetookplaceinHavana,organizedby theYorubaCulturalAssociationofCuba.DelegatesfromtheUnitedStates, PuertoRico,Benin,andNigeriajoinedCubanbelievers,religiousleaders, dignitaries,practitioners,ethnologistsandsocioreligiousresearchers,mostof themfromtheAcademyofSciencesofCuba,indiscussionsandconferences. GuidedvisitstothemuseumsofRegla,Guanabacoa,andtheAfricaHouseand adrumceremonydedicatedtoChangwerepartoftheevent(Garca1992). The1990salsosawthepublicationinCubaofscholarlyworksonAfroCuban religionsandcultureandneweditionsoftheworksofOrtz.Aseriesofbooks ontheorichas,divinationsystems,andAfroCubancuisinewerewrittenby NataliaBolivar,anactivememberintheculturalinstitutionsoftherevolution sincethe1960s,whoprovidedinthesebooksanswerstomanyquestionsthat werefrequentlyposedtoplay

Page94 wrightsandculturalworkerswhentheyfeaturedthesetraditionsonstageorin theirwork(Colina1991). Inthetransformedofficialatmosphere,itisinterestingtonotethecontrast betweenthenoninstitutionalizedwayinwhichritualfamilieslikeFelipe's continuetopracticetheirreligionandthemoreliterate,written, intellectualized,andinstitutionalizedpracticesofpeoplewhohavelinkstothe governmentortoculturalandeducationalinstitutions.Onebeginstowitness developmentssuchasofficiallyrecognizedorganizationsofbabalaos(aconcept foreigntoSanterainCubauntilrecently,andonethatintroducestheideaof hierarchyand,tosomeextent,orthodoxy)thatthegovernmentchoosesfor meetingswithspiritualleadersfromNigeria,andmeetingsofpractitioners, scholars,andresearcherstodebatereligiousissuesinpublicforums.Onesuch meeting,theYorubaconferenceof1992,waslabeledbytheofficialnewspaper ofthepartyinCubatobeamilestoneintherelationshipbetweenscientistsand believers.AccordingtoAnbalArgelles,aspecialistinreligionatthe AcademyofScienceofCuba,believersneedresearchersinordertodiscover theirroots(Garca1992).WhileFelipeandhisfamilyhaveneverconsidered themselvesanythingbutsanterosandcontinuetorefertothedeitiesthey worshipusingLucuminamesandnamesofCatholicsaintsalternately,without anyuneasinessorqualmsaboutissuessuchassyncretismandpurity,themajor causeofdisagreementattheYorubaconferencewastherefusalofmany believerstoaccepttermslikeSanteraandsyncretismtorefertotheYoruba religion(Lucumisatermofthepast)(Garca1992).29

SearchingforAlternatives:BecomingaCraftsmanof ReligiousObjects
Afterfouryearsofinactivity,theritualobjectsoftheAbakugroupFelipe belongedtohaddeteriorated,sometothepointofbeingunusable.Whenthe groupstartedmeetingagaininthelate1960s,Felipedecidedtoreconstituteall theritualparaphernaliaofhisjuego.Intheprocess,hegainedexperienceanda reputationamongotherAbakugroups,whobegantocallhimtodosimilar artisanworkforthem. Earlierinhislife,Felipehaddevelopedhisartisanskillsbycraftingritualobjects forhiscasadeochaandhadbeentaughtbyhisfatherhow

Page95 tocraftmanyoftheritualobjectsusedbypaleros.Felipehadkeptthisactivity privateandfreeofcharge.Duringtherevolution,however,hestartedearning moneybymanufacturingritualobjectsforpeopleoutsidehisritualfamilycircle, anactivitythatwouldbecomeextremelyimportantasasourceofincomewhen heemigratedtotheUnitedStates. IearnedmoreinmyhousethanwhatIearnedinculture,you see?IbeganmakingcraftsandsoIlivedbetter.Theywere thingsIdidwithmyownhands,theyareartisan'sthings. AtthebeginningIdidn'tsellthem.Iusedtodothemformyhouse, forthedrums.IkeptthedrumsbeautifulIbegantoworkduring therevolutionobjectsforAbaku:clothes,muones[staff decoratedwithfeathers]coveringeribs,hatsdecoratingthings forpeople.Fixingtheoutfitsofthedignitaries.Iwouldhaveto takeapiecefromanoldonebecausenomorematerialcouldbe foundinventing,makinganotherfromlittlepiecesoffabric, patchesthatIfoundIcharged,butnotalot.Ididn'tdomany otherthingsbecausetherewerenobeadsavailableduringthose daystherewasnothing. ItallbeganwhentheAbakubegantomoveagain,giving meetings,andalltherest.Iwentandcollectedallthethingsofour juegothatwereruinedandbegantodothemalloveragain.I hadn'tdonethatbefore,neverhadIdoneitnottheobjectswith feathersorthelike.IbeganworkingIwouldpickuponeofthe objectsandIwouldloosenitall.AfterIhadloosenedit,I:How doIfixthis?Ha!Ha!Ha!Meinsideofmyself:HowdoIfix this?AndIwentovertheretothehouse.Atthattimewehad boughtsomefabric,andItookapieceandIbegan.Iwenttothe houseofmyoldladyandIclosedmyselfinaroomthere:tintintin tintin.ThefollowingweekwegaveameetingandItookoneof thepieces.ThenIbegantakingalltheoutfitswithme.Ibegan cutting,andthrowingapiecethere,andImadeallnewoutfitsand things. Iwouldinvent.FromsmallpiecesoffabricIbegansewing,I begansewingandImadesixteenoutfits.Wehadsetaquotaof fiftypesos.SowhenIlaiddownmyfiftypesostheytoldme:No, youdon'thavetolaydownanythingbecauseyouareworkingfor us.Ireplied:No,thisfixingtheoutfits,etceteraI'mdoing forfree.BecauseIwantthespiritofmyfatherandmyuncletosee theirthingsagainastheyusedtobe.Anditreallybecamea reality.Wegaveabigfiesta,abigfiestawithfoodandeverything. Wegaveawaybeerandfinesweetsforthekids.Theneveryone

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OCLC NetLibrary; printed on 4/21/2010 6:15:37 AM via Palm Beach County Library System eISBN:9781566397308; Vlez, Mara Teresa. : Drumming for the Gods Account: 26342813

Page96 begantolookformetofixtheirritualobjects,soIdidthesame foralltheotherjuegosbutthistimeIchargedthem. TherewasaguycalledMario,whowastheonlyonethatdid Abakuthings.Hebegancallingmetogooutwithhimtowork Abakuaround,becausehesaidthatIwasaveryspiritualperson fortheAbaku,thatIhadthatIknewhowtowork.Yousee, I'manAbaku,andformeanyotherjuegoislikemyown.Ifthey havemoneyIcandothethingsforthembutiftheydon'tIdo themallthesame. IwouldneverfinishtellingyouabouttheAbakuoutfitsthatI madeforthepresentationofourgroup.Icouldn'tsellthemorgive themaway.Thetourists,whentheyarrivedinVaradero,wanted tobuythemanyway.TheysnatchedthemTakeitoff!Giveitto me!Howmuchdoyouwant?TakeitoffthatI'llbuyit.Whatever youwant,dollars,whateveryouwantthere.Howmuchisit?But Icouldn'tgiveittothembecause,howwasIsupposedtoturn backwithouttheoutfitstogiveanotherpresentation?Alsoatthat timeIdidn'thavethementalitythatIhavenow.NowIwouldhave madeoutfitsforthepleasureofit,andIwouldhavethemthere justincase.Iwasn'tthinkingyoualwayshaveitinyourmindto tryandlivealittlebitbetterbut,Iwasn'tthinking.AndalsoIfelt repressedbywhatcouldhappen,yousee?Thattheycouldsend metoprisonorsomethinglikethat. Intheforegoingnarrative,oneseesthebeginningofaprocessof commodification.AlthoughatthistimeFelipecouldnotsellhiscreationswithout runningintotrouble,latermanystoresinCubabegantosellthesetypeof craftstotourists.CommodificationofAfroCubanculturewasnotstrong whileFelipestilllivedinMatanzasitdevelopedlater,whenthecountrybegan torelyontourismasoneofthemainsourcesofhardcurrency.Culturein generalinwhichmusic,musicalinstruments,literature,cinema,andvisualarts wereincludedbegantobeviewedasasourcenotonlyofinternalrevenues butofforeignrevenues(PPCC1986:60).30 AlthoughFelipe'sgroupEmikekwenttoresortssuchasVaraderotoperform duringthetouristseasonandgavepercussionanddancelessonstotourists,it wasonlyafterFelipeleftCubathatgovernmentsponsoredworkshopswere organizedtoofferforeignerscoursesinreligiousandsecularAfroCuban music.31

Page97

CraftingaBembDrum:ManufacturingMaterialCulture toObeytheOrichas
DrumshavebeenpartofFelipe'slifesincehewasjustachildtheyhave connectedhimtoancestralpowersandgivenhimasenseofidentity,atrade, andawayoflife.DrumshaveshapedFelipe'sexperiencesinmanyways,andin thisprocesstheyhavealsobecometheexpressionofFelipe'spersonaland culturalpractices.DrumshavecontributedtoshapeFelipe'ssenseofidentity andhaveplayedanimportantroleinhisreconstructionorrecreationofthis identity.Astheworldchangesaroundhim,Felipe'sstrategytogiveameaning tohislifehasalwaysbeenchanneledthroughthedrumsbuildingthem,playing them,fixingthem,summoninghisdeitiesandspiritswiththem,teachingothersto playthem.AsFelipehimselftellsus,drumshavenotonlygivenhimlifebuthave beenlifeitself. Inhisbuildingofdrumssincetherevolution,Felipehasobeyedtwoimperatives: Ontheonehand,hehasbuiltdrumsaspartofhisjobasaculturalworker, drumsthataretobeplayedinsecularcontextsandthat,althoughphysically similartothoseusedinritualcontexts,donothavethepowertotalktothe spiritsontheotherhand,hehasobeyedthecommandsoftheorichas(his mother'sOy),whoduringthisperiodaskedhimtobuildabembdrum. Buildingthisdrumalsocreatedtheopportunitytoreconstructthecabildoof SaintTeresaatthehouseofTomasawhenthedrumswerefinished,ruleswere drawnup,feesforplayingthedrumswerefixed,andmembershipwasregulated inawaythatresembledthepracticesoftheoldcabildos. BembdrumsbelongtooneofthemusicensemblestheLucumsoriginally used.inCubatheensembleismadeupofthreedrums,anacher(rattle),anda guataca(metalhoeblade).32Themorphologyofthedrumshaschangedwith time:olderdrumswerecylindrical,whilemorerecentonestendtobeslightly barrelshaped.Accordingtothewoodavailabletotheinstrumentmaker,they maybehollowedfromasinglelogorbuiltusingstaves.Theskinofeachof thesesingleheadeddrumsiseithernailedtothedrumorattachedthrougha seriesofcords,whicharetensionedthroughtheuseofwedges.Thedrumsare played

Page98 bystrikingwithwoodensticksorusingastickandthebarehand(amano limpia).Thelargestdrum(lowestinpitch)iscalledcajaorIlamador,thesecond (mediumpitch)segundo,andthesmallest(highpitch)salidor.Thesedrumsare notsacredanddonotrequirespecialritualsintheirconstruction.Theyare freelydecorated,andwhenusedforperformancetheyalsobearamaribor mayiw,askirtmadeofcoconutpalmorraffiathatisplacedaroundtheupper rimofthedrum.Theoccasionsinwhichtheyareused,eventhoughnotstrictly sacred,arelinkedtothereligiouspracticesofSantera,mainlyfiestasorganized toentertaintheorichasandfortheamusementofthegroup. Felipeconsidersthebembdrumsfreeinstruments,whichmeanstheycanbe usedformanytypesofcelebrationsandmaybededicatedtoanyoricha. Therefore,whenanoninitiatedpersondecidestoofferatributetotheorichas, heorshemayhireabembensemblefortheoccasion.Bembensemblesare alsohiredforcleansingrituals. Mymother'ssantoaskedmetomakeabigdrum.Ididn'thave wood,butthewoodjustappearedonedaythatIwentwithoneof mycousinstothemontetolookforplantstomakehisthrone. Anywaythemontewasalmostthere,twoorthreeblocksaway. ThereIfoundthewood.Well,itwasalotofwork,becauseIhad nosawornothing.Ihadtolookforapieceofsawthere,tocutit. Itwasabiglog!ThenIknewthisblanco[whiteman],whoused totakemetothetoquesinhiscarsoIspoketohimtotakemeto pickupthewood. Weusedtohavebembdrumsinourhouse.Butlikeeverything else,lifekeptevolving.Peopleleft,onelefttoworkhereandthe otherthere,leavingthedrumsbehind.Thedrumsbegantotake water,theskinbroke,thewoodrotted,theycameapart.Drums thattheancestorshadleft.Godknowswhomadethem.Isaw themtherelikethreeorfourdrumsIsawthem.ButImadea biggerone,Imadeitalittlebitbigger.BecauseIhadalreadyseen thebembesthatwereplayingaroundinMatanzas,theoneof Puchoandothers.Idecided:I'mgoingtomakeadrumthatis moremodern.OfthedrumsIsaw,onewastoowideandit soundedfunny.Iusedtosayitwasabarreloflard.SoImadea thinnerstructureandthenIusedfivekeys[tuningpegs].Butyou can'tseethembecausetheskinisontheoutsideandcoversthem. Thatdrumhasitsmaribanditsbells.Afterthedrumwasmade,I painteditthewayIlikeditandthenwebeganformingasociety withthedrum.Wedidtheceremonyforthedrums,andwhatnot. ThenImadesomesacks,somecoverstokeepthedrumalways clean.

Page99 AndthereIgottheidea,IstartedandIhadaboutninemetal marugas[rattles],withtheirribbons,AndsoImadeaflagof patches,aflagforOchosi,aflagforElegu,aflagforOgn, andImadenineflagsofdifferentcolors,plustheflagofpatches thatistheoneofOy,becausethedrumwasbeingofferedto Oy,whowastheonewhoaskedmetomakeit.SoIhadafigure ofSaintTeresamade,andIhadaSaintTeresapaintedona banner. Weorganizedthenasocietyacabildo.Webegantodothe thingswebelievedshouldbedone.Wethoughtthatdrumhadto beplayedfirstforalltheahijados[godchildren]ofthehouse, beforebeingplayedforpeopleoutside.Wemadebylaws.For example:Youweregoingtohaveafiestaandyoudidn'thave money.Wetookmoneywehadmadewiththedrumsandwehad thesweetsandalltheotherthingsthatwereneeded,madefor you.Thiswasdone,ifyoubelongedtothecabildo.Youdidn't havetopayanyfees,onlysupportthecabildo.Whenthething began,noneofthedrummerschargednothingforthemselves,so themoneymadeplayingremainedthere.Wefixedafeeoffifty ninepesos,tochargeforplayinginotherhouses.Weagreedon thatthenwenamedadirector,anadministrator,asecretary.We madeabigdeal,asifitwasapoliticalpartyorsomethinglikethat. Thatwasgood,becausetheorganizationworkedoutwellrespect wasnotmissingandalotofattentionwaspaidtothedrumand everything. SoCulturahadanewspaper,andIhadworkedonthat newspaper.Somepeoplefromthenewspaperasculptorwent toseeatoqueatmyhouse,thehouseofmymother.Thatman wentandwasreallyenthusiasticaboutwhathesaw.Thenhewent andspoketoanotheronecalledMolin,33thatMolinisa folkloreresearcher.Molinwantedmetogivehimachancetosee whatitwasallabout.Isaid:Well,butthere'snofiestaright now.Andhesaid:No,no,we'llhavethefiesta.I'mgoingtogive SaintTeresatwohundredpesosinflowers.Theymadea decorationwithflowers,theybroughtinflowerpotsalot,alotof flowers.SoIsaid:Wearegoingtoplaytoher.Andweplayed therelikenobodyelseplays!Andsoitcameoutinthenewspaper ofCulturathatatpresentthebestgroupthatwhatelseand whatnot. Thosedrumsreallyhadareputation,theywerecalledthe rebullones[atypeofbird].Atthattimetheywereshowingasoap operafromSouthAmericaontheTV.Andtherewasawoman whowasawitchandusedthesebirdswhenshewantedtodoher things.Sopeoplebegantocallourdrumstherebullones,likethe birdsinthesoapopera.Atthebeginningmy

Page100 motherdidn'tlikepeoplegivingthatnametothedrumsthenshe realizedthatrebulloneswasthenamegiventhetypeofbirdscalled inCubatocoloros,thebirdsofOy.Soshefinallyacceptedthe name. TheskillsFelipegainedduringtherevolutionwhileorganizingagroupto performAfroCubantraditionsinthetheaterwouldproveextremelyvaluable forhimasadiasporicmusicianinNewYorkCity.Furthermore,hisparallel tradeasacraftsmanofreligiousritualobjectswouldconstituteoneofhismain sourcesofincomeasanimmigrant. AfroCubantraditionshadbeenanobjectofreflectionfortheCuban intelligentsiasincethe1920s,astheysoughttodefineCubanidentityasacreole mixtureofSpanishandAfricanelements.Duringthisperiod,amovementthat cametobeknownasafrocubanismodevelopedwithintheurbanCuban intellectualcirclesamongpainters(WilfredoLam),writers(AlejoCarpentier, NicolsGuilln),musicians(AlejandroGarcaCaturla,AmadeoRoldn) bringingmanytostudyseriouslyAfroCubanreligionandmusic.Thisgroupre evaluatedAfroCubanculture,recognizingthesignificantroleitplayedinthe formationofCubancreoleculture.However,thisconsciousnessandre evaluationdidnottouchAfroCubanslikeFelipe.Whileitinspiredmanyartists toincorporateAfroCubancultureintotheircreativework,themovement remainedlimitedtotheintelligentsiainitsefforttoreevaluatethecontributionof Africansandtheirdescendantsintheprocessofforginganationalidentity. Incontrast,asaconsequenceoftheiractivityasculturalworkers,asinformants andperformersinthenumerousfolkloricensemblesorganizedafterthe revolution,peoplelikeFelipebegantoreflectontheirreligiouspractices,their music,theireverydaylife.Theirculturalpracticesbecomeobjectsofreflection, textsthathadtobeexplainedtoothers.Inthisprocess,issuessuchas authority,authenticity,thelimitsofsecrecy,lineagesofdrumsbegantobe explored,debated,andredefined. However,theactivitiesofFelipeasaculturalworker,likethoseofmanyAfro Cubans,werelimitedtothoseofaninformantandperformer.Management, control,selection,assessment,andjudgmentremainedinthehandsofothers (governmentofficials,musicologists,ethnographers,scholars,intellectuals). Beforetherevolution,cultural

Page101 practices(ortraditions)forFelipewerejustthewaythingshadbeendoneinhis familysincehewasachild.Then,asaculturalworker,hebecameethnically aware.ItisironicthatFelipe'sethnicawarenesscomesasaresultofcultural policiesimplementedbytheCubangovernmentnotinordertorecognizeethnic diversitybuttodefineaunifiednationalidentityinwhatwasofficiallyviewedas amonoethnic,multiracialcountry(EliRodrguez1994:95). ThefullimpactofthetheatralizationandsecularizationofthemusicoftheAfro Cubanreligioustraditionsisyettobeassessed.34Thisraisesanumberof majortopicsforfuturestudy. Thegroupsorpractitionerschosenbyresearchersorculturalofficialstotake partinthefolkloricensemblesandagreetoopenuparethosewhogetwide exposure(onstage,ontours,andinrecordings).Thosewhochoosetodefend secrecyareexcluded.Thus,certainstylesandrepertoiresbecomemorevisible, hegemonic,andinsomewayscanonical.Anotheravenuebywhichthe canonizationofaparticularstyleoperatesiswrittenandtranscribedversionsof chantsanddancemovements,publishedinbooksthatareusedasstudyguides bytheartinstructorsoftheCasasdelaCultura.Thedancesandchants includedinthesebookstendtobecomestandardsinatraditionthathasbeen predominantlyoral. Alsoatissueishowthetraditionwillbeaffectedbythetrainingofperformersin professionalartschools.Manysuchperformershavenototiesandlittle knowledgeofthereligiousbeliefsattherootofthemusicaltraditionsthey perform,havingbeendivorcedfromthetraditionalsystemofapprenticeship, whichwastightlylinkedtoreligiousceremoniesandrituals. Theprocessoftheatralizationandsecularizationalsohasrepercussionsforthe secrecythattraditionallyhassurroundedmanyoftheritualsandtheirmusic. Whilealargenumberofchantsfortheorichasareperformedintheportionof theritualsopentothepublic,somechantsaccompanyritualactivitiesthatthe uninitiatedarenotsupposedtowitness.Thisisthecase,forexample,withmany ofthechantstotheorichaofherbsandplants,Osain,whosechantsaresung duringinitiationceremoniessanterosfeeltheyarenottobeperformedinpublic. However,asnonreligiousperformerslearnthechantsandbegincirculating them,

Page102 theybecomepartofarepertoirewhichisthenperformedinthetheater.Evenif thisdoesnotaffectchantsasmusic,itdefinitelyaffectstheirmeaning.Further,it violatesthesecrecyandprivacyimportanttothoseforwhomthesechantsare notonlymusicbutachannelofcommunicationwiththeirgodsandancestors,to beperformedonlytoaccompanycertainritualgestures. Inadaptingitforthestage,stylizationandconstraintsareimposedontheAfro Cubanmusicalrepertoire.Thetheatralizationoffolkloreimpliesaesthetic choices,whicharenowleftinthehandsofchoreographersandmusicianswho decidehowtoofferanartisticallystylizedperformanceofthetraditions. Furthermore,thestageimposesaseriesofspatiotemporalconstraintsthat affectthedancesandmusictobeperformed.Forinstance,repetition,an essentialelementinritualparticipativemusic,isnoteffectiveinstage performancestemposaremodifiedinordertocreateclimaxes,andgenerally, changesaremadetoadjusttotherapporttheperformerhaswiththeaudience, whichisfundamentallydifferentfromthatofthecelebrantandthepractitioner. Elementsoftempowithregardtobatplayingareparticularlyvulnerable.Even thoughthedrumsaccompanydanceandfollowthemovementsofthedancersin manyofthereligiousceremonies,therearealsoritualcontextsinwhichthe drumsplayaloneandaddresstheorichas.Notonlydothedrumstalktothe orichas,buttheyestablishadialogueamongthem.Thisinfluencesthetempoat whichcertainrhythmsareperformed,becauseonehastobeabletohearthe differentconversationsbeingcarriedonamongthedrums.Insuchadialogue, tempostendtobeslowerthanwhenthedrumsareonlyaccompanyingadance. Stageperformances,however,tendtoimposeastyleofdrummingwithfaster tempos.Asthesestageperformancesbecomewidespread,theymayimposea particularstyleandmayevenaffectritualperformancepractice. Manymembersoftheprofessionalstageensemblesaresanterosthemselves, andtheirnumbershaveincreasedsincethepartyliftedthebanthatexcluded themfromitsranksforreligiousreasons.Havingtoreconcileandalternate betweentheaestheticsanddemandsofstageandritualperformanceswillmost likelybringaboutchangesinthetradition.Inevitably,thestageexperienceof theseperformerswillimpactontheritualdomain. Thefixingofatextisanotherpotentialoutcomeoftheprocess.

Page103 Inatraditionwherefewpeopleknowthelanguageusedinthereligiouscontext, thewordsofthechantsvarysometimesconsiderablyfromonesingertothe other.Oncewrittenversionsbegintocirculateinthefolkloricensembles, however,manysanteroswhoalsoperformonstagemaydecidetoimpose theseinthecasasdesantoswheretheyusuallyperform,relyingontheauthority ofthewrittenwordtosettleanydiscussionthatmaycomeupwiththosewho onlysingintherituals.Contradictionsalsomayarisefromthefactthatcertain practicesareaccepted(e.g.,teachingwomentoplaybat)inthesefolkloric ensembleswhichinreligioussettingsfallunderastrictlyrespectedtaboo. Thechangesbroughtaboutbythetheatralizationofthesemusicaltraditionsare notaltogethernegative.Incontrasttothecritiques(manyofthemvaluable)of whathasbeenlabeledthefolklorizationofAfroCubanreligions,onemust keepinmindthatthisprocessisaresultofpoliciesthathaveaimedatvaluing thecontributionsofAfroCubanculture.Rogelio,MartnezFur,oneofthe foundersandthefirstdirectoroftheConjuntoFolklricoNacional,whose viewsarerepresentativeoftheofficialpoliciesadoptedinCubawithrespectto folklore,seesfolkloreas thecultureofapeople,generallytransmittedthroughoraltradition thecustomsandhabitsofahumanaggregateinwhichtheirlife experiences,tastes,aspirations,conceptionsoflifeanddeathetc. arereflectedthewaystheybuildanddecoratetheirhouses,their oralproseandpoetry,theremedies,thehomecooking,the popularart,thebeliefsandsuperstitions,themythology,themusic, dances,holidays,andtraditionaldressinshort,thatwhich someresearchershavecalledpopularknowledgeandothers traditionalpopularculture.Folkloreistheoppositetotheofficial, thebookishortheinstitutionalized.Folkloreisofthepeople, andforthepeople.(MartnezFur1979:258) Bydefiningfolklorethisway,heemphasizesthedifferencebetweenculturethat isgeneratedbythepeopleandculturethatisgiventothepeople,separating folkculturefromcultureaswhatiscultivatedorlearned.Folkloreisnota museumpiecebutthemostauthenticmanifestationoftraditionalpopular culture,whichshouldbestimulatedanddirectedtowardtheconstructionof socialism(MartnezFun1979).

Page104 Alongsidefolklorizationoraestheticization,commodificationhasbeenviewed bymanycriticsasastrategytheCubangovernmenthasusedasanalternative tooutrightprohibitionofAfroCubanreligiouspractices.Intheglobaleconomy oflatetwentiethcentury,thecommodificationofanythingthatcaninterestlarge constituenciesisallbutinevitable.Religiousmattersareparticularlyproneto commodificationbecauseoftheeaseofexploitingdeeplyfeltemotionalreligious feelingswitnesstheflourishingindustriesthatsurroundtheholysitesofany religiousdenomination.

Page104a (below)AstreetcornerinMatanzaswhereFelipe'sbar(SantaTeresa)was located.PHOTOSTHISPAGECOLLECTIONOFFELIPEGARCA VILLAMIL. (below)Felipe'smotherandoldestsister,MariaLuisa,withthesonofFelipe's nieceClaritaandoneofFelipe'sgrandchildren.

SomeoftheeldersbackinCuba.Fromlefttoright:Emiliana(Felipe'ssister), Osvaldo(hiscousin),Juana(hiscousin),Tomasa(hismother),Beba(hissister), andBeba'sgranddaughterSonjaisy.


p0104ab

Page104b

BembatOsvaldo'shouse.PHOTOGRAPHER:LYNDELL BROOKHOUSEGIL1994. Osvaldowithprenda.PHOTOGRAPHER:LYNDELLBROOKHOUSEGIL 1994.

(nextpage)Felipe'shouseinCubawasdescribedasahousewiththreedoors. InNewYork,Felipekeepsthreealtars(twolinkedtoSanteraandoneto Palo)andanAbakucorner.Whenpossible,thealtarsareplacedinseparate roomsinthehouse.

(nextpage)Felipe'shouseinCubawasdescribedasahousewiththreedoors. InNewYork,Felipekeepsthreealtars(twolinkedtoSanteraandoneto Palo)andanAbakucorner.Whenpossible,thealtarsareplacedinseparate roomsinthehouse.

Page104c

(above)TheSanteracorner:thealtarwherethesoperaswiththesacredstones areplaced.Thisaltarhousesthetureensandthesacredemblemsoftheorichas ofFelipe'sfamilyinNewYork.Thesacredsetofbatdrumshangsfromthe ceiling.PHOTOSTHISPAGEBYADRIANAGROISMAN.

(topright)Theespiritistacorner.Thisaltariscalledmesablanca(whitetable). FiguresandlithographsofCatholicsaintsandaseriesofglassesareplacedona tablecoveredwithwhitecloth.Thisaltar,foundinthehousesofmanysanteros andpaleros,showstheinfluenceofespiritismointheirreligiouspractices. ThePaloMontecorner:thealtarthathousestheprendasofFelipe'sfamilyin NewYork.ThecauldronthathousesFelipe'sprenda(SarabandaRompe Monte)isplacedinthemiddle,surroundedbyotherprendas,eachplacedina separateironcauldron.

Page104d TheAbakucorner.Traditionally,theAbakudonotsetupaltarsintheir housesaspalerosandsanterosdo.However,FelipehasorganizedanAbaku cornerwherehekeepstheenkomdrumsandtheseserib,togetherwitha pictureofhisfatherandthefigureofanireme,ordiablito.PHOTOBY ADRIANAGROISMAN.

(right)FelipeandhisAmericanwife,Valeria.PHOTOBYADRIANA GROISMAN.

(below)Felipe'sAmericanchildren:Ajamu,Tomasa,Miguel,andAtoyebi. COLLECTIONOFFELIPEGARCIAVILLAMIL.

Page104e Felipe'syoungestson,Atoyebi,playingbat.PHOTOBYMARATERESA VLEZ.

Felipe'ssetofiyesdrums.PHOTOBYADRIANAGROISMAN.

Page104f

Page104g (right)ReligiousobjectscraftedbyFelipe:gourdforChang,stickforElegu, andstatueofEleg.COLLECTIONOFFELIPEGARCAVILLAMIL.

(below)Decoratedapron(bandel)fortheiydrum.PHOTOBYADRIANA GROISMAN.

Page104h

FelipeexplainingatoquetohissonMiguel.PHOTOSTHISPAGEBY ADRIANAGROISMAN. FelipeteachingbatatohissonMiguelandanotherdrummer.

Page104i

Felipebuildingadrum.PHOTOSTHISPAGEBYMARATERESAVLEZ.

Page104j

(above)Felipedecoratingagourd.COLLECTIONOFFELIPEGARCA VILLAMIL. (below)Felipeplayinganiyesdrum.PHOTOBYADRIANAGROISMAN.

Page105

PARTTHREE

LifeasaDiasporicMusician

Page107

LeavingCuba
MigrationtotheUnitedStateshasbeenarecurrentfeatureinthehistoryof Cuba.However,themassmovementofCubanstotheUnitedStatestookplace aftertherevolutionof1959.Migrationandrefugeestudiesdividethese postrevolutionmigrantsintoseveralwaves,eachoflowereducational backgroundandsocioeconomicstatusthantheprecedingone.Manyofthe laterwavesofmigrants,unliketheearlyones,leftCubamovedbyeconomic ratherthanpoliticalmotivations.1 Until1980,CubanswhocametotheUnitedStatesweredefinedasrefugeesby theAmericangovernmentandreceivedsubstantialhelpthroughafederal programofassistance.ThepreferentialtreatmentgiventoCubanschangedwith theeventssurroundingtheMarielexodusbetweenAprilandSeptember1980. ThiswaveofrefugeescametobeknownastheMarielexiles,ormore commonly,themarielitos.(Thoughthistermisnotusedinthescholarly literature,itiswidelyusedamongCubans.)Theexodusbeganwhenseveral CubanssoughtasylumatthePeruvianembassy,anditendedwithaboatliftthat broughtapproximately125,000newimmigrantstoKeyWest,Florida.The opendoorpolicythathadcharacterizedthereceptionofallrefugeesfromCuba intheUnitedStatescameintoquestionwhenitbecameevidentthatmostofthe Marielrefugeeshademigratedforeconomicreasons.

Page108 Thesituationwasaggravatedbythepress,whichconcentratedonasmall subgroupofrefugeesthatincludedmentalpatients,homosexuals,andthosewith prisonrecords.2Thedisturbancesatvariouscampswheretherefugeeswere housedwhileawaitingresettlementcontributedfurthertoalienatesympathy (MasudPiloto1988:8586). TheMarielboatliftturnedintoamajorcrisisfortheCarteradministration, whichwasconfrontingrisingU.S.unemploymentandwidespreadanti immigrationattitudesinthemidstofthepresidential(re)electioncampaign. Furthermore,duringthesameperiodagroupofabouttwentyfivethousand HaitianswhohadarrivedinFloridawerenotgrantedasylumandwere threatenedwithdeportation.Toavoidthechargesofdiscriminationthatthe preferentialtreatmentofCubanswouldhaveraised,theCarteradministration createdanewlabel,entrant,tobeappliedtothoseCubansandHaitianswho hadarrivedbefore1981.Underthisclassification,pre1981immigrantswere allowedtoremaininthecountryandadjusttheirstatustopermanentresident aliensaftertwoyears,makingthemalsoeligibleformedicalservicesand emergencyassistancebenefits. StudiesoftheMarielgroupofCubanmigrantsshowthattheyhadsimilar occupationalandeducationalbackgroundstothegroupthatcameonthe freedomflights.3Likethepreviouswavesofrefugees,theMarielgroupcame mostlyfromtheprovincesofHavanaandLasVillas(Eckstein1994:160). However,theMarielentrantsdifferedinotherways:Theywereyoung(the medianagewasthirtyone)theyweremostlymaletheyweredrawnfrom sectorsofthepopulationnotpreviouslypartoftheCubanmigrationandthey hadahigherproportionofblacksthananypreviousrefugeegroup.Inaddition, thewayinwhichthedecisiontoleaveCubawastakendifferentiatedthisgroup ofrefugees,whichcomprisedbothindividualswhohaddecidedtoleaveand otherswhoweresentoutofCuba(Bach1985PedrazaBailey1985). Thelattersubgroupincludedmentalpatientsandpeoplewhowereorhadbeen inprisonorwhohadproblemswiththelocalauthorities.Thosewholeft voluntarilywerepromptedmainlybyeconomicconsiderations.Duringthelate 1970s,thetradebalanceaswellastheeconomicgrowthrateofCubahad deteriorated.Thelastyearsofthisdecadewereyearsofeconomichardship thestandardoflivinghaddeclined,foodwasscarce,andthehousingneedsof thepopulationhadgoneunmet.Dissentanddiscontenthadgrownafterthe austeritymea

Page109 suresthegovernmenttooktocopewiththeemergency.Leavingtheircountryin searchforbetterlivingconditions,thisgroupofrefugeescouldnothave anticipatedthediscriminationandprejudicetheywouldsufferonarrivalinthe UnitedStates. Althoughbadpresscontributedsignificantlytofuelprejudicialattitudesinthe UnitedStates,manyconsiderthatracismplayedasignificantrole.Inlightofthe reactionofthegeneralpublictotheMarielcrisis,U.S.Cubanresidents,who consideredthemselvesamodelminority,receivedagreatpsychologicalblow whentheyfoundthemselvesgroupedwiththemostdisparagedminorities. AlthoughmanyU.S.Cubanshelpedthenewcomers,manyotherssharedthe prejudiceagainsttheMarielCubansandkeptawayfromthem(PedrazaBailey 1985:2829).OlderCubansblamedtheMarielexilesforthechangeofattitude towardtheCubanrefugeesanddistancedthemselvesfromthem.Astudy carriedoutinsouthFloridaconcludedthattheMarielrefugeesinthatregionfelt discriminationcomingfromtheirownethnicgroupfaroutweighedthatcoming fromnativewhites(PortesandClark1987). TheMarielrefugeesrepresentawaveofimmigrantswhoseexperiencesnot onlyinCubabutintheUnitedStatescontrastsharplywiththoseofprevious waves.PedrazaBailey(1985:29)capturesanessentialdifferencebetween thesegroupsofimmigrants:Thenostalgiaoftheearlyrefugeesattachesthemto theCubatheyknew,aCubathatwasthenostalgiaoftheMarielrefugeesisfor theCubathatis. ThefactthatamajorityofthepostrevolutionaryCubanmigrantscamefromthe provincesofHavanaandLasVillasmaywellhavecontributedtofactthatthe SanteriapracticesthathavedevelopedintheUnitedStatesamongCubans mainlyfollowtheHavanatradition.Tomyknowledgenolargenetworkof santerosfromMatanzashasdevelopedintheUnitedStates,andtheMatanzas santerosarestillaminority.Thus,comingfromMatanzas,Felipefoundhimselfa minoritywithintheSanteracommunity. FelipearrivedinCayoHueso,Miami,duringtheMarielexodus.Hewasthen senttoFortMcCoyinWisconsin,oneofthefourrefugeecamps.Hehadto waitacouplemonths,untilsomefriendsfromCubasponsoredhim,tobe releasedfromthecamp.Afterhisrelease,heestablishedhimselfinMiamiand livedforawhilewiththesponsoringfamily.

Page110 WhyFelipeleftCubawhenhewasalmostfifty,hadalargefamilythathehadto leavebehind,andhadastablejobexercisinghistrade,music,isnoteasyto understand,foritinvolvesissuesFelipewouldrathernottalkabout.Itisapart ofhislifehewantstokeeptohimself.Fromhisbriefreferencestotheincidents surroundinghisdeparture,IgatheredthatatthetimeoftheMarielexodus,he hadproblems(notlinkedtohisreligiousaffiliation)withthelocalparty authoritiesandwasadvisedtoabandonCuba.Mostofthosewhocamefrom LaMarina,theneighborhoodwhereFelipe'sfamilylives,belongedtothegroup ofrefugeeswhoweresent. Whentheproblem[arose]withtheMariel,theycametomyhouse andtoldme:Youleaveoryouareinforfouryears,justlike that.SoIleft.Butmanypeoplecamebecausetheywantedto. Theyevenpretendedtobehomosexualstobeabletoleave.I knowofafatherandasonthatpretendedtheywerelovers,tobe abletocomeout.Becausethegovernmentdidn'tlike homosexuals. Otherschosetogotoprisoninsteadofleavingtheirfamilies.Felipe'sniece Clarita,whosehusbandalsoleftwiththeMarielexodusandwasmurderedin theUnitedStates,toldmeanothertouchingstorywhenwespokeaboutthe boatliftduringmyvisittoMatanzasin1997.Sheremembersoneofher neighborsinLaMarinawhohadanewbornson.Whentheauthoritiescamefor him,thechildbegancrying,andhetoldthem:IwilldowhatIneedtodoto stayinCubawithmysonsohewenttoprison. IncontrasttoFelipe'sreticencewhenitcomestothecircumstancesofhis departureformCuba,henarratesthestoryofhisarrivalintheUnitedStatesin greatdetail. IcameinaboatcalledtheLoveBoat,butwhatloveboatitwas abigironboat.ButtocrossthegulfinthatLoveBoatdamnthat boat!ThecaptainthatsailedthatboatwasanAmericanwoman. Wewerereadytoleavebutwehadtocomebacktotheport again.Theysaidtheweatherwasbad.Ourcaptainsaid:Ifwe don'tleaverightnowthebadweatherwillhituscrossingtheGulf ofMexico.Shekepttellingpeoplenottobeafraid,thatshewas aknowledgeableperson.ShesaidthatinEnglish,buttherewere interpreterstherewhowouldtelluswhatshewastalkingabout. Shewas

Page111 good,shereallywasagoodcaptain.Sowhenwearrivedatthe GulfofMexicoshemaneuveredandsailedalongthecoastuntil shehadtocomein.Itwasworsethanatornado.Thewaveswere comingfromabovebuuuuu!Otherswouldhittheboatandagain anotheronewouldcomefromabove.Listen,thatwasan odysseyIkepttellingmyself:Iwillbelefthereinthesea.I climbeduptoasmalltypeofroofbecausethewaveswerecoming intotheboatandItiedmyselfupthere.Thenthedawncameand thecaptainsaid:Atfullspeed!Raisethepalenques[tackle]that there'snoproblemnow.RelievedIsaid:Ay!wearrived,we arrived. IarrivedatCayoHuesoinunderwear,becausemyclotheswere soaked.Whenthesuncameeverythingdried,andmyclothes werelikestones.Ihadtotakethemoffbecausetheyweretearing myskinoff.ItookthemoffandthereinCayoHuesotheygave metwopairofpantsandapairoftennisshoes.Imagine,inCuba theyhadtoldmethat:Whenyouarrivetheyaregoingtothrow thedogsatyou.SowhenIarrivedIsawsomanydogsand wondered:Whatifit'sreallytruethattheythrowthedogsatthe blackpeoplehere?Thepoliceweretherewiththedogs.I thought:NowwhenIgetoffThentheytoldus:Everybody off.Isaidtomyself:Damnit!Heretheycome.Theprisoners wentdownfirstandthenitwasourturn.Isawhowtheywere passingby,Standup,standupinlinethere,butinaniceway. EveryonegotofftheboatandIsaid:Theydidn'tthrowthedogs atusafterall,ha!ha!ha!TheygaveusCocaColaandwewent toseetheVirgendelaCaridadwhoisthereatthepier.Forthe firsttimeinmanyyearsIsawapplesandgrapes,thatplacewas fullofapplesandgrapes.Theygaveusanicesoup,anicelunch. FromtherewetooktheplanetoWisconsin.

BuildingthePresent:ExercisingHisTradeinHisNewHome
Theseparationofpeoplefromtheirnativeculturehasbecomeacommon experienceinourcenturyinonewayoranother,weareallmarkedbythe experienceofdisplacement,eitherasprotagonists(asimmigrants,refugees, exiles,expatriates)orashostswhohavetolearntosharewiththosedisplaced thespacewehaveconsideredours. Thedisplacedpersonfacesmultipleruptures,asplitbetweenhereandthere andtheneedtorebuildaculturalidentityinanewhome

Page112 land,whileconstrainedbyfactorsthataremostlybeyondhisorhercontrol.For some,thisexperiencebecomesanopportunity,whileforothersitistransformed intoasourceoffrustrationandpain.InFelipe'scase,musicistheavenuethat connects,sometimeswithoutsuccess,thenewworldwiththeold,the there(Cuba)thatisalwayspresentinallhisnarrations,alwayspresentinhis memory. FelipewasreleasedfromFortMcCoyafterbeingsponsoredbyaCubanfamily wholivedinMiamiandknewFelipe'sfamilybackinCuba.Hetraveledto Miamiandlivedwiththemforfourorfivemonths.Theheadofthefamilywasa batplayerwhowasveryactiveasamusicianintheSanteracommunitynot onlyinMiamibutalsoinNewYorkhisnamewasJuanSilveria,thoughhewas betterknownasJuanCandela. IbeganplayingwithJuanCandela.Hewasoneofthepioneers here,heplayedeverywhere,inNewYork,inMiami,everywhere. InOctoberhetoldme:Well,we'regoingtoNewYorkagainin caseyouwanttocomewithus.You'renotgoingtostayhere alone,cometoNewYorkandyouwillmakeyourwaythere. Andit'struethatIdidwell. TheninNewYorkIusedtoplaywithRenard.4ImetRenardin Florida,andatthattimeIdidn'thaveitinmymindthatIwasgoing tocometoNewYork.ButnotlongafterIarrivedhere,Iwas invitedtoatambor.Somepeoplecametolookformeandtook metothattambor.Renardwastheonewhowasplayingthereand assoonashesawmeheembracedme,screaminglikehell,andhe toldme:Sit,sitthere.AndsoIplayedandIsang.Whenthe thingwasoverRenardtoldme:Iwantyoutoplaywithme.I begantoplaywithRenard,andonemonthlaterIrentedan apartmentandIwasdoingwell.Ihadmytelephoneand everything.IwasdoingwellbecauseIwasworkingwiththe santeros,playinghereandthere. InNewYork,Felipestartedplayinging?iroensembles,anditwasthistypeof ensemblethatheorganizedwithsomemembersofhisfamilyandsome acquaintancesfromMatanzaswhohadalsoarrivedduringtheMarielexodus. Later,in1983,hebeganusingbatafterhewasabletobringhisAfrom Cuba.However,themembersofhisfamilywholivedinNewYorkwerenot batplayers,andfrequentlyFelipehadtocallotherdrummerstofillin.

Page113 RenardleftforFlorida.Thenpeoplebegancallingme.SoIbought mytumbadora[conga]thesameAmericansusedtocometo lookformetotakemearoundplayingtheycametolookforme sothatIwouldsingandplay. Thenin1983mythingsarrived,theAofmybatdrums,andI begantoplay.Becauseevenifnobodybelievesit,herelittleisstill knownofwhatbatisallabout.AndIhadarrivedwithaname,I arrivedwithanamebecauseRenardbroughtarecord,andinthat recordyoucouldlistentomeplay.5 Ibegantoplaywithtwootherdrummersthatcamefrom Matanzas,andthingsweregoingreallywell.Whenwearrived anywherepeoplewouldsay:Herecomethematanceros.But thatluckdidn'tlastbecauseoneofthedrummershadaproblem withthelawandtheotheroneleft.Ikeptlookingfordrummers butitwasnoteasyatalltofindthem.ThenIdidsomethingI shouldn'thavedoneIdiditformyfamily.Igotmyfamilytowork withme,mynephew,mybrother,andalotofotherpeoplewho hadcomefromthereIhadcreatedthedrumwithwhatIhad earnedworkingalone,butstillIwantedtomakefamily.If anyonewastoearnapenny,Iwantedittobemyfamilybecause thedrumsweremine.ButIwasmistaken,ohhowwasImistaken. Ithought:Well,herearethesepeople,ifatoquecomesupthey canstartgrinding,andnevermind,iftheymakeamistakeI wouldkeepitgoing.ButIwascountingonthemwantingto practiceandlearn.Thedrumswerethereatthehouseandthey couldplaythemanytimeandmakesomeprogress.Iwas disappointed,andlaterIevenranintoproblemsbecauseeveryone justwantedtoearnmoneybutnobodywantedtolearn.Iusedto tellthem:Let'sstretchthedrumsLet'sfeedthedrums Come,takeaclassnothing!Theydidn'twanttolearn.Sothe fightsbeganandIbecamesomewhattough. ThenegativeexperiencewithhisfamilyandfriendsleftFelipedisappointed,and around1984,aftertryinghisluckinTexasforacoupleofmonths,hereturned toNewYorkandunsuccessfullytriedtoreestablishthegroup.Itwouldnotbe untiltheendofthe1980sthatFelipewouldformanotherbatgroup.During theseyearshecontinuedtoplayforpeoplewhowouldcallhimtositinwith theirgroupsandwouldsometimesformprovisionalbatensemblestoplayfor ceremonies. Disheartened,FelipeevenconsideredgivinghisbatdrumstohisfriendTeddy Holiday,awellknownAfricanAmericandrummerandbabalao.Hewas advisedbyasanteronottotakethisradicalstepandtokeephisdrums,butfor alongperiodhedidnotplaybatwithothers.

Page114 IalmostgaveTeddymydrums.Iwasgoingtocallhimandgetrid ofthedrumsandkeeponlythesantos.IwasupsetbecauseI couldn'tdothingsthewaytheyweresupposedtobedone.Inthe middleofallofthisasanterocalledmeandtoldme:No,no,no, no,you'recrazy,manthesedrumsaregoingtobringyoubenefits inthefuture.Cooldownandwait,waitalittle FelipewascontactedthenbyanAmericandrummerwhowantedtolearnto playrumbaintheMatanzasstyle.Fromthispointon,throughwordofmouth, Felipe'sreputationasateachergrew,anddrummersbegancontactinghimfor lessons.Felipeorganizedagroupwithsomeofthesestudentsandgaveitthe samenameasthegrouphehadorganizedandleftbehindinCuba:Emikek. ForawhileIhadtolookaroundforpeoplewhowerenoteven drummersanddiewiththem.ThatwentonuntilIputtogether thisfamilyofdrummers.Onecametolearntumbadorasand stayedinthedrum.GraduallyIbecameenthusiasticand:Yes, yes,come,I'llteachyou.Andit'strue,theywouldgivemetenor fifteendollarsornothingI'venevertakenmoneyfrompeople withoutteachingthem. WithEmikek,Felipebegananewstageinhismusicallife,onethatsomewhat resembledwhathadhappenedtohiminCuba:amovementfromprivate performancesofAfroCubanreligiousmusicinsacredcontextstothe performanceofthismusicinpublic,inconcertsandatlecturesand demonstrations.ThenewEmikeke,whichhadonlyoneCubanmember, Felipe(theotherswereAmericansorPuertoRicans),performedforsuch institutionsastheMuseumofNaturalHistoryandtheMuseumofAfricanArt, atLincolnCenteroutdoorfestivals,andinlecturedemonstrationsinuniversities suchasYale,Columbia,andRutgers.Thegroupwasalsocalledforprivate religiousceremonies,predominantlyPaloceremonies,and,lessfrequently,to playbatfortheorichas.Thegroupdissolvedin1994whenFelipewent throughapersonallifecrisisandleftNewYork,establishinghimselfin California. Felipe'sexperienceasaculturalworkerinCubahadpreparedhimtodealwith issuesrelatedtothestagingofhistraditionforoutsiders.

Page115 ThisskillwasusefultoFelipewhenheorganizedEmikekinNewYorkand beganworkingthefolklorecircuit. IntheUnitedStates,thenationalisticdiscoursethatsurroundsfolklore worldwideisrecastasethnicityorunityindiversity(KirshenblattGimblett 1992:35).Inhiscountry,evenasFelipeisgivenavoicetostagehisheritage, histraditionsnolongerbelongtoapoolofancestorsthatmaybeusedtodefine theculturaltraditionofonenation(Cuba).Nowhisisonevoiceamongmanyin whatisdefinedasapluralisticandmulticulturalnation.Inaddition,intheUnited States,AfroCubantraditionsareinvokedaspartoftheheritageoftheAfrican diaspora.Thus,throughhisworkinthefolklorecircuit,Felipeestablishedlinks withotherAfrican,AfricanAmerican,AfroLatino,andAfroCaribbeanartists. ThisgaveFelipeaccesstothePanAfricantraditionbasednotonrootsbuton crossconnections,wherethesenseofcommunityisbuiltcrossand intraculturally.Therefore,indefininghisidentity,Felipefindshimselfinvolvedin anexchangewherehisblacknessweighsmoreheavilythanhisCubanness.6 PerformancesbygroupssuchastheoneFelipeorganized(labeledethnicor folkloric)forthemostpartaresponsoredandpromotedbytwotypesof culturalinstitutionsintheUnitedStates:theinstitutionsonemightdefineas supercultural,dominantorofficialinstitutions7whoseprincipalaimisto presentthemultiplicityandassertthevarietyofethnicorfolkculturesthat contributetothepluralistandmulticulturalidentityofthenation(e.g.,museums, universities,folklifefestivals)andinstitutionsthatareorganizedbymembersof aparticularcommunityorethnicgrouptodisplay,study,andpreservetheirown traditions(e.g.,theCaribbeanCulturalCenterforthetraditionsoftheAfrican diaspora).8 InNewYork,withthegrowingpopularityofwhathasbeenlabeledbyrecord companiesasworldmusic,athirdgroupofvenues(e.g.,theWorldMusic Institute)hasemergedtopresentandsupportthemusicofimmigrantmusicians. Felipe'sexperiencehasbeenlimitedtoperformingforconcertsor demonstrationsorganizedbythefirsttwotypesofinstitutions. MusiciansorfolkartistslikeFelipeareselectedbytheseinstitutionsaccording totheirowncriteriaofauthenticityandtheirpoliticalorculturalagendas.Once selected,theartist'straditionisreframedaccordingtopresentationalmodes, standards,andaestheticsthathave

Page116 beenshapedbytheideologyandinterestsofthepresentinginstitution.Justasin Cuba,Felipe'sownpowertodecideremainslimitedchoicesremaininthe handsofothers.9 WhileFelipe,firstwithEmikekandnowwiththegrouphehasorganizedwith hissons,haspresentedonstagethemusicaltraditionsofbothSanteriaand Palo,itisthemusicofSanterathathasreceivedmoreattentionfromthe Americanpublic.AsithasdevelopedintheUnitedStates,Santeriamusicisa genredifficulttodemarcateitreflectsthedynamism,complexity, interrelatedness,andtransnationalismofmanyimmigrantmusicalcultures.Inthe latetwentiethcentury'sglobalvillage,musiclikepeople,capital,products,and soforthmovesconstantlyacrossborders,sometimesindependentofthe musiciansorculturalpracticestowhichitwasoriginallylinked.Thusthe secularizationanddecontextualizationofritualmusicthatcirculatesonaglobal circuitisinevitable. Eveninplaceswherethismusicremainslinkedtospecificculturalpracticesand immigrantgroups(e.g.,theUnitedStates),itscharacterizationisfarfromsimple. Asritualmusicofareligiouspractice,thismusicfallswithintheculturalpractices ofwhatisreferredtoastheAfricandiaspora.Yet,fromtheperspectiveofthe practitionersofthereligioninNewYork,acharacterizationbasedonraceora sharedpastisnotaccurate.Multiplediasporicgroups(AfricanAmericans, whiteCubans,AfroCubans,Latinos,etc.)convergeandlayclaimtothismusic whiledivergingintheirconceptualizationsofandrelationshiptootheraspectsof thetradition.10Inaddition,Santeriamusichasattractedmanymusicianswho, althoughhavingnotieswiththereligion,haveplayedanimportantroleinthe historyofthismusicalgenreintheUnitedStates.Affinityratherthanheritage linksthesemusicianstothismusicalgenre. ThestagingofSanteramusictakesplace,then,inverydifferentvenuesand withverydifferentconceptionsofhowtostageitandwhy.Becauseoftheties thatAfroCubanmusic(secularorsacred)hastotheLatinoandAfrican Americancommunities,Santeramusicisfrequentlyfeaturedinconcertsthatare notalwaysorganizedaspresentationsofethnicorfolkmusic,suchasjazz festivals(e.g.,NewJazzatthePublicTheaterandconcertsattheVillageGate) andpopularLatinmusicconcertsinwhichwellknownartistslikeCeliaCruz, TitoPuente,andMongoSantamaraarefeatured.Furthermore,mainstream popularmu

Page117 sicartistssuchasDavidByrnewhoisinvolvedheavilyinstaging,producing, andpromotingworldmusichavefeaturedthemusicofSanterainsomeof theirconcerts.Santeramusichasalsoacquiredhighvisibilityworldwidethrough themanyconcerttoursofCubangroupssuchastheConjuntoFolklrico NacionalandAfroCuba,andthroughtheworkofmusiciansbasedinthe UnitedStates,suchasthePuertoRicanMiltonCardonaandtheCubans OrlandoPuntillaRiosandFranciscoAguabella.11

TheToolsoftheTrade
Felipecouldhaveresumedthepracticeofhistradeinhisnewhomecountry confidentthatmostoftheinstrumentsheneededwereavailable:chekersor giros,congas,andevenbatdrums.However,sacredbatdrums (fundamentodrums)arenotcommonintheUnitedStates,andbembandiyes drumswerenonexistent.Furthermore,Felipewantedtoownasetofdrums becauseowningthedrumsisapreconditionforacquiringleaderstatus.Leaders arealsoexpectedtobefamiliarwiththefullrepertoireoftoquesofthethree drumsandtohaveanextensiveknowledgeofthedancemovementsandthe chants. Felipeneededtobecomeaolbatnottogratifyhisegobuttoassertitatall. InasmuchashepracticedtheMatanzasstyleofdrummingowningasetof drumswascrucialforFelipetobeabletoimposehisstyleandhisperformance practice. InstrumentsasImmigrants:ACrossestheOcean MydrumswerebroughtbyBasha.Shebroughttheoutsidethings, theropes,thesecret,theach,allofthat,shebroughtallofthat. BecauseBashavisitedmymother.Sotheoldladylikedherso muchthatshetoldher:Ihaveasonthatisadrummerthereinthe UnitedStates,buthehashisdrumshereIwouldlikeyoutodo meafavorinthislife,andIwouldbegratefultoyouforever:bring thistomysonthatmysonisgoingtoneedthem.Anditwastrue, IneededthedrumsbecausewithoutthemIwasnobody,Ifeltso emptyitwasincredible.EvenifIdon'tplaythedrums,Ilookat themandthat'senough.Icouldhavegottenthosebatswithtuning pegs,butIneededtohaveafundamentobatdrum.

Page118 Thepackagewasratherbig,becauseithadtheropes,theach, andthesecret.Well,Bashatookeverythingandputitinsidea handbag:Well,well,shesaid,andwhatiftheytakeitaway fromme,whatifsomethinghappens?Mymothertoldherthat nothingwasgoingtohappenandthatshewouldbeabletodeliver thepackageheretome.AndBashafeltachillbecauseatthe airporttheywerecheckingeveryonebuttheytoldher:Goahead, madam. ThiswasnotthefirsttimeAhadcrossedtheocean.Thespiritthatinhabits thedrumshadgonethroughapreviousdiasporawhenitarrivedinCubafrom Africa.AccordingtoFelipe'scousinOsvaldo,whenAfirstcrossedtheocean hecouldnothaveknownifhewasarrivingtoalandoflifeortoalandof death. UponthearrivaloftheAofhisdrums,Felipebuiltasetofdrumstohouse thespirit. WhatIdidherewas,thatIhadtobuildonlytheoutsidepartof thedrums,theframe.It'sthesameasifnowIhaveasantoandthe tureenthatcontainthestonesbreaks.Ihavetogetanotherone. It'sthesamewiththedrums.IfIhadasantobackinCubathat couldn'tbebroughtherebecauseitwasverybigwell,hereIcan buildthehouseforthatsantoagain.Ithappensthesamewith peopleifIgoanyplace,ifImove,Ihavetolookforahousein thenewplace.Thisisalsothecasewiththesantoandthedrums. Felipeisdiscussingherethedifferencebetweenthespiritorsacredpowerand thereceptaclethatcontainsit.Inthecaseofthesantosororichas,the receptaclesorhousesarethesoperasinwhichthesacredstonesareplaced.In thecaseofthedrums,thewoodenframeisthedwellingsiteofA,thesacred powerthatinhabitsthedrum.Whenthewoodenpartdeteriorates,ithastobe rebuilt. AfterAcrossedthesea,aceremonyhadtobeperformed.Thiswasdone afterFeliperemadethewoodenpartofthedrums,attachedtheskinandropes, andplacedAinitsnewdwellings. Sotheceremonyforhavingcrossedtheoceanwascelebrated.I performedaceremonyhere.Ididitwithababalao.Besidesthat ceremony,anotheronehadtobeperformedtowashtheoutside, thewood,ofthedrums.Andtherewerethesebabalaosthattold me:Youhavetobringthe

Page119 measurementsofthedrums,andthisandthat.Theyweregiving meahardtime.Isaid:Ay!InCubawedon'tneedsomanythings todothis.Besides,I'mknowledgeableofallthatinvolvesthe drumandyoudon'tknowaboutdrums.I'mgoingtobringyouthe drum.SoIbroughtthedrumthere,andtheyhadabook.They tookthedrums,measuredthem,andwenttothebooktocheck. Thentheysaid:TheycanbewashednowButaskedmewhere didIlearntobuildthedrums.Ireplied:Butwhatareyoutelling me?I,whohandledthreesetsofdrumsinCubaandhungaround theoldpeople,thewiseones.Besides,mygreatgrandfatherwas IblCrdenas,whogavethefundamentotothesedrumsin Cuba,IoblCrdenas,apureAfrican.So,whatstoriesareyou goingtotellme,Iwhocomefromthoseroots?Youruleyourself byabookbutknownothingabouthistory.Afterthat,the ceremonywascelebratedandIdidthebandeles[decorated beadedaprons]andalltherest. AndthedrumsImade!Listen,Teddysaysithimself,thesedrums ofminetalk.Andthemellowness,theflavorofthedrums,they haveasoundthatgetstotheblood. ApplyingCulturalMemory:MakingInstruments DrumsforFeliperepresentnotonlyhispastlifebutalsoawaytoapproach, apprehend,andgivemeaningtohisexperienceasanimmigrant.Theyarenot justthetoolsofhistrade(awaytoearnaliving)butthemediumthroughwhich hecanestablishcommunicationwiththedeitiesthathaveprotectedandguided himsincehewasachild.TheimperativethatmovesFelipetobuilddrumsinthe UnitedStatesistheneedtobuildanewlife.Drumsarethethreadsusedto weavethepiecesofthethereCubawiththehereUnitedStatesintosome meaningfulshapedrumsalsobecomeawayofremembering. ThecareandlengthwithwhichFelipedescribeshowhebuilthisdrumsinthe UnitedStatesconstitutesametaphorofthecentralroletheseinstrumentshave playedinhislife.DrumsareandhavebeenFelipe'sliferebuildingalifeimplies, then,theneedtorebuildtheinstrumentsofhistrade. DrumsnotonlyrepresentFelipe'sexperiencesbutalsocontributetotheir interpretationandapprehension,because,asBabcockwrites,culturesandthe individualswithinthemnotonlyconstitute,reflecton,andreconstitute themselvesthroughwhattheysayandwhattheydo

Page120 butthrougharticulationsofthematerialworldaswellforobjectsareused notonlytorepresentexperiencebutalsotoapprehenditandtointerpretit,to giveitameaningfulshape.Objectsdospeakandshouldbeheardas significantstatementsofpersonalandculturalreflexivity(Babcock1986:317 18).


BatDrums

FelipenotonlymadeasetofbatdrumstohouseAbutalsobuiltasetof unconsecrateddrumstouseforpublicperformancesandlecture demonstrations.Likewise,hehasmadedrumsforhisstudentsandforsaleto percussionistswhoareinterestedinowningbatdrumswiththetraditional tuningsystem(tensionedropes).Whenhewasmakinganoknkoloforme, Felipeinterruptedourregularchantingsessionstoexplainhowabatsetisbuilt andconsecrated,andthroughwhattypeofinitiationsdrummershavetogoin ordertobeabletoplayafundamentosetofbatdrums. InNewYork,Felipe'ssourcesofwoodwerelimited,andhewasforcedto workwithwhatevertypeofwoodhecouldgetholdof(oak,birch,andothers). Traditionally,batdrumsaremadeofatrunkofcedarcutafteraseriesof ceremonieshavebeenperformed.Althoughtheceremoniestopreparethe alreadycuttrunkbeforeproceedingtobuildthedrumsarestillperformed,the ceremoniestoaskpermissionfromthespiritsbeforecuttingthetrunk,which regularlytookplaceinthemontewhenFelipelivedinMatanzas,areusuallynot performedinNewYork.EveninCubanowadays,mostofthedrummersbuy thewoodfromspecializedstores. Yougetthethreetreetrunkstoperformtheceremony.Whenyou gotocutthetrunkfromthetree,youhavetoaskpermissiontothe spiritofthetreebeforecuttingit.Youhavetoexplainwhatyou areusingthetreefor:Wecomeheretolookforthisiki,because weneedittomakeadrum.WealsoaskOsain,theownerofall theplants,ifheauthorizesustocutit. Thenyoudotheceremonytothetrunk.Youfeeditanomieroof trees,notofherbs.Becausethereareplantslikethesiguaraya,like theguanjbana,likethepindulce,thepalodecaja,platanillode Cuba,andsomeotherlogsplantsthatarebig.Youalsouseall thefruittrees.Soyoupreparean

Page121 omieroandyouwashthelogsthere.Thenyouthrowthecoconuts toconsultthesantosandyouproceedtofeedthelogs. Omieroisasacredliquidusedindifferentrituals.Itispreparedusingdiverse plants,herbs,partsoftrees,andotherelementssuchaspepper,honey,and cocoa.Thecompositionvariesaccordingtotheritualuse.Inthepreparationof someomierosonlyplantsandherbsareused.However,somerequirethe leavesandfragmentsoftrees.Sacredobjectshavetobefedalsowiththe bloodofrituallysacrificedanimals.Thecoconutsoneofthesystemsof divinationarethrowntoconsulttheorichasabouttheappropriatenessofthe sacrificeofferedtothem. Youfeedthelogswiththebloodofarooster.Thenyouplacethe feesthatgowithit:aguardiente,honey,juta,smokedfish,and cornbecauseit'sanosain[atalisman].Youalsohavetooffera pigeontotheOsaininordertocleanallthelogs.Soeverything fromthatomieroremainsinthattreetrunk.Why?Becausethat treetrunkhastocontinueliving.Bycuttingityoutookawaylife fromthetrunk,sothroughtheseceremoniesyouarebringingback thespiritofthewood. Well,thenyouproceed.Youbringthedrumtowheretheartisan is.Andheretherearedifferentopinions,becausethereisabook thatsaysonethingbutIsaywhatIknowI'mnotinterestedin whatbookssayItellyouwhatthebooksaysforyoutoknow what'saround.Sothere'sadrumthathastobesetupfirstandthe booksayit'stheiy[Canizares1993:71],butIsayitisn'ttheiy, it'sthesmallerdrum,theoknkolo,becausethatistheoldest drum.Byoldestwemeanthefirstonetobemade. Youhollowthetreetrunkwithagaugebyhandyouboreit youbeginworkingwiththegauge,takingwoodout,takingwood out.Makinglikeafunnel.Youbeginwiththebiggerpartfirst,then gotowardtheedgesoyoucancontinuedownward. Thenthesameshapethedrumshaveoutsidehastobegivento theminside.IfyougotoMatanzasyou'llseethatallthedrumsare likethat.Itmeansthat,forthechach[smallerhead]youhaveto haveathirdofthemeasurementsyouareusing.Thelargerpartof thedrumistwotimesthesmallerpart.Youmeasurethreeparts.I takeathirdpartandthenmakeamarkinthewoodthenIcut withthesaw,rararararar,andthenIbegincomingfromoneend totheother,fromthebiggertothesmallerpart,

Page122 kankankankan.IbegincleaningwiththesawandIstartshaping it,ranranranran,andthenpapapapa,sandpaper,andthedrum isfinished. Forthemeasurementsoftheheadofthedrums,thechachand theen[largerhead],Idecidebyusingmyear.Theenofthis drumheresoundslikeapipe.Wecallpipethosethingswhere youusedtokeepwinebefore.Thechachishigher[pitch],ithas adifferentsound. InMatanzaswedon'tlikethechachtobeverysmall,becausea smallchachcracksyourhandanddoesn'tsoundthewayit's supposedto.Ialsomadeasmallsole,achaguala,toplayinthe styleofMatanzas,butherenobodyusesit,soitwasleftaround someplace. Batdrumsareplayedwiththebarehands,placingthedrumsonthekneesand holdingtheminpositionwithastrap.However,inMatanzassomedrummers usearawhidestrapintheshapeofthesoleofashoetoplaythechachofthe omel(smalldrum)andtheittele(mediumdrum).Thistechniqueofplayingis exclusivelyusedinMatanzasinHavana,drummershavealwaysplayedthe drumsbeatingbothmembraneswiththebarehand.Itisinterestingtonotethat inwesternNigeriathetwolargestdrumsofthebatensemble(whichhasfour instrumentsinsteadofthree)areplayedstrikingthelargemembranewiththe openhandandthesmalleronewithanarrowrawhidestrap,whereasthebat fromAdjaWere,Dahomey,areplayedlikethoseinHavana,usingonlythe barehands(Rouget1965Thieme1969). Oncethewoodpartisfinished,theskinhastobeplacedonthedrums.The twoheadsofthedrumarethensurroundedbyhoopsmadeofrattan,around whichtheskinofthedrumsiswrapped.Theskinisthenstretchedwithasystem oflongitudinalleatherropes(inHavana)orcords(inMatanzas).Thecordsor ropesarepressedtothebodyofthedrumbywrappingandinterlacing transversalcordsaroundthewaistofthedrum. InCuba,whenIwassmallandbeganseeingthedrums,theyused totiethemwithskin.Latertheydiscardedthat,becausethe problemisthatyougothroughmoretroublewiththeleatherthan withthecamo[cor].Totunethedrumsifyouuseleather,you havetotakealltheleathercordsout,dampenthen,stretchthem, andallthatnonsense,untilit'sreadyagain.Af

Page123 tertheleathertheybeganusingcorojo.Doyouknowwhatcorojo is?Well,ismadefromaplant.It'sacordthathadacolorsimilar tothatofthedrums.Later,fishingcordwasusedbecauseit's strongsoitpullswell.Ifyouusethistypeofcordyoucanstretch thedrumsandplaythemthatsameday. FortheskinofthedrumsIusegoat.Goat,chosenbyme.Male goatforallthethreedrums. IpreparetheskinmyselfbecauseIdon'twantotherpeopletoget mystuff.IgotolookforitmyselfinaplaceinNewJersey.It'sa farm,faraway,wheretheysacrificegoatstosellthem.Igoand picktheskin,becausetheythrowitawayanyway.Theyare authorizedtodothat.IhavemysecretofhowIpreparetheskin.I cleanthem,Istretchthem,Iputmysecretchemistryonthem. Somepeopleuselime,butIdon'tIhaveanothersystemthat doesn'tsmellbadoranythingandthatdriesfast. Theskinsofthedrumshaveasignature.Themouth,whichisthe onethattalks,hastohaveasealandthechach,whichisthe potencyofthedrum,thestrengthofthedrummer,alsohastohave aseal.Thosesealsarecalledosunandarefoundoneachsideof thedrumosunisapainting. Thistypeofmarkorpaintingisalsousedintheinitiationofneophytes,eachof whoseheadisrituallypaintedwithosuorosun. Thenyoumakethehoopswithwood,withtherattanusedfor baskets.HereinNewYorkyoufindalotofit,theymakefurniture withit.Basketrattanwhichyoucoverwithfabricyouopenthe holesintheleathertopassthecordsthroughthem.Ithastogoin pairs.Iusesixteen,eightandeight.Thereareeightlinesofcord butyouhavetomaketwoturns,oneinsidetheskinandanother oneoutside.It'slikeweaving.Thenthecordshavetobeknotted, withknotsthatwecallgangandmariposa[butterfly].Somesay thattheonewecallbutterflyhasaNshape. Whenyourunoutofcordandhavetouseanotherpieceofcord, youtiethetwopiecestogether.Itrynottouseties.Butifyou havetotiethereisatypeoftiedoneclosetotheenthatiscalled pig'sass. Butbeforeyoudoallofthis,Ahastobeprepared.Ahasto betheresoitcanbeintroducedintothedrums.Youneedthen threebabalaosandyouneedanoriatanoriatandacontingent ofsanterosafterward.Becausethebabalaosaregoingtodotheir shareandwhentheygiveyouthedrumback,youhavetountieit againanddothesanterostuff.Ahasa

Page124 lotofthings,alotofmineralseverythingthatisconsumedinthe earthandalotofsecretthings. AfteryoufeedA,youputitinsidethedrumsandyouclosethe drums.Fromthenon,ifAistoreceiveanyspirituality,ifweare goingtofeedA,ithastobedonethroughasmallmetalring placedclosetothechach. Anironringisplacedoneachdrumclosetothesmallerheadandisusedto hangthedrumsandtofeedthemceremonially.AfterAisplacedinsidethe drums,thedrumsaresealed,sowhenthespiritofAhastobefed,thisis donethroughthisexteriormetalring. Thedrumismadebyhandbutismadeusingiron,andinanything thatusesiron,Ognhastoparticipate.Inthedrumhis participationisshowninthatring.BecausewheneverOgnworks youhavetogivehimaparticipation.ThedrumismainlyOgn, becauseOgnistheonewhomadeit.Thetoolsusedareallin ironsoironwaswhatmadethedrum.Besides,youhavetogoto elmonte,whereOgnlives,tolookforthetreetrunkandthe plants.BecauseOsaingaveOgnapowerinhishouse:Youare theoneinchargeherebecauseifyoudon'tcometothewoods nothingcanbeopeneduphere.Towalkthroughthewoodsone needsamacheteoraknifemadeofiron.IfOgndoesn'twork, therewillbenothingintheforest.Sohehasapowerthere.Then tocutthetreetrunks,ifyou'reusingasawit'sOgn,ifyouare usingadrillit'sOgn,ifyouareusinganymachinemadeofironit's Ognwhoisworking.Sohehastohaveaparticipationinthe drums,whichisthatring.Throughthatringiswhereyousay:Ogn chorochoro.12Becausethedrumsdon'thaveasmallholetofeed theinside,sothroughthatringyoudoallthemimicsothatA receivesthespiritualitythatisbeingsentfromoutside.Onlyevery sevenortwelveyearsyoudotakeAoutandfeeditdirectly. Thenyouwashthedrums,washthevats.Whatthismeansisthat thedrumswhentheyareempty,withouttheskin,theyresemble thesoperaswhereyouplacethesantos.Theemptydrumsare goingtoreceiveasecretinside.Sowecallitavat.Soyouhave thevat,youwashitthenthebabalaosmakeamarkoutsideand insidethetwoheadsofeachdrum.Butbeforetheydothisthey havetoask[theoracle]aboutthenameforA,theyhavetofind A'sname. Thebabalaosdotheirworkandthentheybringthedrumsintothe

Page125 cuartodesanto.Theyfinishdoingtheirwork,andfindingthename forA.Thentheybringthedrumstothecuartodesantobecause hereiswheretheskinisgoingtobemarkedtheosunoftheskin. Thatcannotbedonebythebabalaos.Youneedanoriatforthat job.Youneedanoriatformakingtheosun,givingtheachtothe drums,andfindingthenameinsantoofeachdrum.Becauseeach individualdrumhasanameanexamplecanbeAdKol that'sthenameofmysmalldrum.AnotherexampleisOgundei Odforathesantonameseachdrumhasasantonamethatis foundusingthedilogn.Thatwayeachdrumhasaname,andA thesetofdrumshasanother. Afterallofthisisdone,insidethecuartodesanto,youbegintotie theskin.Thistakesaboutsevendays,becauseafteryoufeedA, youhavetocleaneverything,andputitinsidethedrums.Forthese stepsyouonlyhavedrummers,therearenobabalaosoranything ofthatsort,onlydrummers.It'sgoingtotakeaboutsevendays becauseyou'regoingtohavetowettheskinanddoeachdrum onebyone.Youcan'tdothreedrumsatthesametime.Besides, youhavetolookforpeopletoworkwithyoupeopleyoutrust, becauseAisalreadythere.It'snotonlystretchingthedrums, onehastopracticallybuildthemagain.Thenyouhavetowaitfor theskintodry,andleavethemwithoutstretchingthemtoomuch. Youwaitfortwoorthreedaysfortheskintodryittakestime. Sothenyouloosenthemandstretchthemagain.Thenyouhave thepresentation. Thepowerofasetofbatdrumstocommunicatewiththeorichashastobe receivedfromanolder,previouslyconsecratedsetofdrums.Beforethisis done,thenewlybuiltsetisconsideredsilentithasnovoice. InNewYorkbeforethearrivaloftheexilesfromMarielin1980,sacredbat drumswererare,iftherewereanyatall.Butasbatdrummingdevelopedand santerosbegantousethistypeofensembleintheirrituals,consecratedbat setswereneeded.Ittookseveralyearsbeforemanyofthedrummerswho arrivedwiththeMarielboatliftwereableeithertobringtheirsetofdrumsorto havetheAoftheirsetofdrumssentfromCuba.Meanwhile,in1982agroup ofbabalaoswhohadorganizedatempleinNewJerseydecidedtobuildaset ofbatdrums.Sixteenbabalaos,duringaperiodoffivemonths,madeasetof sacredbatdrumsfromscratch.13Thesebabalaoseitherwerenotfamiliar withthesecretsandrestrictionsofthetransmissionofpower

Page126 betweensetsofdrumsorwerelimitedbytheabsenceofothersetsof consecrateddrumsinNewYork.Astheleadershipofthetemplefelttheuse ofunsacreddrumsoralternativeensembleswasunsatisfactory(Brown1989: 130),theycreatedanewwayofgivingbirthtosacreddrums.Thispractice mighthavebecomeatraditionandreplacedtheCubanmannerofconsecrating drums.However,withthearrivalofdrummerssuchasJuanElNegro Raymat,OrlandoPuntillaRios,FelipeGarca,andAlfredoCoyudeVidaux, whouseddrumsconsecratedintheCubanpractice,theNewYorkcommunity ofreligiousdrummersbegantoacknowledgethisastheauthenticwayofplacing Aintheinstruments.Moreover,santerosbegantoquestiondrummersabout theoriginoftheirsets,inquiringintowhatsetofdrumseachhadbeenborn from.Lineagesofdrumsthereforeregainedtheimportancetheyhavehadin Cuba. InNewYork,asituationparalleltothatOrtzdescribedinCubabeganto occurfrequently:Asthenumberofsacredbatsetsincreased,rivalry, competition,andmisinformationledmanytoquestionthefundamento(sacred character)ofvarioussetsofbatdrums.Nowadays,inNewYorkaswellasin Miami,alotofdisagreementexistsoverwhoownsrealfundamentodrums andwhodoesn't. InCuba,eventhoughbabalaosplayanimportantroleinthepreparationofaset ofsacredbatdrums,theirdutiesarelimitedandcannotreplacetheroleofthe ola,apriestwhobelongstoaseparateandindependentpriesthoodwithin theliturgicalsystemoftheLucum.AccordingtoOrtz'sfindings,whichcoincide withthepracticesofthedrummersinNewYorkwhocamewiththeMariel boatlift:(1)Thefundamentobatarebornonefromanother(2)onlythe priestsofAcantransferthisspiritfromapreexistingAtoasetthatisstill unconsecratedand(3)noteventhebabalaoscanconsecrateatrioofbat, becausetheydonothavethepowertodoso(Ortz1952:vol.4,285310). Thepresentationisaceremonytogivepowertoathingthatis asleep,thatisveryyoung.Withtheceremonyyouaregoingto moveit,toawakenit.Youhavetobringthosedrumsinfrontofan olderset,becausetheyaregoingtobeborn,andnothingisborn fromnothing.Anexample:Peoplecomehereandwanttomakea setofdrumstheyhavetorelyonmebecauseI'mtheonewhohas arealfundamentosetofdrums,orcountwithsome

Page127 onewhohasarealsetofbat.Frommydrumanotherdrumwill beborn,becausemydrumwillgivebirthtothatdrum. Duringthatceremonytheoldsetofdrumsisplaying,andthenew onehastocome,withthedrummersandabasketwiththreeliters ofaguardiente,threeroosters,candles,coconut,andthefee.You presentthemthesamewayyoupresentayaw[aninitiate].The olddrumbeginstoplayplaysforawhile,playsforallthesantos. Then,withoutstopping,otherdrummerscomeandbegintoplay thenewdrum.Whenthisdrumbeginstoplay,theolderdrums begintogoawaysoftly,softly,softly.Thenewdrumcontinues toplay.It'snew,somaybeitwon'tsoundtoogood,butitkeeps onplaying.Ithasbeengivenatransmission,apower.Itplays foracoupleofhours,threeorfour.Itplaysanoroforallthe santos,andthenittakesleave.
BembDrums

AroundAugust1992,Felipegotthewoodtomakeabembdrumsimilarto theonehehadmadeforOyinCuba. Thebembisafreedrum.14Icanmakeabembdrumrightnow andsay:WellI'mdedicatingthisbembtoElegu,ortoOchosi, ortowhomeverIwant.WhenthedrumisfinishedIwouldask Elegu,askOy,askhere,askthere.IwantedOytogiveme permissiontomakeadifferentdrumherebutconnectedtothoseI madeinCubaforher. Bembdrumsarebemboro,whichmeansforeverybody.They areusedtocleanseandformanyotheruses.You,whoarean aberikulnotbaptizedinthereligioncanhireabembdrumto play.Ifyoufeellikeityoucansay:Well,Idon'thaveagodfather, Idon'thaveagodmother,Ihavenobody,butIlikeFelipe'shouse. Felipe,I'mgoingtogiveatoquewithbembtoyoursanto.You candoit,becauseweareallchildrenofsantoevenifwehaveno santomade.Youunderstand?Butifnowyougoandgetcrowned withyoursanto[getinitiated],it'slikeakingdomthatyouhave. Afterthatyoucan'tcelebrateaceremonywithadrumthatisn't baptized,becausenowyouarebaptized.Ifyoudoit:Whodoyou thinkyouarehonoringwiththat?Becauseyoursantocan'taccept it,muchlessOlofi.So,whatyouhavetodoistobringadrum withA.Onlythenwillthesantoanswertoyou.

Page128 FelipemadethebembdrumanddedicatedittoOsain.Whenhefinishedthe work,hehadadreaminwhichthewordsandmusicofachanttoOsainwere giventohim.Thiswasthechantthatwasusedtodedicatethenewdrumtothis oricha. Iwassleeping,yousee?Andthischantcametomeinadream.I wokeupataroundtwoo'clockinthemorning:Valeria,Valeria, writethisdownforme,thewayI'mputtingitandIhadthe musicinmymindandeverything.Look:

eweayosainbabam eweayosainbabam osainalmofinye'raeweiymi

tiwitiwi kukurkukur tiwitiwi kukurkukur

tiwitiwi kukurkukur tiwitiwialmofinyera15

Osainismyfather,andwithoutherbsochacannotbemade.The chanttalksaboutocha,yousee?Fromsevenplantson,thereis alreadyaspirituality.Osainisthespiritoftheplants,thatiswhy yousay:Osainalmofinyera,becauseyouarecallingthe spirituality,thespiritualityoftheherbs,tocomeandaccomplish somethingforyou.Osain'spersonalityisreflectedinthechant Osainisanorichathatismissingafoot,aneye,anear,anarm. Well,I'manimperfectpersonbutIcometodogoodto humanity.Ihaveoneeye,Ihaveonenose,oneearonly,onearm only,butIcometodogoodtohumanity,sothattheworldmaybe perfect,sothatit'snotlikeme.
IyesDrums

AsasonofOgn,everytwentyfourthofAugust,Felipecelebratesthefeastof hissantowithabigfiesta.Whenhisfinancesallowit,he

perfect,sothatit'snotlikeme.
IyesDrums

AsasonofOgn,everytwentyfourthofAugust,Felipecelebratesthefeastof hissantowithabigfiesta.Whenhisfinancesallowit,he

Page129 givesaseparatefiestatothePalodeitySarabanda,whoisthePalosyncretic equivalentofOgn.ItwasforthefiestaofOgnthatFelipemadetheiyes drums.Thesedrumsbelongtotwoorichasinparticular:OgnandOchn. Becausein1981Igavemyfiestahere,atthehouseofthe Candelos,anditwastheendofTroy[i.e.,ofmythical proportions].InRenard'shouseImetanAmericanwomanwho wasabanker.Soshetoldme:Don'tworry,thefiestaforOgn willtakeplace,I'llprovideforwhateverisneeded.Sowe preparedeverythingandImadetheiyesdrums. Togetthatfirstwood,itwasatOrchardBeachitwasascoldas itisnowandIwasfreezing.Wehadamachinetocutthewood, butitseemsthatitgotstuckanditdidn'twanttowork.Sothe chasers[police]came.Theguywhohadtakenmethere,the Niche,knewhowtospeakEnglishwell.Sohebegantotalkto thatpoliceman:IhavebeenworkingfortheFordcorporation, andnowthattheseCubansarrivedIwanttohelpthembecause wewanttodoatheaterpresentation,wewenttotheministry Hemadesuchamessthathedrovethatwhiteguynuts.Thenthe whiteguystaredatusforawhileandsaid:OK,seeifyoucan startthatmachineI'mgivingyouthirtyminutesandthenyouhave toleave.Soweputsomeoilintothemachineandwestartedit, andbegantocutitwassocold!Thenwetookeverything,andI didthework.Diodadowhohelpedabit,DaniloandIwitha carvingknife,andnothingelseOh!Yes,andahandsaw. MyiyesdrumswerebornfromOgn,becausetheyarelinkedto Ogn'scabildo(inCuba].Ognistheonewhoknowsandhe gavemethesecret.Listen,thesearetranscendentalthingsthatone cannottakeintotheopen[thingsthatshouldbekeptsecret].Ogn isawarlock,OgnistheonewhoinventsalltheAses.IfIwant todosomething,justbyhavingsomeofthethingsfromthelyesa cabildoinCuba,Iwouldbeabletodothingshere.InMatanzas thereisonlyonesetofiyesdrums,fromwhichmysetwasborn. Whenthedrumswerefinished,Felipepaintedthemgreenandyellow,the colorsofOgnandOchn.Thissetofdrumsbecamethefirstiyessettobe madeintheUnitedStates.Thespecialbondthesedrumshavewiththeabove mentionedorichasisexplainedbyFelipethroughapatak(aLucumlegend).

Page130 WhenOchnwenttothelandoftheYestodance,shewas shakingandmovingalot.SoOgnsaid:Whatthehellisgoingon withthisone?WithherprettyfaceshethinksthatI'mgoingto seeifshereallycanshake.Hethenplacedfiveironbars,aload ofiron,onherwaist.Shakenow!hetoldher.Butthistimeit wasevenworse,becauseOchnwasshakinglikeawhirlwind,ha! ha!ha!LadisthehandkerchiefOchnhasunderneathhercrown. SowhenOgnplacedtheironbarsonherwaisthetoldher:I wanttoseeifyoucanmoveyourwaistthewayyoumovethe handkerchief,thelad,thatyouhaveonyourhead.Accordingto thepataksthat'swhathappened.ThenOg ntoldher:Well,now I'mgoingtomakeyouthequeenofthatdrum.That'swhythe drumisgreenandyellow,thecolorsofOchnandOgn.That's thestorybehindthechantthatsays: tladyey obasomaogued Ogntniwo DrumsasanExtensionoftheSelf,asaSourceofLiving,asLifeItself Musicislifeitself.BecauseI'lltellyouthis,look,look,rightnow, theguyscomehere,andpeoplearen'tthesame,right?Ihaveone drummerwholikesthedrumsalotbuthedoesn'tknow,hehasno loveforthedrumandformethedrumislikelikeanextension ofmybody,no?Anyofthosedrumsislikeapartofmyselfnot becausetheybelongtome,theycanbelongtoanybodyelse. Accordingtothewayyouhitthedrumyouaregoingmakeme happyoryouaregoingtoupsetme.SoIhavethisstudentwho comeshere,bringsdownallthedrumsandbeginshittingthemina waythathurtsme.HegivestheseblowstothedrumsbutI'mthe oneinpain.Becausehe'shittingthemwrong.That'snotbeinga professional,onehastohaveaffectionforthedrums.Becauseat myage,I'vebeenplayingdrumslongerthanI'vebeenalive.Sothe skinandthedrum,thatstructurehasbeenmylife.Becauseithas givenmelife,ithasgivenmefood,ithasgivenmeeverything. SomedaysIhaven'tearnedenough,butotherdaysI'veearneda lotandithasevenhelpedmetofeedmychildren.SometimesItell thisdrummer:Whyareyoumistreatingthedrums?Youhaveto justpassyourhandsoftlyovertheskin,youcaressit,thenyou giveitasmallstrikelisten,itsoundssweeter,itsoundsbetter. Buthepaysnoattentionandcontinueshitting

Page131 thedrumsandpiketipan.SoIgotothekitchenandstarttalking tomyselfValeria[Felipe'swife]comesinandtellsme:Butwhy don'tyougooutand?BecauseIalreadytoldhimonceandI don'twanttoteachmore.Lethimgoonhittingit.Andmyother studentsknowI'mhurting,theyknow.Theydon'tdothat.They takethedrumsandgreetthem.I'vetoldthem,thedrummerwho comeshereandbringsdownoneofthosedrumsandbeginsto punchthemisn'tadrummerhehasnosense,heasnolove,hehas nothing.Youaresupposedtogotothedrumsandsalutethem softlypakitikitiyougivethemsomesoftstrikes,justkuwere talkingtothem.Thewaysomeonewhoknowsthatthisishis cultureandhastotakecareofitwithlovewilldo.Youreallyhave toteachthosewhowanttolearnbutifsomeonedoesn'twantto listentome,Iwouldletthemgoonhittingthedrumsanyway.But Iknowtomorrowthey'regoingtobesorry.They'regoingtobe sorrybecausethedrumsaretransmittingsomething,theskinis transmittingamessage.Ifwebelieveinsomething,well,we believe.Ifwe'renotgoingtobelieve,well,wewon't. Viewingthedrumasaperson,asaninterlocutorwithawillofitsownwhohas tobetreatedwiththeutmostrespect,isnotmerelyaphilosophical considerationforFeliperather,itencapsulatestheapproachthatguideshis playingtechnique. Ihitthedrumstrongly,Ihititstronglybutwithtechnique.It's strongbutnottobreaktheskin,nottogetyourhandfromone sideandtobumpittotheother.It'sknowinghowtohit.Ifyou strugglewiththedrum,youwon'tbeabletoconquerit.Youhave torelaxandhititalittlesoftertrytobealittlebitmore intelligentwiththedrum.Hedoesn'twanttogiveintoyou,butjust waitandyouwillsee.Whenarhythmdoesn'tcomeout,youhave tohititsofter,withouttighteningtheskin.Onlywhenyouhaveit undercontrolyoucansay:NowIamgoingtoplaythis.

TheArtisanTransformedintoanArtist
WhenFelipewashavingfinancialdifficulties,hebegantomakesetsofminiature batdrumsandsellthemassouvenirs.Withthemoneyhemadehewasable toacquiretools,materials,andsuppliesthatenabledhimtobuildstandardsets ofdrums.

Page132 Thereinfrontofourbuildingtheyknockeddownabeamandleft alogoffourbyfour.ItwasatimewhenIwasgoingthrougha badsituationandhadnomoney,hadnothingIwasstandingat thewindowandsomethingtoldme:Gotakethatlogsoyoucan makesomedrumsfromit.AndIwentoutanditwascoldlike itisrightnow.ItookthelogandwhenAjamu[Felipe'sson]saw mecominginwithithetoldmeIwasbringinggarbageintothe house.ThatsamenightIcutitandcleanedit,andwhatnotI beganmakingthedrumsbyhand.Itookahammerandgotallthe nailsoutandIhadapieceofasawandIbegancuttingthesmall drums,thelittleones,thesouvenirtypeandIcutandmade aboutfivesets.Iworkedfast,butImadethemreallybeautiful butworkingbyhand.Openingtheholeswithaveryfinecutting gauge.Ihollowedthemreallywell,Iplacedtheskin,andaweek laterIwentouttosellthem.Iwentouttothestreetsandpeople snatchedthemfromme.ThenValeriabeganbuyingtoolsand listen:fromthatwhichAjamucalledgarbagewegotmoneytobuy morelogs,andImadesomethreehundredsetsofsmalldrums andsoldthemall!ThenIstoppedtheproductionofsmalldrums andbeganmakingthebigdrums. Felipewasgainingareputationasapalero,andmanypeoplehadvisitedhis housetoseethealtarinaclosetwherehehadsethisprendas.Someofthe visitorsweremovedbysimplecuriosity,othersbyintereststhatrangedfromthe religioustotheanthropologicaltotheaesthetic,yetothersbythebeliefthey sharedwithFelipeinthepowerandforceofthespiritsthatwerehousedinthat altar.ElementsoftheprendaweresmuggledoutofCubaandintotheUnited States,andFelipereconstructedotherelementsthathadtobereplaced,using materialshefoundinNewYork.Theresultswereimpressive,powerful,and stirring.ManypeopleapproachedFelipeforhelpinsettingtheirownprendas. By1993therewereatleastahundredprendasinNewYorklikeFelipe's, manyofwhichhemadeandrituallyprepared(Thompson1993:288). Ashisreputationasareligiousartisangrew,Felipebegantobeapproachedby peoplewhowantedhimtomanufacturereligiousobjectsforthem:beaded gourds,beadedhooks,canteens,hats,pouches,collaresdemazo(beaded necklaces),andothertypesofcollaresforthedifferentorichas.16 In1993,FelipewasapproachedbyProfessorRobertFarrisThompson,a scholarinthefieldofAfricanartfromYaleUniversity,tobuild

Page133 analtarforSarabandaattheMuseumofAfricanArtinNewYork.Thisaltar wastobecomepartofanexhibitofaltarsofAfricaandtheAfricanAmericas calledFaceoftheGods,whichThompsoncurated.Felipeinstalledthisaltar inthemuseum,andSarabandawasvisitedbythousandsofNewYorkers duringthefivemonthstheexhibitlasteditthentraveledtoseveralother museumsinthecountry.17 Thompsonlookedfortheresourcesandtheprendawasmade. ButwhenImadeit,whenIfedithereinthehouse,Ifellsomuch inlovewiththatprendathatIdidn'twanttogiveitaway.Because itwasbornunderagoodsign.Anditwasabigdealwith ValeriabecauseValeriavaluesthereligionandshewassaying: Howcanitbepossibleforthesepeopletomakeaprendaand thennottohavesomeonewhounderstandsandknowsaboutthat intheplacewheretheyaregoingtokeepit?Becauseuptothis daythepeoplefromthemuseumdon'tbelieveinthat,theystudyit becauseit'stheirjob,buttheydon'tbelieveinanyofthosethings. ButI'mgoingtotellyousomething,IdiditbecauseIasked Sarabandaandhetoldme:Doitbecauseit'sgoingtobe somethingthatwillgiveyoustrength.SoIwasdoingthatasajob commandedbymythings. f Thetransitionfromthehouseshrinetothemuseumandthetransformationofan artisanintoanartistarebothconsequencesofarecentmovementtoopenthe doorsofWesternmuseumstoobjectsandartiststhatuntilrecentlyhadbeen excluded.Thedistinctionbetweenobjectsvaluedasethnologyandthosevalued asfinearthasbeenbroken,andthedividinglinethatclearlyseparatedtheart museumfromtheethnographicmuseumhasblurredwiththeappearanceof numerousmuseumsthatbelongtoeither(orneither)camp:ethnic,tribal,and localculturalmuseums. Theproblemsassociatedwiththerepresentationandexhibitionoftheseobjects arewidelydiscussedamongmuseumandartcurators,anthropologists,andart historians.Twooppositeapproachestorepresentationoneinwhich contextualinformationabouttheobjectsisconsideredfundamental,theother withlimitedornocontextualinformation,inwhichtheobjectsaretobeviewed andjudgedaspureformaretheextremesofarangeofpracticesadoptedby museumsandartgalleries,whichfrequentlyusedanapproachthatcombines ele

Page134 mentsofboth.Irrespectiveoftherepresentationapproachadopted,theend resultisalwaysanexhibitionfilteredthroughtheideas,tastes,andpoliticaland artisticviewsofthosewhoorganizeit. Evenmuseumsoftheethnographictypeadoptaparticularstrategyof representationtoaddressthemuseumgoingpublic.Thus,evenwhenmuseums exhibitworksthatarenotconsideredforsale,byhighlightingtheminan exhibitionthemuseumscontributenotonlytothecreationofvaluebuttothe processofcommodificationoftheworks.18 Onthetransformationofutensils,ritualobjectsandtalismansintomuseum pieces,OctavioPaz(1979:8)writes: Manyoftheobjectsthatareaccumulatedinourmuseumsand privatecollectionsbelongedtothatworldwherebeautywasnota distinctandselfsufficientvalue.Societywasdividedintotwo greatterritories,theprofaneandthesacred.Inbothbeautywas subordinated,inonecasetousefulnessandintheothertomagical efficacy.Utensil,talisman,symbol:beautywastheauraofthe object,theconsequencealmostinvoluntaryofthesecret relationshipbetweenworkmanshipandsignificance.The workmanshipthewayathingismadethesignificance,forwhatit ismade.Nowalltheseobjects,tornfromtheirhistoricalcontext, theirspecificfunction,theiroriginalmeaning,offerthemselvesto oureyeslikeenigmaticdivinitiesanddemandadoration.

Felipe'sThereFacesHisHere
WhenFelipearrivedintheUnitedStates,heencounteredapracticeofSantera thathadundergoneaseriesoftransformationsanddevelopedintoasetof diverseandsometimesconflictingapproachestoritualmattersandreligious beliefs.ThehistoryofSanteraintheUnitedStateshasbeenmarkedbydebates overbeliefsandritualpracticesthatreflectthecontradictionsandcompetitionof thedifferentgroupsthatadheretoit.Notgovernedbyastrictorthodoxy, Santeracontinuestoelicitandacceptnewinterpretationsandaccommodate theneedsofdiverse,multiethnicgroupsofpractitioners. AlthoughtherewereSanterapractitionersinNewYorkbytheearly

Page135 1930s,thefirstSanterapriestorbabalao,PanchoMora,issaidtohavearrived inNewYorkonlyin1946.19Duringthe1930sand1940s,peopleinthe UnitedStateswhowantedtobeinitiatedhadtotraveltoCuba,apracticethat continuedthroughthe1950s.WiththeadventoftheCubanrevolution, however,becominginitiatedinCubabecamequitedifficulttherefore,people begantravelingtoPuertoRico,andintheearly1960sinitiationsbegantobe performedintheUnitedStates.Bythe1970s,Santerahasspreadbeyondits ethnicboundariesandhadnumerousadeptsamongAfricanAmericans,non CubanLatinos,immigrantsfromotherCaribbeanislands,andevenwhite Americans. ComingfromMatanzasin1980,Felipefoundhimselfaminoritywithina practiceofSanterathat,amongtheCubanpractitioners,primarilyfollowedthe Havanatradition.(Thefactthatthemajorityofpostrevolutionaryimmigrants camefromHavanaandLasVillasmaywellhavecontributedtothis.)Among AfroAmericanpractitionersithaddevelopedintoapracticeknownas Yorubareligion,andamongPuertoRicanpractitionersithadincorporated practicesofespiritismoThelattertwopracticesledtotheformationofhouse templesthathavedevelopedindependentreligiouspractices. YorubareligionwastheproductofamovementledprimarilybyAfrican Americans,whosoughttopurifySanteraofitsSpanishandCatholicelements andbringitclosertoitsYorubaroots.Thismovementbegantounfoldatthe timeofthecivilrightsmovementandwaslinkedwiththeblacknationalist movement.Inthe1960sthispushforreturntoAfricanrootsinSanteraledto thefoundationoftheShangoTempleinHarlem(latercalledYorubaTemple). MembersofthistempleemphasizedadirectconnectionwithAfricatheywore Africandresses,adoptedAfricannames,andpromotedYorubasocialpractices suchaspolygyny.Theyalsobroughtthepracticeofthereligionintopublicview throughinterviews,parades,televisionperformances,films,andconcertsa clearcontrasttothetraditionofsecrecythatmostCubanpractitioners maintained.In1969,someoftheTemple'smembers,ledbyWalterKing(one ofthefounders),leftNewYorkforSouthCarolina,wheretheyestablisheda YorubavillagecalledOyotunji.20Whenthetempledissolved,themembers whohadremainedinNewYorkorganizedtheirownhousetemples,joined preexistinghousetemples,orbecamemembersofpredominantlyCubanor PuertoRicanhouses.However,themovementtorestoreSantera/Yoruba religionto

Page136 itsAfricanessence,bringingitbacktoitsYorubaroots,hascontinuedand spread,evenamongSpanishspeakingsanteros.Amongthebestknownfigures ofthismovementarethefoundersandorganizersoftheYorubaTheological Archministry,JohnMasonandGaryEdwards.Theycalltheirapproach Yorubarevisionism,which,accordingtoEdwards,fostersaphilosophical approachtothestudyofYorubaculturewhichisbasedontheideathatthe religionshouldreturntoitsoriginbypromotingtheuseofmodernYoruba languageintheceremoniesandbyreturningtheconceptsthatrelatetothe orichastothepreslaverystatusminustheinfluenceoftheCatholic saints(MasonandEdwards1985:ivv).21 Espiritismo(spiritism)isamovementbasedinthewritingsofaFrench schoolteacher,LeonRivail(pennameAlanKardec),thatbecameverypopular inLatinAmericaafterthearrivalofKardec'sbooks(from1856on).The doctrineofspiritismincludesbeliefinthepossibilityofcommunicatingwiththe spiritsofthedead,ahierarchyintheworldofthespirits(whichisaworld wherespiritsevolveandreincarnatetemporarilyinhumanbodies)andthat spiritsmayinterveneinthehumanworldbyhelping,hindering,orgivingadvice. InCubamanypractitionershadalreadyincorporatedsomepracticesof spiritismintoSanteraandPalo.InNewYork,espiritismobecameexceedingly popularamongPuertoRicanimmigrants,andfromthe1960son,manyofits practiceshavebeenmixedwiththoseofSantera.Nowadays,amongSpanish speakingpractitionersitisnotraretofindpeoplewhoarebothespiritistasand santeros.However,therearemanyespiritistaswhoresentanyidentificationwith Santera,aswellasmanysanteroswhoprefertokeepSanterafreefromthe influenceofespiritismo.Whenthemarielitos(someofwhomwerepaleros) arrived,manybegantointeractwiththespiritistmediums,sharingwiththem theirPalospiritsandteachingthemhowtoprepareanganga.22 IdeologicaldifferencesthatoneencountersamongvariousU.S.Santeragroups notonlyareaproductoftheencounterbetweenCubansandotherethnic groupsbutreflectexistingdisagreementsamongCubansthemselves.Notall Cubanswerereluctanttoincludeotherethnicgroupsintheirreligion.Amajor sourceofconflictamongCubansanteroswasthepowerassignedtothe babalaosinthedifferenthousesofocha.Becauseofthesmallnumberof babalaosinNewYork'sSanteracommunityinthe1960sandtheprivileged positiontheyen

Page137 joyedwhichtheystrovetopreservebyrefusingtotrainorinitiateother priestsaconcentrationofpowerhaddevelopedthatisunusualforSantera. TheearlypriesthoodinNewYorkwasveryselectiveabouttheadmissionof newmembersintothereligion,andthisappliednotonlytopeopleoutsidetheir ethnicgroupbutalsotoCubanswhodidnotbelongtotheirnetwork.The babalaosclaimedtheirauthorityonthebasisofauthenticity,whichbecamean importantissueandwasmeasuredbyassertingritualtiestooldandimportant housetemplesinHavana.Furthermore,atthisearlystageritualknowledgewas transmittedorally,andthefewlibretas(notebooks)thatcontainedreligious informationwereinthehandsofthisgroupofpriestswhohadestablisheda nicheinthedifferentsocialclubsthatwereimportantcentersforreligious networkingatthetime(Morales1990). ThewaveofCubanimmigrantsknownasthefreedomflights(19651973) sawthearrivalintheUnitedStatesofmanyimportanteldersandritual specialistswhocouldperformmanyoftheritualfunctionsthathadbeen monopolizedbythebabalaos.Thissituationcreatedthenecessaryconditions fortheemergenceofmanyhousesofochathatwerenotdirectlyconnectedto ordependentonanIfpriest.Thus,twotypesofochahousearose:thosethat stillreliedonthebabalaosanddidnotquestionanyoftheirprerogatives,and thosethatbecameindependentofthebabalaosformostoftheirritualactivities. Interestingly,manyofthehousesthatbecameindependentfromthecontrolof thebabalaoswereheadedbywomen(Morales1990). Thearrivalofthemarielitoscontributedfurthertothestrugglesanddebates withintheSanteracommunity,thisbeingthefirstwaveofimmigrantstoinclude alargepercentageofblackssomeofwhomcamedirectlyfromMatanzas, wheretheritualsandpracticesofSanterahistoricallydifferedfromthoseof Havana.23 Dissension,debate,controversy,disjuncture,fissures,andschismhave demarcatedthehistoryofthemainreligiousmovementsintheWest.Competing groupsofpractitionershavesustainedcontrastingversionsofmythand ideology.Thisdynamicalsocharacterizeslesserknownreligioustraditionssuch asSanteraandhastobetakenintoaccountwhentryingtounravelitshistorical development.Santera,areligionbornfromtheencounteroftwodifferent worlds,hasprovedresilient,abletoadapttochangingcircumstancesand environmentsandtoanswertothesometimesconflictingyearningsofthe groupsthat

Page138 haveidentifiedwithit.Theincorporationovertimeofnewgods,newbeliefs, andnewritualsbespeaksaflexibilitythathasenabledSantera'sdeities,the orichas,tosurvivethroughtwodiasporas. Felipe'sConceptofTradition InCubabeforetherevolution,Felipehadexercisedhistradeandpracticedhis religionwithoutfeelingtheneedtoquestionorjustifyhispractices.Itwasan integralpartofhislife,andassuchitwaslived,notspokenabout.Withthe arrivaloftherevolution,hebecameaculturalworkerandbegantodrumtothe orichasnotalwaystopraisethemorinvoketheirpresence.Inanewsetting thetheaterhedemonstratedhistraditiontoapublicthatfrequentlydidnot sharehisreligiousbeliefs.Hebegantobeinvolvedinquestioningordebating issuesofculture,tradition,authenticity,andsoforth.Thisawarenesstrying toverbalizeanddefinepracticesthatusedtobepartofthewaythingsalways werebecameevenmoreimportantwhenhelefthiscountryandreestablished hismusicalandreligiouspracticesawayfromhome,distancedfromallthe familiarthingsthatservedtovalidatethem.IntheUnitedStatesthesetraditions hadbeenintegratedintothelegacyoftheAfricandiasporaamongpeopleof AfricandescentintheAmericasandassuchhadbeenreinterpreted,recreated, andshapedtoconstructaPanAfricanidentity,inwaysthatsometimesseemed alientoFelipewhenhefirstencounteredthem(althoughaftermanyyearsinthe UnitedStateshebegantoacceptsomeofthem). Wearegoingtoperformaceremony,andyoudoitonewayandI doitanother.Whichmeansthateveryonelearnedaway,apoint ofview,accordingtothewaytheyweretaught.Thatcreatesa habit,andthat'satradition.WhyshouldItalkaboutwhatIdon't know?Myancestorstaughtmeaway,whichwasgoodforthem, andthatwastheway.That'swhyinCubatheysay:Ibelongto thisbranchWeunderstandthattherearenosuchbranches, butwestillsay:Ibelongtothisbranch.Weunderstandthat therearenotreallydifferentbranches,butdifferenthabitsthatare createdinthedifferentfamilies,eventositatthetable.For example,inaceremonyyouhavetousewaterfromtheseaand fromariver,butinsomehousestheysayyoualsoneedwater fromalake,fromthemountainandwhatnot,acave,awellsome housesusedblessedwater.Thesamethingshap

Page139 penwiththeplants.Yougotohouseswheretheytellyou:Don't putthatplantinbecausewedon'tuseit.However,Osainisin everyplant,thegoodplantsandthebadones.Becausetheworld islikethat,ithasgoodandbadthings. ThosewhocamefromAfricahadadifferentwayofthinking,as wellasadifferentwayofspeaking.Whentheywerebroughtto Cuba,everythingchanged:theclimate,theplants,everything.So theybegantoseehowtheycouldcontinuetodotheirthings, becauseinAfricaitwasdifferentfromCuba.Whenwearrivedto thereligion,well,thenewgenerationbegandepurating,doing newthings,usingnewvocabularyinmanyofthechantswe begantousemanywordsinSpanish,becausewecouldn'tspeak theirlanguage,andthechantsremainedlikethat. I'mapersonwho'shereandwhodoesthingsthewayhewas taughtto.Andwhotaughtme?Peopleofnacin,aLucumora Yoruba,whichisthewaytheycallthemnowtaughtmeabout thethingsIdo.Iworkthewaytheytaughtmetoworkone ceremonymoreorlessdoesn'tdeterminethings.Whatdetermines thingsisthattheyaredone,givinganaccounttoOlofi,because withoutOlofinothingworks. Syncretism Syncretismisatermusedinthesocialsciencestodescribethereconciliationor unionofdifferentreligiouspracticesorbeliefs.Althoughfrequentlyappliedto AfroCubanreligions,formanyithasacquirednegativeconnotations.Some deemsyncretismacriticismthatthereligionisimpureorinauthentic,while othersconsiderthatapplyingitwithreferencetoreligiouspracticesplacesthe lesswellknownreligioninasubordinateposition. AlthoughtheslavesbroughttoCubawereforcedtoadoptCatholicism,through theinstitutionofthecabildostheywereableatthesametimetorecreatesome oftheirAfricanreligiouspractices,adaptingthemtotheirnewenvironmentand totheircircumstancesasamarginalized,repressed,andenslavedgroup.This forcedencounterofdifferentAfroCubanreligiouspracticeswithoneanother andwithCatholicismwasnotasmoothprocessofsynthesisbutoneinwhich coercionandimpositioncoexistedwithresistanceandagency.Theoutcome wasareligiouspracticethatgatheredandsometimesfusedtogetherrituals, practices,andbeliefsofdiverseorigins.Wastheadoptionofelementsfrom

Page140 Catholicismjustasubterfuge,awaytodisguisenativereligion?Werethesaints justmasks,ordidtheyfusewiththeorichastogiverisetocreoledeities?Did AfroCubanreligionsdevelopinresistanceorinrespecttoCatholicism,or both?ThesearequestionsthatarestillbeingdebatedbyscholarsofAfro Cubanreligion.24 Althoughawareofthedebatesoversyncretismthataretakingplaceamongthe practitionersofSanteraintheUnitedStates,25Felipehasnotbeeninvolvedin themandcontinuestolivehisreligiouspracticesinawaythatfuses,combines, mixes,overlaps,orusesinparallelritualsandbeliefsthathelearnedfromhis eldersinCuba.Heincorporatesintohisreligiouslifeapluralityofhybrid religiouspractices(Palo,Santera,Abaku,Catholicism)inwhatcouldbe calledmetahybridpractice.26 BelowIdescribetwoincidentsthatillustratebetterthananytheoretical explanationthehybridity,ormetahybridity,ofFelipe'sreligiouspractices.27 WhenIvisitedFelipeduringHolyWeekin1992,hehadcoveredallhissaints andhisbatdrumsinthesamewaythesaintsarecoveredinCatholicchurches duringthisweekinLatinAmerica.WhenIaskedhimaboutthis,hedescribed tomethefollowing: Alreadyonadaylikethistheybegintopreparefortheromeras [pilgrimages].28Inthecasadesanto,allthesanteros,allthe godchildrengettogethertogototheromera.Becausewhatthey arereallydoingislikeanegb[santeroofferingorsacrifice].They begintoprepareonHolyFriday,becausetheygotochurch.Then onSaturday,withallthefoodandalltheotherthings,theygoout toaplaceinMatanzasthatiscalledMonserrate.TheChurchof Monserrateisthereitisonahillandfromthereyoucanseethe wholevalley.Sotheygotopreparethefood.Theybeginto cookbecausetheyleaveveryearly.Atfiveorsixinthemorning peoplearealreadythere,waitingforittobeteninthemorning. BecausetheysaythatatteninthemorningiswhenGodgoes backtotheGlory.TheChurchbellsbegintoringandpeople begintorumbiar,toplayrumba.FromSaturdayon,whenHerises uptoGlory,therumba,andthefoodandthewholething,begins. ThenonresurrectionSundaythefiestacontinueseveryone dancingatMonserrate.It'saverybeautifultradition.Ifyouseeit, itcombinesthechurchwithSantera.Becausetheneverybody goesbackanduncoverstheirsantos,giveswatertothem,andthe fiestacontinues.TheAbakugroupsdothesamething.They placetheirmanifesto,andthenSaturday

Page141 atten,theydotheirplantehelpingtheHolyOne,God,riseupto Glory.AndthenSunday,thebigfiesta.Theyallpartybecauseitis acombination.Itisbeautiful,beautiful,beautiful. ThenheexplainedtomehispositionontherejectionoftheCatholicsaintsby santerosintheUnitedStates. Heretheywanttoeliminatethestatues,well,theymaydoitifthey wanttobutwecan't.IfIfindoutthatinCubatheybegintodothe sameI'mgoingtoprotest,becausethatwouldbealackofrespect forourancestors.Whathappenedwasthatourancestorsusedthe statuestobeabletomanifestthepoweroftheirthingsthestones werebelowthosestatues.EveniftheywereCatholicfiguresand atthetimemayhavehadnospirituality,ourancestorsgavethema spiritualitybyusingthemthewaytheydid.Thenwhenwecame alongthesaintswerealreadythere.Wewerebornseeingthatthe VirgendelaCaridaddelCobreisOchn.Sohowcantheycome nowandtellusitisn'tOchn?Thosethingshaverootsthatcannot beunearthed.Doingsowouldbemockingourancestors. LetmenowdescribeanotherceremonythatIwitnessedwhenFelipe'sbrother Ninodied.IttookplaceatafuneralhomeintheBronx.Forsomeonebrought upCatholic,whatwastakingplaceatthisfuneralparlorseemedutterlyfamiliar: theprayers,theritual,thebehaviorofthevisitors,thesetting.However,notlong afterIarrived,Felipecameinaccompaniedbyothermembersofthefamilyand someCubanfriends.Inonecorneroftheroomhiddenbehindtheplacewhere peoplesat,weresomebagsIhadnotnoticedwhenIentered.Fromthem FelipetookouttheAbakudrums,andeachofthenewcomerstookoneashe approachedthecoffin,wheretheybegantoplayandsingchantsIhadnever heardFelipesing.Oneofthementookouthiskeychainandbegantoplaya bellpattern,usingthecandelabraasaninstrument.Asthetensiongrew,Felipe gavethedrumhewasplayingtoanothermemberofthegroupandbeganto playaparallelrhythm,usingNino'scoffinasadrum.Iwastooimmersedinthis dauntingandsorrowfulritualtounderstandfullywhysuddenlythedrumming stoppedandthedrumswerehastilybroughtbacktothebagsinthebackofthe room.Iaskedthepersonnexttomewhatwasgoingon,andshereplied:The priestiscoming!.Atthismomentapriestwalked

Page142 intotheroom.Notraceswereleftoftheceremonythathadtakenplaceonlya fewsecondsbefore.Thescenethatfollowedwasquitefamiliaragain.Mostof thepeoplepresentmadethesignofthecrossandfollowedtheprayersand invocations.Whenthepriestfinishedandleft,thedrumswerebroughtback. However,thistimetheyusedthebatdrums.Thetraditionalsalutetothe orichaswasfollowedbyaseriesofchants,afterwhichsomePalochantswere sung,accompaniedbycongadrumsandbell.ThedepartureofNino'sspiritwas guidedbyaritualthatcombinedallthereligiouspracticesthathadbeenpartof hislife:aCatholic,santero,palero,andAbakufarewell. TheMarielitos OneofthedifficultiesFelipehashadtofaceintheexerciseofhistradeinhis newcountryrelatestothefactthatheisadrummerofreligiousmusic.This musicisstronglytiedtoritual:Thereisaprescribedsequenceinwhichchants andrhythmsareperformedcertainchants,rhythms,anddancemovementsare linkedtospecificdeitiesspecificoccasionscallforcertainceremoniesandso forth.WhenFelipearrivedintheUnitedStates,hefoundacommunitywherea lotofritualpracticesdifferedfromandsometimesconflictedwithhis.Manyof thesanterosinNewYorkespeciallythebabalaos,whohadacquiredpower andcontrolthatwasnotexclusivelytheirsinCubafeltthatthewaveofCuban immigrantsknownasthemarielitoswoulddisturbthereligiouspracticeinNew Yorkwiththeirinnovations.TwoofFelipe'sexperiencesclearlyillustratethis clashbetweenthehereandthethere. Alotofpeoplewithmoreexperiencearrived,withmore knowledge.Becausebeforewecametherewerealotofproblems here.Wewereabletogivemoreknowledgetopeoplebutmany timestheydidn'twanttoacceptit.Theytrustedmorewhatthey heardonarecordorwhattheyreadinabook.Theydidn'twant toacceptwhatwebroughtthosewhocameherebeforedidn't wanttoacceptthat.Theysaid:No,youmarielitoscamehereto messeverything,becauseyoucamewithyourthings,sayingthis andsayingthat.Butwedidn'tcometomessanything,wecame withwhat'sreal. Look,ababalaocallsmeoncebecausehewantsatoquede muerto.Whenhetoldmeatambordemuerto[dead]becauseI alreadyknowhowthecardsareplayedhereIsaid:Doyou wantatoqueofgunordoyou

Page143 wantaPalotoque?Hereplied:No.No.No.Iwantatambor demuerto.Andadded:Coo,sinceyoumarielitosarrivedherein 1980everythingiscalleddifferently. Ididnotarguewithhim,butwhenIwenttohishouseafterIhad finishedplayingIsaidtohim:Look,atoqueformuertoiscalleda toqueforIk,becauseIkiswhenthecoffinisthere,whenthe bodyisthere,andyouperformaceremonythatit'satoquefor lk.Itisatoquetobidfarewelltothedeceased.Oncethedead bodyisburiedafterninedaysyoudoaceremonyforthespirita ceremonyinwhichyouhavetomakeanofferingofwhitedoves thatrepresenttheHolySpirit.Afteraseriesofceremonies,then thedeadpersonbecomesangun,becausehebeginstogain spirituality,toloosetheskin,tobecomeaspirit.Soatoquefor guniswhenyouareplayingwithoutthedeadpersonbeingthere, withoutthecadaveryouareplayingtothespiritofthatbody. Becausegunforusinthejargon,inourlanguage,meanstoplay tothespirit.AndatoqueforIkisplayingforthecadaver,that thebodyisthere,thecoffinandthedeadpersoninsideit.Ha! Ha!Ha!That'swhatItoldhim.ThenIcontinued:Whatwejust playedtodayisatoquedePalo,whichhasnothingtodowitha deadpersonbeingornotbeingthere.Thechantsaredifferent becausePaloisCongoandtheritualsaredifferent.[gunchants belongtotheLucumYorubatraditions.Palochantsbelongtothe Congotradition.] AnothertimeIwenttoplayforaPaloceremonyandawoman therecomplainedaboutthechantsIwassinging.Thentheowner ofthehouse,whoknewmewell,explained:Thechantsyousing nobodyknowsthemhere,becausethosearefundamentochants andthoseprendasarewhattheycallprendasespirituales.But whatisthisofprendasespirituales,Ineversawanythinglikethat before.Theyjustgotoabotnica,buyabunchofsticks,apileof ironthings,takesomeearthandthroweverythingintoapot.They sprayholywaterandplaceitonanaltarandthencallyoutoplay forit.Butthatisn'tright.Thentheysingallkindsofsongstothat prenda,thatinCubaifyousingthemtheysendyoutohell!They singsongsfromtheradio,andtheygetmounted[become possessed]whileplayingtambora[drumusedtoperform merengue],withamerengue,withwhatever.Forusthatisa profanity.AllthethingsoftheCongohaveaway,theyhavetobe wellfundamented,followingallthesteps.It'sthesameaswhen youworkinconstruction.Ifyouaremakingamixtojustbind somethingyoudon'thavetousegravel.Butifyouareusingitfora flooryouhavetoaddgravelofcertaindimension.Orlikefood, everydishhasitsowncondiments

Page144 andthosewhodonotknowaboutthesethingsshouldlearnfirst. Becauseifyouaretryingtocreateaspirituality,youhavetodo thingsright. ManyCubanswhoarrivedintheUnitedStatesduringtheMarielexodusor afterandwerefamiliarwiththemusicoftheAfroCubanreligionshadgained thisfamiliaritynotnecessarilythroughreligiousaffiliationbutthroughthe concertsanddemonstrationsofgroupssuchastheConjuntoFolklrico Nacional(eitherasperformersorspectators).Formany,thismusicwasnotany differentfromseculargenresliketherumba,whichwerealsoperformedinthe concertsoftheseensembles.Manymusiciansmembersoftheseensembles whocamewiththeMarielboatliftwerenotsanterosinCubaandbecame initiatedintothereligionaftertheirarrivalintheUnitedStates.29Thus,the religiousbackgroundandknowledgeofthemarielitosvariedconsiderably,and generalizationswithrespecttothisgroupareboundtobeproblematic. Felipeacknowledgesthatthecontroversysurroundingthemarielitosandthe prejudiceagainstthemwereinpartjustifiedbythefactthatmanyofthem invokedreligiousknowledgeandcredentialstheydidnotpossess,andmany werenotevenlinkedtoanyAfroCubanreligionbackinCuba. Ofcoursemanyhavecomewhotookapotandthrewfoursticks there,fourgoatbonesorwhatever,andit'snowtobeconsidered aprenda.Andtheyhaveluck,andpeoplecomeandwhatnot,but theyaren'tdoinganythingright.Togobythelittlebook,youdo thisandyoudothat.Lies!Theysawtherewasmoneythereso theystarteditasabusiness.Likemanysanterosalso,whohave justcommercializedthereligion. Reticencetowardthechangesbroughtaboutbythearrivalofthemarielitoswas notlimitedtomattersofritualbutwasalsofeltinthefieldofsacredmusicand drumminginNewYork,wheresomeoftheelderdrummersfeltthatthestyle ofdrummingbroughtbythemarielitoswastooliberal. WhenSanterabegantodevelopinNewYorkinthe1940sand1950s, althoughtherewerenoconsecrateddrumsandpeoplehadtotraveltoCubato undergothemajorreligiousinitiations,thereweremusiciansfamiliarwiththe AfroCubanreligiousrepertoire.Someofthisrepertoirewasincludedin performancesattheclubswherePuertoRi

Page145 canandCubanimmigrantsusedtosocialize,whichwereparticularlypopular duringthisperiodinEastHarlem(Morales1990:13233).TeddyHoliday, whowasbornandraisedinElBarrio,recallshowthefamousCubanmusician ArsenioRodriguezandhisbrothers,oneofthemnamedQuique,usedto performbembsandPaloceremoniesinthisneighborhoodusingcongasto replacethetraditionaldrums.30Thefirstreligiousceremonywherebatdrums wereusedtookplacein1961intheBronx(NewYork).JulitoCollazosledthe ensembleusingnonsacred(aberikul)drumsfortheoccasion. JulitoCollazos,adrummerfromHavana,hasbeencreditedasthekeyfigurein theintroductionofbatdrummingtoNewYork.JulitocametotheUnited StatesasamemberofthedancecompanyoftherenownedAfricanAmerican choreographeranddancerKatherineDunham.OnoneofhertripstoCuba, DunhamhadmetanotherfamousAfroCubandrummer,FranciscoAguabella,a drummerfromMatanzas,whojoinedhercompanyin1953.Atthattime AguabellawastheheadofagroupofdrummersoftheOrquestadeRafael OrtegathatincludedCandito,TrinidadTorregosa,RaulDiaz,RaulNasak, andlaterJulitoCollazos.AttherecommendationofAguabella,Collazosjoined Dunhamin1954,andbothdrummerstouredtheworldwithhercompanyfor severalyears.In1957,Aguabellaleftthecompanyandsettledforafewmonths inNewYork,laterleavingfortheWestCoast,wherehestillresides.31Julito remainedinNewYork,whereheledanactivelifeduringthe1950sand1960s asafreelancemusicianforclubandrecordingdateswhileperforming occasionallyforreligiousceremonies.Inthelate1960shebeganteachingbat drummingtoaselectgroupofstudents,butatthistimehedidnothaveasetof batdrums(heusedmakeshiftdoubleheadeddrumsassubstitutes)he acquiredasetin1975(Friedman1982:1078).Thedrumsheacquiredin 1975werenotsacreddrumsandthereforehadlimitedritualuse.Thatthe drummer,whoisdeemedbymanytobethemostimportantfigureinthe introductionofritualdrumminginNewYork,didnotownasacredsetofdrums mayexplainwhyunconsecrateddrumscametobeacceptedandcontinuedto beusedbydrummersforsomeceremoniesintheUnitedStates.Howeverin Matanzas,Cuba,thesetypesofdrumsarenotacceptedasappropriateforany ritual. Collazoswasalsoanactivepopularmusicianwhowaswellknownbymanyof theLatinmusiciansinNewYork.Thismayexplainthe

Page146 importanceassignedtohimintheintroductionofritualdrumming,whiletherole playedbyotherreligiousdrummers,whoonlyperformedinrituals,isnotwidely recognized.SuchisthecaseofJuanCandela(Fire),adrummerwhowas activealsoinMiami,whoby1962hadbuilthisownsetofbatdrumsandwas recognizedinsomesegmentsofthecommunityastheonewhobrokethething wideopen.JuanCandela,hissonPapitoandhisnephewAngelusedto performwithJulitoCollazosandOrnelioScullwhenbatdrummingwasjust beingintroducedinNewYork.32 Paralleltotheneedforsacredbatdrummers,whichincreasedasthereligious communityexpandedandastripstoCubawererestrictedaftertherevolution, aninterestinbatdrummingsolelyasmusic(notalwaystiedtoreligion)grew amongLatinmusiciansandotherdrummersinNewYork.33Thus,manynon CubanmusicianssuchasLouisBauzo,MiltonCardona,FrankyMalab,Steve Berrios,andJohnAmirabegantolearnandlaterperformthismusic.Notall thesedrummerswereabletolearnwithCollazos,whowasveryselectivein takingstudents. ThedrummerswhowerenotabletostudywithCollazoshadtolookfor alternativesourcesofinformation.Someofthesedrummers,insteadoffollowing thetraditionalroadoftheapprentice,usedacombinationofsources,mainly publishedtranscriptionsfoundintheworksofOrtzandcommercialrecordings (Cornelius1991:14649).Oneofthesedrummers,LouisBauzo, acknowledgestheimportancewrittentranscriptionsandrecordingshadforhim inlearningthismusic,sincehewasnotacceptedaspartofJulito'sclique. AftergettingholdofOrtiz'sbooks,whichweredifficulttofindandwerenot readilysharedbythosewhoownedthem,hebegantogatherwithother drummersataplacelocatedat13thStreetandAvenueAinNewYork,totry toreconstructtherhythmsofthethreedrumsandpracticethem.Bauzo remembersthatatleastfiftydrummersbegantoparticipateintheseworkshops butnotmanyremainedafterafewmonths. Someoftheparticipantsintheseworkshops,amongthemSteveBerriosand MiltonCardona,weredrummerswhohadaccesstoCollazos,whethertoplay withhimortowatchhimperform.34Thusthesourcesavailabletothe participantsintheseworkshopswerenotexclusivelywrittentranscriptionsand recordings.Manyhadaccesstooralsources(other,moreknowledgeable drummers)andoccasionsfortraditionalapprenticeship(byattendingreligious ceremonies)toacquire

Page147 knowledge,whichlatertheysharedwithothers.Whilesomedrummershad accesstoOrtz'sbooks,manydidnotreadnotationorhavetheskillsto interpretthetranscriptions.Therefore,itwasonlydrummerslikeBauzoand Amira,whohadconsiderableexpertisewithrhythmnotationsandwerenot involvedinperformingwithJulitoCollazos,whoreliedextensivelyonthese transcriptionsandonrecordingsforlearning.Otherdrummersfollowedthe traditionalroad,learningfrommoreexperienceddrummers. The1980srepresentedawatershedinthehistoryofsacredbatdrummingin NewYork.Duringthisdecade,fundamentodrums,unavailablepreviously, begantomaketheirvoicesheardatreligiousrituals.WiththeexilesfromMariel fourolbats,threefromHavanaandonefromMatanzas,arrived:Alfredo CoyudeVidaux,OrlandoPuntillaRios,JuanelNegroRaymat,andFelipe MazodeYerbaGarca.Eachofthesedrummerswasabletogetasetof fundamentodrumstoperforminritualceremonies.Asmentionedearlier,when thedrumsconsecratedaccordingtotheCubanpracticebegantobeusedin NewYork,theconceptoflineageswasintroducedandbecameessentialin definingthereligiouscredentialsofasetofdrums.Thisdidnotcomeabout immediately,however,andintheinterimmanyhousesofochacontinuedto performceremoniesusingaberikuldrums,whileothers,suchastheBonifacio ValdzTempleinNewJersey,builttheirownsetsofdrums(withouta godfathertotransmittothemthevoice). ExilesfromtheMarielnotonlyreconstructedthetraditionofthetransmission ofthevoiceamongsacreddrumsbutwerealsoinstrumentalinmakingthe knowledgeofbatdrummingmoreaccessiblebytakingundertheirguidance groupsofapprenticesandeventeachingmoreexperienceddrummers. However,someoftheelderlocaldrummersdeemedthestyleofdrummerslike Puntillatooliberalandfeltitshowedmanydifferenceswhencomparedtothe oldersources(Cornelius1991:149).Inprinciplethiscouldbeexplainedby differenttraininglineagesoranacceleratedevolution.Ibelievethefirst possibilitycanberuledout.ThepurportedsourcesoftheNewYorktrained drummerswereJulitoCollazosandOrtiz'stranscriptions.Bothofthesesources stemdirectlyfromdrummersPabloRocheandJessPrez,whorepresented thestandardoftheHavanatradition.Collazos,onceamemberofRoche's group,hadalsodrummedonthesetknownasLosMachetones,thedrumsof NicolsAngarica,laterinheritedbyhis

Page148 sonPapoAngarica.Ontheotherhand,thenewlyimportedstyleswerethose ofCoyude,whowassworntothedrumofNicolsAngarica,andPuntilla,who wassworntothedrumsknownasthedrumsofPobolotti,onwhichPrez performed.Thus,thesourcesinCubaforallthesestylesofdrummingarenot onlycloselyrelatedbutalsostemfromtheHavanastyleofdrumming.That leavestheacceleratedevolutionhypothesis.Makingallowanceforpossible exaggerationsonthepartofNewYorkdrummers,Itendtobelievethatthe stylisticchangesstemfromthetransformationbatdrummingmayhave undergoneaftertherevolution,asaresultoftheinvolvementofmanysacred batdrummersinprofessionalandamateurfolkloricensembles. Felipe'scaseisdifferentbecausehecomesfromMatanzas,withadrumming traditionthatmostconsideredaseparateone.TheMatanzasstylewasnot knowninNewYork,andaninterestinitdevelopedonlyrecentlywiththe arrivalofrecordingsandvisits(throughorganizedtoursandworkshops)of musiciansfromMatanzas,inparticularthegroupAfroCuba. Anotherdevelopmentthattookplaceinthe1980swastheorganizationof folkloricgroupsthatbegantostageselectionsoftheAfroCubanreligious repertoireforthepublic.Atpresent,therearetwotypesofbatensemblein NewYork:thosewhoperformexclusivelyforritualpurposesandthosewho alternatebetweenritualdrummingandpublic,stagedperformances.Whereas theleadersofbothtypesofensembleremainfixed,thedrummerswhoplaythe othertwodrums(itteleandoknkolo)tendtochangeinsomeofthese ensembles.(Someplayintwodifferentensembles.)Thedominantstyleofbat playingcontinuestobetheHavanastyle,andOrlandoPuntillaRios,oneof itsrepresentatives,isconsideredatpresentthemostimportantritualdrummerin NewYork.35 GiventhatmosthousetemplesinNewYorkarefamiliarwiththeHavana repertoireofchantsandstyleofdrumming,ithasbeendifficultforFelipe,asa drummerfromtheMatanzasschool,toopenaspaceforhimselfwithinthis network.Hehaslimitedopportunitiestoperformandhashadtotrainthe drummerswhoplaywithhim,sinceNewYork'sbatdrummersarenotfamiliar withtheMatanzasstyleofplaying.Teachinghasthusbecomeanimportant avenueforFelipetocontinuetoexercisehistradeasabatdrummer. However,aswasthecase

Page149 inhisearlyyearsinCuba,thebatdrummingthathasbeencentralinhislifeis nothismainsourceofliving. TheOrichasBehaveDifferentHere ManyofthedifferencesFelipehasencounteredinhisnewcountryhavetodo withritualpracticeshewillnotdiscussforapublishedsourcethatcanberead byanyone.However,heconsidersthatthebehavioroftheorichasduringthe partoftheritualsthateveryonecanwitnessmaybediscussedfreely.Felipe findsthattheorichasandPalodeitiesdonotconductthemselvesinthewaythey usedtoinCuba,where,whenanorichamounts(takespossession)oneofhisor herhorses,therecipientdancesandmovesinawaythatportrayscertain characteristicsofthedeityorthatrespondstowhatisbeingsaidinthechant.36 Iwillgiveyouafewexamples.ThereisachantforChangthat saysinLucum:Ihaveagoathereforyou,butfirstIwantyouto dolikethegoatandtakethreestepsback,anddothree somersaults.NoChanghereinNewYorkdoesthiswhenyou singthischant. Here,manyoftheEleguchantsaredancedwithonefootthat's notright.Elegudanceswithtwofeetunlessheiscommandedto dancewithonefoot,asinthechant: eriboeribo agometmet motimoreelesekan Elesekanisonefootsothechantissayinggetonefootupandgo andrunwithonefootonly. ThereisanotherEleguwholivesinacrosspieceupintheceiling. YearsagoinCuba,housesusedtohaveceilingsintheformofa triangleconnectedbyabeam.UptherelivesanEleguwho,when yousing agoibara agoibara Eleguagukeo agoibara

Page150 jumps,wantingtogouptotheceiling.Whenyousingthishere, nobodyjumpsoranything. WhenYemay[orichaofthesea]dancestheagolonashemimics thatsheiscombingherhair.Thenshebeginstotakesteps backwardlikethewavesofthesea.Whenshecomesforwardshe jumpsinfrontofthedrums.Sothatcrash,thatmovement,you havetosignalitwiththedrums.Threetimesshedoeslikethe wavesoftheseathatcomecrashingagainstthecliffs.Herethey don'tdothat.Then,withahandkerchief,sheimitatesthe movementsofaboat,thathandkerchiefturnsaroundandaround, asshecontinuestodothat.I'veneverseenhereaYemaydoing this. Felipehasalsoencounteredhorsesthatarenotmountedbytheirorichasafter heenticesthemwithchantsthat,inCuba,alwaysbringthoseorichasdown. OnceinafiestaIsangachantforOythatsays:Oykokoroooo Oykamade,andthewomanwasnotbeingmounted.Sothis otherladythatwaswithhercomesandsaystome:Youare singingpuyas[chantssungtogoadorpokefunattheorichas]to OyOyisnotcomingbecauseyouarenotsingingtoher properly.Itoldher:Butwhatthehelldoyouknowaboutwhat I'msinging?BecauseI'msingingOykokoroOykamade,and I'llsaywhatitmeansnowinSpanish.ItmeansthatOyisalittle animal,aninsectaswecallitinCuba,thatcannotbeeatenby anybodythere'snoanimal,notthelion,notthetiger,thepanther, nothingthatcaneatOyOyispoison.IfwhenIsingthatOy doesn'tcome,shewon'tcomewithanythingelse. InsteadheretheysingachantforOythatisreallyapuyaandyou havetoknowwhentosingit,otherwiseOygetsoffended.It'sa chantthatasksOy:Whatareyoudoingheredressedthatway, withyourclothsmadeofpiecesoffabricofdifferentcolors?You cannotsingthatchanttotheOyofmyoldlady.Mymother,if yousangthatchanttoherOy,shewouldchangecolorsand wouldbefuminginanger. AccordingtoFelipe,PalodeitiessuchasMamCholaandTiemblaTierraalso actdifferentlyinNewYork.InCuba,whenthesespiritspossessadevotee,the personfallstothefloorandbeginstocrawllikeasnake.Hecanrisetohisfeet onlyafteraseriesofritualgesturesareperformed,whichinvolve,inpart, placingsomegunpowder(fula)on

Page151 thesolesofhisfeetandsettingfiretoit.Afterthis,thespiritwhohastaken possessionofthebodyofthepalerostandsupandaddressesthosepresent, givingthemadvice,revealingsecrets,predictingtheirfutures,andcleansingthem ofbadinfluencesandenergies.FelipefindsthatintheUnitedStates,when peoplefallintrancetheyremainstanding,abehaviorthatinCubawouldbe consideredunusualandraisesuspicionsabouttheauthenticityofthepossession. IfwegotoafundamentodePalo[aPaloceremony],whenthe perrodeprendaispossessed,thespiritcomestothefloor,it doesn'tcomeupstraight,itdoesn'tstandup.Itcannotstandup untilthenecessarythingsaredonetoorderhimorhertostandup. Becauseifit'samuerto[deadperson],fromwhereisthatspirit coming?It'scomingfromtheearth,becauseit'sthespiritofadead person,it'scomingfrombelow.That'swhywhentheperrode prendaispossessedbyaspirit[heorshe]hastodroptothefloor. That'sunderstoodinCuba.Buthereitisn'tlikethat.Youseehere thatthemuertoscomeandalwaystheycomestandingup.And MamaCholacomesandTiemblaTierracomesandSieteRayos come,andalltheonestheywantcome.Butitisn'tlikearealtoque depalo.Hereyouremainastonished.Youdon'tevenknowwhere youare. NotonlydosomeofthedeitiesseemtoFelipetobehavedifferentlyacrossthe ocean,butsomeoftheorichasFelipeknewinCubaseemnevertohave crossedtheocean. SometimesImentiononeofthosesaintsthatarelesswellknown inCubaandpeoplelookpuzzledandaskme:Whatkindof storiesareyoumakingup,becausethatisaninventionofyours. ButitisnotaninventioninCubathereweremany,manysantos thatpeopleheredonotknowabout. ConfrontingtheWritten InprerevolutionaryCuba,bookswerenotsourcessanteroswouldturntoin ordertolearnabouttheirreligion,norweretheyeverquotedassourcesof authorityinmattersoftradition.Instrumentmakersknewthemeasurementsof thedrumsbecausetheyhadlearnedthemintheprocessofbuildinginstruments singerslearnedthetextsofthechantsbyattendingceremoniesandlisteningto othersingers.

Page152 Aftertherevolution,astheaestheticsideofthetradition(musicanddance)was decontextualizedandlearnedbymanyoutsidethereligiouscontext,knowledge begantobetransmittedinaformalway,throughlessonstaughtbyinstructors. Inthisenvironment,thewritten(i.e.,printedtextsofchants,sketchesofdance movements,transcriptionsofrhythms)begantotakeholdinthetransmissionof knowledge.Thepublicationofbooksonvariousaspectsofthereligious traditionsincreased,accompaniedbyneweditionsoftheworksofOrtizand otherresearchersthatwereunavailableduringthe1960s.Onemayassumethat thesepublicationshavehadanimpact(whichisyettobeevaluated)ona populationwiththelevelofliteracyofpostrevolutionaryCuba.37However,in familieslikeFelipe's(atleastuntilFelipeleftin1980),theyoungergenerations continuedtobetaughtbytheelders,orallyandthroughapprenticeship.38 IntheUnitedStates,becauseoftheincreasinglypublicnatureofSanteraand theshiftamongcertainsectorsofthepractitionerstowardinstitutionalization,the religionhasbeenmovinggraduallyawayfromtheoralandintothewritten. Concurrently,thesecrecythathadcharacterizedthesereligiouspracticeshas beenabandonedbymanywhohavedecidedtobringthereligionintothepublic view.Thusissuessuchasthedevelopmentoftextsandtheauthorityoftexts havebecomecrucialamongcertaingroupswithinthereligion(Murphy[1988] 1993:ix).Moreover,manypeoplewhojoinedthereligionintheUnitedStates haveacquiredtheirknowledgeofmanyreligiousmattersthroughbooks. Therefore,inhisnewcountry,Felipehasfrequentlybeenconfrontedbypeople whoquestionhisknowledgebasedoninformationtheyhavegatheredfrom books. Thus,Santeraisundergoingaprocessofchangefromwhatcouldbe consideredmixedoralitytoasecondarytypeoforality.Mixedoralityisthe typeoforalitythatcoexistswithwriting,butwheretheinfluencesofthewritten remainexternaltoit.Secondaryorality,bycontrast,isanoralitythathasbeen (re)composedbasedonwriting,onewherewritingdeterminesthevalueof voice(Zumthor1990:25).However,whoseversionwillbesingledoutfor transmission,whowilldothesinglingout,andwhatweightwillbegiventothe writtenwordarestillintheprocessofbeingdefined. Felipe'sfirstencounterwiththeauthorityofthewrittenwaswhenhewas makinghisdrumsintheUnitedStatesandthebabalaoschecked

Page153 inabooktoseeifhisdrumshadtheappropriatemeasurements.Afterthisfirst encounterwiththewrittenauthority,Felipefoundhimselffrequentlyquestioned inmattersofritualbypeoplewhowouldinvokebooksasthesourceof knowledgeandauthority. Theyallhavetogotothebookandlookforwhat'sthere.Andwe don'tgobythebook,wefollowourinheritance,becausethat'sthe wayweweretaught.WhatIsingiswhatmynephewissinging, whatmydaughterissinging,youunderstand?Becausethat'swhat Iusedtolistentoinmyhouse.Inmyhouse,fromthemomentthey wakeup,theywakeupsingingsanto.Thensomeonewouldask: Sowhatisthemeaningofthis,whatisthemeaningofthat? Well,thatmeansthisandsoon.Thatisthewaywelearned.Not withthebook,becausethebookNow,sometimesItakea bookandIseethatachantiswrong.SometimesIthinkitis wrongbecausemaybetherewasadifficultyinwritingit.Ormaybe theydidn'twanttogivetherightinformation,theywantedtokeep itsecretsotheychangedthewords.Thefactremainsthatthere'sa book.Thisbookthatsays:Whatyouseeiswhatitis.Thenwhat shouldyoudo?Whatyoushoulddois,don'tabandonwhatyou learnedbutlearnotherthings,learntheotherthingsbutkeepalso yours,keepthepositivethingsthatyoulearnthat'swhatIdo.

TheStruggleofMemoryoverForgetting
TeachingasaWayofRemembering BackinCuba,Felipegaveformalbatlessonsonlytotouristsatthetimeofthe revolution,whenhewasperformingatVaradero,animportantresortinthe provinceofMatanzas.Felipetaughttouristswhoremainedinthecountryfor onlyoneortwoweeksandwantedtofamiliarizethemselveswiththedifferent stylesofAfroCubandrumming.Henevertookthisteachingexperience seriously,becausetryingtoconveyinthreelessonswhathadtakenhima lifetimetolearnseemedtohimquitepreposterous.Yetitwaswork,andwork broughtanincome,whichhealwayswelcomed.However,duringtheseyears hecontinuedtohanddownthetraditionofbatdrummingtomembersofhis familyandotherdrummersinMatanzas,inthewayinwhichhehadacquiredit fromhiselders:aprocessofobservationandplaying

Page154 wherealotofthelearningisdonealone.Onlywhenyoualreadycanplayalittle areyouallowedtositwithothers,havecommentsmadeonyourprogress,and receivehelpwithyourplaying.Thisisawayoflearningthatcharacterizesmany oralmusicaltraditions. WhenFelipeorganizedhisownmusicalgroup,Emikek,inCuba,many aspiringdrummerswouldlearn,byplaying,thedifferenttoquesfortheorichas duringthegroup'srehearsals.Theconceptsofapaidlessonwithasetschedule, oflayeringinformationandskillssoastopresentthemtostudentsinawaythey couldtacklethem,wereforeigntoFelipe. IntheUnitedStates,duringhisearlyyearsasanimmigrantmusician,Felipe playedwithpeoplewhowerealreadyfamiliarwithbatdrummingandwho knewsomeoftherepertoireofSanterachants.Itwasonlyaround1989that FelipewasapproachedbyanAmericandrummerwhowantedtostudywith him. Jess,whoisnotintoSantera,came,andhewantedtolearnonly rumba.Iusedtosaytohim:Chico,youcanplaythedrum,and he:No,becauseI'mwhiteandpeopleGotohellwith that.Andonedayhecameandtoldme:IthinkI'mgoingtoplay thedrum.Igavehimthedrumandhebegan.Andhebecameso eagertolearnthathewouldcometwo,threetimes.Payingten dollars,orwhateverhecould.Hewouldcome,two,three,four, andevenfivetimessometimeshewouldcomethewholeweek. BackthenIusedtotellhim:Chico,comeevenwithoutpaying, comeasyouplease,withoutmoneyorwithmoney,butcome. BecauseIsawthathewasmakingprogressandhadthewillto learn.Heusedtocomejusttolearnonetoque,ifhedidn'tknowit hewouldcomeeverydayuntilhelearnedit.ThenJessybrought Greg,andsoon. Sincethen,Felipehasincorporatedteachingintohisoverallmusicalactivities. HeworkedinawaysimilartowhathewasusedtoinCuba.Studentswould listen,observe,imitate,andplayorsing.Hisfirststudentsformedpartofthe groupheorganizedinthe1990s,andinsteadofreceivingformallessons,they rehearsedonceaweek.OtherstudentscalledFelipeandwenteveryweekor evenjustonceinawhileforalesson.Most,ifnotall,thestudentsthat approachedFelipeweredrummersormusicianswhowerealreadyfamiliarwith Latinpercussion,andmanyofthemalreadyhadsomeknowledgeoftheAfro Cubanmusicaltraditions.WhenFelipemovedtoCaliforniain1995,

Page155 teachingremainedoneofhismainactivitiesasadrummer(togetherwithdrum making). TeachingnotonlyprovidedincomeforFelipeitbecameaweaponforhimin hisstruggleformemoryoverforgetting.39TeachinggaveFelipetheopportunity toplaythetoquesthewaytheyareperformedinMatanzas,andtoplaytoques thatwereusedonlyinMatanzasandwereunknownintheUnitedStates. WehaveatoqueinMatanzasthatItaughtthedrummersofmy groupinNewYorktoplay,thatiscalledamal,butcommonly theyrefertoitastheharina[flour].Itisatoquethatyouplayfor thedancerstomakeacircle.Andeverybodyhastodanceturning aroundinthatcircle.Allthesanterosgetintothecircleanditisa beautifuldance.Becausetheydoasiftheywerestirringacauldron wheretheflouriscooking.Thentheydoasiftheyweretakingthe flouroutofthecauldronandthrowingitup.Accordingtothe changesinthetoque,themovementsofthedancerschange.Andit isdoneinacirclebecauseanythingthathastodowiththesantos isrounded,liketheearth,thereisnothingsquared.Soasthe dancerskeepturningaround,therhythmbeginstoriseandrise. That'swhenpeoplebegintogetmounted,becausethattoqueis playedpreciselyforthat.Itisatoqueaddressedtoallthesantos. Inatoquewhenthesantosarenotcomingdown,youplaythat toque,andtherealsantoshavetocomedown.HereinNew Yorkyoudon'thearaboutthat,theydon'tmentionitinthose bookstheywrite.ButweinMatanzas,wehavealotofthings, becauseMatanzaswasreallythestrongcradleofallofthat.In Matanzasalotofslaveswerebrought,andtheyremainedthere, andtheyhadalotofknowledge. TeachingWomentoPlayBat Genderplaysacrucialrestrictiveroleintheworldofbatdrummers.Only malesareallowedtobeswornasdrummers,andthebarringofwomenfrom thisritualworldgoesasfarasnotevenallowingwomentotouchthedrums. Drummerscannothavesexualrelationshipswithwomensomenumberofdays beforetheyplayaceremony,andduringtheritualswomenarenotallowedto standbehindthedrummersoramongthem.40Eventheskinusedforthedrums cannotbeofafemaleanimal. Theexplanationsoftheserestrictions,whicharebasedinmenstrualtaboos,are atbestambiguous.41Thismaybeexplainedinpartbythe

Page156 factthatitisalwaysdrummers(men)whoarequestionedabouttherationaleof thistabooandcalledontoexplainit.Drummingismaleterritory,andmany drummersconsiderevenquestionsaboutissuesofdrumminganinvasionand handlethemassuch.Onemightassumealsothatasubjectrelatedtowomen's menstruationcouldcreateuneasinessandcontributetothesimplistic explanationsthedrummerstendtooffer.However,Isuspectthevaguenessof theanswersdoesnotcomefromuneasinessortactbutratherfromunfamiliarity withthereligiousbasisofataboothathasbeenmaintainedjustbecausethisis thewaythingshavealwaysbeen. Whenquestionedaboutthistaboo,somedrummersarguedthatwomen presentedathreattothedrums(thedrumscouldlosetheirvoiceorpower),yet theycouldnotexplainwhy.Othersjustbelievedwomenshouldlearntokeep theirplace,whichinthiscasemeansnottouchingorplayingthedrums. Felipe'sexplanationlinkstheinterdictiontohowA,thesourceofpowerof thedrums,ismade.Thoughheofferednodetailsonthecompositionofwhatis placedinsidethedrumstoserveasthevehicleforA,hemadeitclearthat somethinginitcouldharmwomen.TheimportanceofbloodinSanterahas alreadybeendiscussed.Spiritsarefedwithbloodthusasacrificeisofferedto thespiritthatinhabitsthebatdrumsbeforeplayinganyceremony.According toFelipe,womenarekeptfromplayingthedrumsinordertoprotectthem,not thedrums.Itisbelievedthatthespiritthatinhabitsthedrums,desirousofblood, maycausewomentobleedtodeath.42 Atpresent,opinionsaboutwomenplayingbatdrumsaredivided.InCubaa debateonthiscontinuesthatbeganaftertherevolution,whenforeignwomen begantobetaughtbatatworkshopsorganizedbytherevolutionary governmenttheinstructorsweremembersofgroupssuchastheConjunto FolklricoNacionalandAfroCuba.FelipetellsmethatmanyCubansusedto comment:Ifweteachforeigners,whynotteachourownwomenhereinthe solar?Infact,someofthewomenwhoperformedwiththeAfroCuban folkloricgroupsplayedsomebat,thoughnotopenly.SinceFelipeleftCubain 1980,however,thingshavechanged.Thereareatpresentatleasttwoall womenbatensembles,whichperformonlyinconcerts.However,women continuetobebannedfromplayinginreligiousceremonies. InNewYork,drummersaremoreconservativethaninCubawhen

Page157 itcomestoteachingwomentoplaybat.Theydonotmakethedistinction betweenfundamentoandunconsecrateddrums.Byrefusingtoteachwomento playbat,theyareinpracticeextendingthetaboofromthedrumsthathouse A,toincludethetoquestotheorichasplayedinanytypeofbatdrum.What issurprisingisthatmanyofthesedrummers,awareofthechangesthatare takingplaceinCubaandnotbeingreligiousthemselves(notallthedrummersin NewYorkareinitiatedsanteros),haveclungtotheprohibitionmorefor personalthanforreligiousreasons.Moreover,theserestrictionsarenotcarried outuniformlycertainpractices,suchasdrummingstylesofAbakutraditions, wheresecrecyandexclusionofwomenhavebeentherule,aretaughtto women.Thechoicenottoteachwomenbatappearsinmanycasestobe inconsistentandarbitrary. Weknowthatthebatisafundamentodrum,andasa fundamentoitcaninjurewomenwhoplayit.Butthemusichas nothingtodowiththefundamento.Themusicistherootsthat havetobetaughtbecauseotherwisetheywouldbelost.Rhythm hasnothingtodowithit,therhythmismusic.Whenwomenare playingtheyarenotperformingaceremony.Becauseawoman canperforminatheaterbutwithdrumsthatarenotbaptized. Thosedrumsformearenotbat,theyarelikeregulardrums becausetheydon'thaveafundamento.Forexample,itislikeacar withoutamotor,youcangetintothecar,butthecardoesn't move.Yes,youareinthecar,butthecardoesn'tmove. Inthefundamentodrum,whatisimportantiswhatthedrumhas insidethatiswhatgivesthedrumapower.Thatdrumisnot playedforpleasure,itisplayedonlybecausethereisaceremony. Therearestillmanybataleroswhodon'tagreetoteach women,Iamoneoftheonesthatagreestoit.Iagreebecausewe havetogivelifetoourtradition.Becauseifawoman,aswesay, sesube[ispossessedormounted],wellthenshehasthepowerof beingasanctuary.So,whyshouldweinhibitthemfromplayingthe drums?Isn'tthisbackwardness,isn'tthispracticingmachismo? Ijustkeepongoingandthisculture,Iteachit.Ifadogcomes andtellsmetoteachhimtheculture,Iamgoingtoteachhim, becauseIbelievethedoghasaguardianangelbecauseitisa creaturethathaslife.Ifthedogcandoitevenwithoneleg,I wouldteachhim.Whyshouldn'tI?Godcommandedmeso,andI don'tcareaboutwhatpeoplehavetosay.

Page158 SingingasaWayofRemembering SinginghasalsobecomeanimportantstrategyinFelipe'sstruggleagainst forgetting.Batplayingrequiresalotofconcentrationfromthedrummers becauseofthepermanentchangesintherhythmicpatternsandthe conversationsthatgoonbetweenthedrums(inparticular,betweentheiy andtheittele).Becauseofthis,itisraretofindaniyplayerwhocansing whilehedrums.However,inNewYork,Felipeencounteredtheneedtosing whileheplayedwhenperformingwiththegroupheorganizedwithhisstudents. ManyofthesestudentswerenotfamiliarwiththerepertoireofSanterachants astheyaresunginMatanzas. Santerachants,whichmaybesungacappellaorwithinstrumental accompaniment,areperformedinacallandresponsestylebyasolosinger (akpwn,akpn,orgallo)andachoruscomposedoftheparticipantsinthe ceremonywhoknowthechantsandjoininthesinging.Variations(textualand musical),whenintroduced,takeplaceinthesolosection,whiletheresponse tendstobefixed.Theresponsefollowsdiverseiterativemodalities:Thechorus repeatsthewholestropheoronlyaphraseofthestrophe,answerswitha refrain,answerswithadifferentstropheorphrase,andsoforth.Thewayin whichthecallandtheanswerfolloweachotheralsovaries:Onepartmightwait tobeginuntiltheotherisfinished,oronepartmightbegintosingwhiletheother isstillperforming,thuscrossingeachother.Thus,thesystemofalternationlends itselftoalargenumberofvariations. Aswesatduringmanymonthsrecordingchantsfortheorichas,Felipe'sface wouldlightenup,andwithmorethanatingeofnostalgiahewouldtellmehow sinceheleftCuba,hehadnotheardmanyofthechantshewassingingforme. Therearemanychantsthatareneversunghere.SometimesIsing oneandnobodyknowswhatI'mtalkingabout.ThenIdon'tuse themandIbegintoforgetthem.SometimeswhenIamdrumming Irememberachantbutthenitgoesawayagain.OthertimesIfeel asifthesantosthemselvesaretakingthechantsoutofmymindso Iwon'trememberthem.Now,whilesingingtoyou,Iremembera lotofchantsfrombackthere.Buttheyarenotrelatedtothe quotidian.IfIwerebackinMatanzasitwouldbedifferent.There, yousingeverydaysoyoualwaysrememberthechants.Here,itis different,theysingthesamechantsoverandover.

Page159 Asweprogressedthroughtherepertoire,IwouldidentifyachantasoneIhad heardinNewYork,andfrequentlyhewouldcorrectthewordsIwassinging andcomplainabouthowoftenthewordsofthechantswerechangedinthe UnitedStates.Healsolamentedthatmanychantswhichweresupposedtobe sungonlyintheigboduwhenaceremonywasbeingheldwerebeingsung outsideforpeopletodanceto,somethingFelipefoundsacrilegious. Commonly,chantsareclassifiedbytheorichatheybelongto.Eachorichahasa repertoireofchants,toques,anddancemovements,ofvaryingnumbersand complexity,thatareperformedduringthepublicpartoftheceremony.There arealsochantsthataccompanycertainrituals(someopenonlytotheinitiated). Suchisthecaseofthebodyofsixteenchants(suyeres)thataresungforOsain whilepreparingtheherbsintheritualsofinitiation,andinthecaseofthechants forthematanza,usedduringtheritualsacrificeofanimals. Anothergroupofchantsisknownaspuyas(literally,asharppoint),andthese areusedtocriticizeorjokewiththeorichasasawayofcoaxingthemtojoin theceremony.Singersalsousepuyaswhentheycompetewitheachotherin performance,competitionsthatareknownascontroversias.Puyashavebeen comparedtotheAfricanAmericanspeechactknownassignifying(Castellanos 1977:147),withwhichtheysharethetacticofverbalduelingandtheelementof indirection.InCuba,puyasstillsignaltheabilityofasingertocopewiththe differentchallengesofperforminginabemb.Asingerhastobe knowledgeableinordertouseapuyaagainstanorichasuccessfully.Heorshe needscommandoftherepertoiretoplaythegameofthedoubleentendre withtheoricha:Forexample,if,afterastrongpuya,anorichadescends infuriated,thesingerhastobeabletoplacatethedeityandplay(signify)with themeaningofthepuyahesang,makingitappearaspraisetotheoricha. InNewYorkpuyasarerarelyused,andcompetition(controversias)among singersinthecontextofaceremonyisinfrequent.Felipemissestheexcitement oftheceremoniesinCuba,wherethepresenceofmanyknowledgeablesingers competingcontributedtobuildingtheatmosphereoftheceremony.InNew York,frequentlyonlyonesolosingerisfamiliarwiththerepertoire.Thissinger, whoishiredwiththedrummers,usuallydoesnotalloworwantothersingersto callforchants.

Page160 Singingsantoisreallylikeacontroversia[literally,controversy], thatiswhatmakesitbeautiful.It'snotlikeherewhereeverythingis commercialized,andifyoucomeintheydon'tletyousingbecause thereisasingertherehiredandpaidforsinging.Backtherein Matanzas,four,six,sevensingerscometothefiesta.Italldepends onhowgoodpeoplethinkthefiestaisgoingtobe.Insomeplaces wherethefiestasaregoodandthesanterosarestrongand popular,thenthehouseiscrowdedwithsingerswhogothereto sing,toenjoy,toeat,tohaveabeerafterthefiestaisfinished,to hangout.Soamongthosesingersthecontroversiastakeplace. Discussionstakeplace,withasingerchallenginganother.Never realfights,butclarifyingthingsaboutthereligion.Theysaythings toeachotherwiththechants,butoncethesantoistherethenthe movegetsdifferent.Youhavetobecarefulnottosaysomething thatwouldoffendthesanto.Becausethesantomaythinkyouare talkingtohimdirectlyandnottotheothersinger.Sometimesthe puyasarereallyaddressedtothesantos.Thenitmayhappenthat thesantostopsthechantorcomesupwithachantofhisown.The santobeginstosay:Iamsoandso,andintheworldIhavethese powers,andIwillprovethemtoyoubymakingthishappen. Youunderstand?Becausethesingeristryingtoprovethesanto, checkingifheisreallythere.Andifheisthereheanswersback. Butattheendnothingbadeverhappens,becauseifthesantois upset,thenthesingeroffersafine,heoffershimsomethingto appeasehim. Thatisthewaysantoissung.Itisanexchange,notthisthingthatI amtheownerofthedrumsanddecidewhosingsorwhodoesn't. InMatanzasyoucannotrefuseasingertherighttosing.Thereisa wordagthathastoberespected.Onceasingersaysthat word,heisaskingpermissiontosing,andtheonewhoissingingat thatmomenthastogiveittohim. Thecompetenceofasolosingerisalsojudgedbyhisorherknowledgeofthe repertoireandhowheorsheusesitwithintheritualcontext.Eventhoughthe singersarenotpartofthebatensemble,theyworkcloselywiththedrummers increatingafestiveatmosphere,chargedwithenergypowerfulenoughtoinduce theorichastodescend.Thequalitiesmostfrequentlypraisedinasingerdonot includethebeautyofhisorhervoicebutrathertheabilitytobeheard(overthe drumsandthebackgroundnoise)thecapacitytoinducetheaudienceto participatethroughsinginganddancingthecapacitytofusetheparticipants together,engenderingacorporatespirit(thusstrength

Page161 eningthecommunitas)andtheabilitytobringtheorichasdown.43 Furthermore,inthepartofthebembknownasfiesta,thesingersare responsiblefordirectingmusicalchangesbyswitchingfromthechantsofone orichatoanother(changesthatarethenfollowedbythedrummers),in accordancewithwhatishappeningintheaudience.Tomanipulateadequately therepertoireofchants,singershavetobeaware(orbemadeaware)ofthe socioreligiousrelationsoftheparticipants:whothechildrenofaparticularoricha areandwhattheirritualfamilyrelationsare. Thereisnoformaltrainingforsingers.Knowledgeablesingersacquiretheir expertisebyparticipatinginasmanyritualsaspossible.However,folklore ensembles,bothinCubaandintheUnitedStates,haveintroducedanother learningavenueforsingersanddrummers:rehearsals.Frequentlyduringthese rehearsals,leafletswiththewordsofthechantsaredistributed.Anothersuch venueisdanceclasseswithlivemusic,whichmanydrummersandsingersuseto strengthentheirknowledgeoftherepertoireoutsidethedemandingcontextof rituals. Singers,likedrummers,arepaidafixedfeeforperforminginaritual.Theyalso collectadditionalmoneyduringtheperformanceinabasketorasimilar containerthatisplacedinfrontoftheperformingmusicians.Astheycallchants forthevariousorichas,theparticipantswhoseorichaisbeingpraisedatthe momentmayapproachthebasketandmakeamoneyoffering.Moneyisalso placedinthebasketbymembersoftheaudienceasatokenofappreciationfor thequalityoftheperformance. Thechorus'sknowledgeoftherepertoiremaylimitasolosinger'schoicesin introducingchants.Whenasingerintroducesachantthechorusdoesn'tknow, hesingstherefrainwiththechorusuntiltheyfeelcomfortableenoughto continueansweringbythemselves.However,thislimitsthenumberofunfamiliar songsthatmaybeintroducedduringaceremony.Ifparticipationandtheenergy levelofthedevoteesaretobekepthigh,singershavetorelymainlyonthe songstheparticipantsknow.ThishasbeenoneofthemajorproblemsFelipe hasencounteredinNewYork.Manyofthechantshesingsareunknownin NewYork,wheretherepertoireofchantscomeslargelyfromHavana. Encounteringapracticethatdiffersinmanywaysfromhis,Felipehasadopted twostrategies.Whenhegoestoaceremonywhereothermusicianshavebeen hiredtoperform,heusuallydoesnotsing,opting

Page162 insteadforsilencehesingsonlywhenheperformswithhisowngroup. However,thislimitshispossibilitiesofrememberingthroughsinging,because manychantsintherepertoirecallforcomplexrhythmicbataccompaniments, makingitverydifficultforaniyplayertosingthemwhileplayingthedrum.In thesecases,Felipechoosesnottoperformthemorecomplexchants. Inonewayoranother,Felipecontinuestofollowhisbeliefs,adaptinghimselfto thechallengeshisnewcountrypresentshimwiththeflexibility,persistence,and resiliencethatwereexhibitedbyhisancestorswhentheyrecreatedtheir traditionsinCuba. Ifyouarearealbelieveryouhavetocontinuehammeringthere. BecauseIseemanysanterosthatlivebetterthenIdo,theyhave theirhousesfullofpeoplebringingthemmoneyandflowers,gold andprendasandeverything,andIdon'treceiveanything.Idon't care,Ihangontomybeliefs.HewasbornforthatluckandI wasn'tandthatcannotbechanged.ThatiswhatGodhasdestined forme.AndthereIcontinuebitingtoseeifsomedayHeloosens upandgivesmesomethingbeforeIdie.ButIcontinuemybeliefs, Ican'tchange.Ithinklikethis:ThisismyreligionandIadoreit andloveitwithmysoul.

Page163

EPILOGUE
ThisstoryhasfollowedFelipe'sactivitiesuntiltheendof1994.Thatwasa tryinganddifficultyearforFelipe.HehadlefttheapartmentintheBronxwhere Ihadmethiminsearchofasaferenvironmentforhischildrenandmorespace forhisactivities.Thefamilyfoundabighouseinabetterneighborhoodinthe Bronx,withabackyardandahugebasementthatbecamethenewhomefor Felipe'sprenda.Therewasevenaseparateroomonthefirstfloorthatwas usedtohousethealtarsofthesantos,whilethefamilysettledcomfortablyinthe threebedroomsupstairs.ThiswasadreamhouseforFelipe,butitimplied financialcommitmentsthatbecameincreasinglydifficulttoattendto. Healsohadanotherdream:goingbacktoCuba,goingbacktoaplacehehad leftfourteenyearsbefore,aplacehehaddreamedofandlongedfor,aplace thathadbeenadornedwithallthetrappingsofhisimagination,aplacethat representedthetheretowhichhealwayslongedtoreturnanimaginary returnthatmadehispresentmorebearable.Goinghomeforanimmigrantfrom LatinAmericawhohasbeenlivinginthelandofopportunitiesisnotaneasy return.Oneisexpectedandexpectstoreturnawinner,definedalmost exclusivelyintermsofeconomicsuccess.Oneisexpectedtoreturn,handsfilled withallsortofgoods,withmoneytobuyland,tobuildahouse,to

Page164 helpthosewhowereleftbehind.Felipe'sfinancesdidnotofferhimthe opportunityforsuchareturn. However,theoftenimaginedtripbackhometookplacein1994,whenoneof Felipe'sgodchildrendecidedtobeinitiatedinCubaandhelpedfinancehistrip. AtthetimeFelipewasfacingapersonalcrisis,whichwasexacerbatedafterhis returnfromCuba.InCuba,Felipehadtofacelossinmanyguises.Someofthe oldermembersofhisfamilyweredeadthedeathofhisgodmotherinsanto, Agustina,inparticularaffectedFelipestrongly.Alsolostwasthattherewhich wasalwayspresentinFelipe'sremembrances,thatimaginaryworldhelonged tocomebacktosomeday.ThedifficultconditionsCubawasgoingthrough duringthespecialperiodtheausteritymeasures,theeconomichardships, thelackofmedicineandfoodhadexactedatollontheneighborhoodandon thefamily.Thehouseswerefallingapartandthestrainofthestruggletomake endsmeetinsuchdifficulteconomicconditionsandinatwotiereconomy wherethosewhohaveaccesstoAmericancurrencyhaveanopendoortoa worldbeyondthereachoftherestofthepopulationwereaffectingfamilylife andrelationships.1 WhenFelipereturnedfromCuba,justasthingshere(intheUnitedStates) werefallingapart,thereinCuba,thehomehehaddreamedofgoingbackto, wasnotanymore.Duringtheunfoldingofthecrisis,whileFelipeneglectedmany ofhisactivities,hemaintained,witharegularityanddisciplineotherwise uncharacteristicofhisbehaviorduringthesemonths,ourweeklysessionsof batplaying.Ifinditsignificantthatasthingsfellapart,thedrumswerewhathe heldontothelongest.Attheendof1994andthebeginningof1995,Felipe's crisispeaked,andhewasunabletokeepupwithhisactivitiesandhisdaily obligations.Withthesupportofsomeofhisgodchildrenandstudents,hewas abletopullthroughthisdifficultperiod,andheleftNewYork.Heestablished himselfinCalifornia,wheregraduallyhewentbacktowork.Hebeganteaching privatelessons,becameveryactiveagainasaritualdrummer,builtseveralsets ofbat,andiyesdrums,andresumedhisworkasanartisan.Healso participatedinseveralseminarsasateacherofbatattheUniversityof California.Inoneofthoseseminars,whichlastedforthreemonths,Felipe workedwithaNigerianprofessor,FrancisAwe.WhileinCalifornia,Felipe's beadworkwaschosenforinclusioninanexhibitionattheUCLAFowler Museumandwasfeaturedinthebookthatwaspublishedaspartofthe exhibition.2

Page165 FelipehadlefthisfamilyinNewYork.Afterseveraltripstovisitthem,whenhe felthehadexorcizedtheghoststhathauntedhim,hereturned.Itwasanew beginninginthesensenotofafreshstartbutofhavingtobuildeverythingall overagain.Sincethebatgroupheledhaddissolvedbeforehistripto California,Felipeorganizedagroupwithhischildren,towhomhehadbeen teachingbatalltheseyears.WiththisgroupFelipehasbegunagaintoplayfor museumsandartfestivals.Theyalsoplayforreligiousrituals,althoughnot frequently.Felipe'sworkasanartisan,whichhasearnedmuchrecognition,has alsobecomeanimportantsourceofincomeforthefamily.Felipecontinuesto besought,forhisknowledgeofandfamiliaritywithmanyaspectsoftheAfro Cubanreligiouspractices,inparticularthoseofPaloMonte.3Healsohasdone somestudiorecordingsofAfroCubandrummingandparticipatedasa percussionistintherecordingoftracksforthefilmbasedonToniMorrison's novelBeloved. HeisbackintheBronx,livingagaininadifficultneighborhood,tryingtofinda betterplacetomovewithhisfamily.However,whenIsawhimagainandtalked withhimformanydaysduringthesummerof1998,somethinghadchanged. Cubahadbecomeaplacetorememberandtovisitnottoreturnto.New York,withallitsdifficulties,washome,althoughahomequitedifferentfromthe onehehadexpectedtofindwhenheleftCubain1980. IleftCubaexpectingtofindabetterlife,insearchforwork, lookingfortheconditionstobringmyfamilyhere,insearchof manyotherthingsbutthatwasnotmeantforme.Something verydifferentwasexpectingme.However,apartofmewas preparedforthedisappointmentbecausewhenIcameIwas awareofwhatJosMartusedtosay.IhadlearnedaboutMart backinschool.Marttalkedabouthowhelivedhereinthe monster[theUnitedStates]andhowthingswerenotasgoodas theyseemedoraspeoplesaidtheywere.Butmyexperiences herehaveservedapurpose,theyhavegivenmesomething knowledge.NowIcanliveinanyothercityintheworldand survivebecauseIhavelearnedalotofthingshere.Intheuniversity ofthestreet,ha!Ha!Ispeakherewithalotofprofessors,andI amnoone,Ijustholdtheprofessorshipofthestreets,Ididn't learnfrombooks,Ilearnedwithmyheart,Ilearnedbypracticing. IwantformeonlywhatGodwantstogivemeIdon'tdesireor envywhathegivestoothers.AftereighteenyearsinthiscountryI findmyself

Page166 stillfeelingpositiveaboutlife.Ijusthopetohavethestrengthnot tobeattractedbyanyforcethatwillgoagainstwhatIbelieve, whatIkeepinmymind.However,thereisadifference.WhenI arrivedIwasperhapsmoreenthusiasticwiththiscountryand whatnot.TodayIknowthiscountrybetter,IknowwhereI'm standing,IknowwhatIwantandwhereIamgoing.Ihavehad manyproblems,evenwithmyfamilyhere,andIhavemademany mistakes,Ilostmyhouse,Ilostmythings.Butthisismylifeand thisismyfamilyandIhavelearnedtoacceptthem. InthissecondstageofmylifeIhavelearnedtolivewithallthe mixturesIfindinthiscountry,withoutabandoningmytradition.I wanttokeepmytraditionwithoutbeingdissuadedawayfromit.I don'twantmytraditiontodiebutIalsoknowthingshavetobe takeneasy.Besides,Ialsoseethatsomethingsarechanging. Before,peopleusedtosaywhatIsangwerechantsfromthe countryside,andnowIhearpeoplesingingthechantsIsing. Frustrations?Yes,many,butlifeislikethat.Lifehasbeenhardbut notalwaysbitter.WhatIhavetodoissurviveandletpeople understandwhoIam.Ihavetokeepondrumming,Ineedto drum,evenwhenIwasaloneIdrummed.Drumminghasalways helpedmetokeepeverythinggoing.InMatanzas,hewhoisborn toplaythedrumswillendupplayingthem.Formeitwasfate,it wasmarkedinmylife.Thedrumscalledme,soIwentoutand lookedforthem. ThisisFelipe'sstory,orrather,myretellingofhisstoryastorywithoutan endingasFelipe,whoisnowsixtysevenyearsold,eighteenyearsintohis exilecontinuestoplaydrums,builddrums,craftreligiousobjects,andassemble altars,stillstrugglingtomakeendsmeet. WhyFelipechosetohavehisstorytoldbymeisaquestionIcannotanswer withcertainty.Thereasonsmayhavebeenmany:awaytofightagainst invisibilityatoolforrememberinganopportunitytoletpeopleknowtheway thingsreallywerebackthereanaccesstothepowerofthewrittenword participatingindivulginghistraditionashesawitbeingtoldaroundbyothers awaytoconfrontthewritteninatraditionthatismovinggraduallyfromoralto writtenachancetoclaimhisrighttoparticipateinthenegotiationsandstruggles todefinethecanonthroughwrittentextsorsimplyasignoffriendshipand trust.

Page167 Memorythestruggleagainstforgettingworksasthebindingelementthat bringsthepiecesofthismosaicofstoriestogether.Theuseofmemoriesin keepingandrebuildingasenseofidentity,therolemusicplaysinevokingand organizingthesememories,thewayinwhichmusicalinstrumentsanda repertoireofchantsembodyandtriggermemories.InFelipe'seffortstorebuild hislifeintheUnitedStatesinhisstruggleagainstinvisibility,poverty,and marginalityinhissearchtokeepcontinuitywiththepastwhilecopingwiththe shockofdisplacementandthepainofabandoninghisdearones,remembering isastrategyonealwaysseesatplaywhilehetellsstories,playsthedrums, singschants,performs,teaches,andcraftsdrumsandreligiousobjects. However,Felipe'smemoriesshouldnotbeviewedonlyasfragmentsofa personallifestorybutaslocatedwithinthementalandmaterialspaceofthe groupsthathavecontributedtobuildFelipe'sidentity.Individualmemoryisan aspectofgroupmemory,connectedwiththewholematerialandmorallifeof thesocietiesofwhichanindividualisorwasapart(Halbwachs1992 Connerton1992).Assuch,individualmemoriesareanimportantpartofthe historyofthesegroups. Undeniably,inthenarrativespeoplespinfromtheirmemories,animportantrole isplayednotonlybytheimaginationbutbywhatIwouldcalltheediting machineofourremembrances,whichselectivelyforgetswhatinsomeway clasheswithourpresentideasoftheselforwiththeexigenciesofourpresent lives.Grantedthepresenceofafictionalcomponent,thosenarrativesstillopen awindowontotheaspirations,dreams,fears,anxieties,strategies,values,and mentalitynotonlyofanindividualbutofthegroupsthathavecontributedto shapingthem.4 ForFelipe,rememberingisnotjustanostalgicrecollectionofhowthingsused tobebutastrugglethathasculturalandexistentialimplications.WhenFelipe notesthattheorichasinNewYorkdonotdancethewaytheyusedtoinCuba, heisnotjustlongingforsomethingtobeasitoncewasheisstrugglingagainst forgettingforgettingrituals,gestures,bodilypostures,thescriptofhiscultural memory.WhatismissingforFelipeisamatternotsimplyofchoreographybut ofbodilygesturesthathavebeenconsideredbyasocialgroup(thesanteros fromMatanzas)astheproofofthepresenceoftheorichasamongthem.When anorichatakespossessionofaninitiateinritual,heorsheisexpectedtomove accordingtoprototypicalgesturesthatportraytheper

Page168 sonalitytraitsofandaspectsofthemythsrelatingtothatoricha.Whatis inscribedinthesegesturesisaculturalconstructionthatisgivenreligious meaningandcontentinandthroughritualbehavior. Thetypeofmemorythatallowsonetoreproduceacertainperformance(a ritualinthiscase)PaulConnertonhascalledhabitmemory(1989:22).Ifind Connerton'sideasontheimportanceofthebodyasarepositoryofcultural memoriesparticularlyapttounderstandingtheroleofbodilygesturesinthe ritualsofSanteracalledbembs,wherethesegesturesactasmarkersofthe presenceoftheorichathathasbeeninvokedthroughmusic.5Theritualgestures ofthedancersnotonlyrepresenttheorichasbutcausetoreappearthatwhich hasdisappearedthepossessedinitiatebecomesanoricha.Thus,inthese rituals,gesturalrepetitionenactstheideaofbipresencetheinhabitantsofthe otherworldcanreappearinthisonewithoutleavingtheirown,providedone knowshowtorecallthem(Connerton1989:69). Thisknowledgeofhowtorecalltheorichasistightlylinkedtohabitmemory: Foriftheceremoniesaretoworkfortheirparticipants,iftheyaretobe persuasivetothem,thenthoseparticipantsmustnotbesimplycognitively competenttoexecutetheperformancetheymustbehabituatedtothose performances.Thishabituationistobefoundinthebodilysubstrateofthe performance(Connerton1989:71). Howmuchofourexperiencesareencodedinmusic,inaparticulartuneor songhowmuchofourpastandwhatissometimescalledouridentityis recalledtousthroughmusicwasmadeevidenttomeafterhavingvisitedCuba. Oneday,whilevisitingFelipe'ssisterBeba,aswewerechattingintheliving roomandshekeptansweringallthequestionsIpouredonher,shesuddenly stoppedtalkingandbegantosingasong.ThiswasasongIhadlearnedfrom mymotherinColombiawhenIwasveryyoung.IlookedatFelipe'ssister, smiling,andbegantosingwithher.Shewouldsingonephrase,andIwould answerwiththenextone.WhenwefinishedthesongIaskedherwhyshehad suddenlybeguntosing,andespeciallyasongthatwasnotCubanbut Ecuadoran.ShetoldmeithadbeenourtalkaboutFelipethathadbroughtthis songbacktoheritusedtobeoneofFelipe'sfavoritesongs.Onmyreturn fromCuba,IvisitedFelipeinNewYorktogivehimthetapeshisfamilyhad senthim.Aswesattheretalkingabouthis

Page169 familyandaboutMatanzas,Isuddenlybegantosingthesongforhim.Iwill neverforgetthelookinhiseyes.Wedidn'tneedtotalkthesongwassaying morethanwordscouldconvey,itwasbringingbackaworldwithastrength andvividnesswordscouldnotrival.AtoncethesongbroughtmuchofCuba backtoFelipeandsomuchofColombiatome.Twodifferentpasts,two differentworlds,twodifferentidentitiesonesong.

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NOTES
PARTONE 1.ThisisaneditedversionofpartofaletterthatFelipedictatedtooneofhis studentsinNewYorkwhenhehadtopresenthiscredentialsasadrummer.As thenarrationofFelipe'slifeproceeds,themeaningofthesetitleswillbecome clearhowever,Igiveabriefdescriptionhere: Balogn:anamegiventothesonsofOgn.Thisnameisalsoused torefertoaheaddrummer(Cabrera1986). Ola:Olisthenamegiventoawiseman.Olaisthename giventothosewhoknowallthesecretsofa,thesecretpower theinhabitsthebatdrums. Oma:childofa,namegiventobatdrummerswhohave undergoneaspecialinitiation. OlIyes:hewhoknowsthesecretsoftheIyesdrums. TataNganga,AmasaNkita,RompeMonteQuinumbaMaria Munda:ThisisthenameFelipehasasapractitionerofPalo. Usually,partofthisnamecoincideswiththenamegiventothe practitioner'snganga,thespiritwithwhomthepaleroworks. YoClavaLoTacaaRub:YoclavolaestacaaRub[eldiablo], IthrustmystickinRub[thedevilthiswordispronounced withasoftr],meaning,Mypowersareusedagainstthedevil, againstevil. TheothernamesareexplainedwhentheAbakuarediscussed.

Page172 2.Duringtheearlydecadesofthetwentiethcentury,theAbakusocietieshada lotofpoweramongtheworkersonthedocksinMatanzas.Theyalso representedastrongelectoralforce.Theirmemberswerethereforeapproached bynumerouspoliticianstoparticipateintheircampaigns.SeeSosa1982and LpezValds1966. 3.PrezdelaRiva1974:7879and1976:108.Statisticsabouttheannual numbersandthetotalnumberofslavesbroughttoCubavaryconsiderably. Furthermore,thetradeisdividedintotwoperiods:alegalone,until1820 (SpainsignedthefirsttreatywithEnglandtoabolishthetradein1817)andan unofficial,clandestineone,forwhichextantreportsarenottrustworthy(Aimes [1907]1967:145). 4.OnthecabildosinCuba,seeCastellanosandCastellanos1988andOrtz 1984. 5.MorenoFraginals1978:vol.2,9. 6.ThenameYorubawasfirstusedbytheHausatorefertotheirneighborsthe Oyo.Thisnameassumeditsmodernsenseonlyintheearlynineteenthcentury, whenmissionariesusedittodesignatethediverseandheterogeneoustribesin southwesternNigeria,BeninandTogo.AtthistimeitcompetedwithAkuasthe authoritativeethnologicaldesignation(Waterman1990:369).Forconvenience, IcontinueusingYorubawhenreferringtotheculturalandgeographicalorigins ofthegroupofslavesknowninCubaastheLucumandinBrazilastheNagos. 7.DanielDawson,inhisintroductionofFelipeataconcertonAugust9,1992, attheCaribbeanCulturalCenterinNewYork. 8.ThefourthreligioussystemsistheReglaArarofDahomeanorigin,closely relatedtoSantera.Atpresentalmostunknownintherestoftheisland,itis creditedwithaconsiderablenumberoffollowersintheprovinceofMatanzas. 9.AdescriptionofSantera,Palo,andAbakufollowsthissection. 10.Shortdescriptionsofthemostimportantcharacteristicsofthemajororichas arepresentedintheGlossary.ForanextendedaccountontheCubanorichas andtheextensivebodyofmythsthatsurroundsthem,seeBolvar1990 Cabrera1974and1975bCastellanosandCastellanos1992Sandoval1975 delaSoledadandSanJun1988. 11.AccordingtoOrtz,enkom,intheEfiklanguage,referstoasmalldrum thatbelongstoasecretsocietysimilartothatoftheigosofCuba,called EgborEku(1952:vol.4,34). 12.AtthefuneralofFelipe'sbrother(seePart3onsyncretism),onlythese threedrumswereused.However,thecoffinwasusedasaresonatingboardto substituteforthefourthdrum(bonk),whichFelipedoesnotownatpresent. Thiswasaceremonyperformedinpublic,whichmayhavedifferedfromthe esotericfuneralritualsthattookplaceafterNino'sdeathandtowhichIhadno access. 13.Iobl,oroblassomemembersofthefamilycallhim,isacontractionof

12.AtthefuneralofFelipe'sbrother(seePart3onsyncretism),onlythese threedrumswereused.However,thecoffinwasusedasaresonatingboardto substituteforthefourthdrum(bonk),whichFelipedoesnotownatpresent. Thiswasaceremonyperformedinpublic,whichmayhavedifferedfromthe esotericfuneralritualsthattookplaceafterNino'sdeathandtowhichIhadno access. 13.Iobl,oroblassomemembersofthefamilycallhim,isacontractionof elseorBls(Mr.Bls). 14.WhenFelipeusesthewordgiro,hereferstoatypeofcelebrationforthe orichaswherebeadedgourds(chekersandcongadrumsareusedinstead

Page173 ofthebatensembleitisalsothenamegiventothechekers.However,in Cubathewordgiroisalsousedtorefertoakindofrattleusedinsecular dancemusic. 15.ThewordbembisalsousedtorefertoaLucumensembleofsingle headeddrumsandtothemusicplayedbythem. 16.SeeMartnezFur1979:13756. 17.MoorinCubaisusedtorefertoaTurkortoastreetvendor. 18.ThesestoriesnotonlyportraytheimportanceOgnhasinFelipe'slifebut alsoillustratetherelationshipsanteroshavewiththeirparentoricha.Santeros usuallyknowmorestoriesabouttheorichathatgovernstheirheadthanabout theotherorichas.Theyusethesestoriestounderlinethepowerandimportance oftheirownoricha. 19.Therecipientorcauldronthatthespiritworshipedbythepaleroinhabits. 20.Cabrera1986b:20. 21.PrendaisdefinedintheSpanishdictionaryasanobjectthatisgivento guaranteeacontractoranobligation.Itisalsousedfigurativelytoreferto somethingthatislovedintensively,somethingthatservesasproofofanother thing,orthemoralqualitiesofaperson(GarciaPelayo,PequeoLarousse ilustrado[BuenosAires:EdicionesLarousse,1964]). 22.Avisittoagraveyardwasanimportantstepinthepreparationofaprenda. Graveyardearthandboneswerealwaysincludedinthecauldronasawayof tyingthespirit. 23.PolicerepressionoftheAfroCubanreligionswasanaspectofthe pervasiveracialdiscriminationpracticedagainstblackCubansduringtheearly yearsoftherepublic,aftertheendofAmericanoccupationoftheisland.These attitudeswerefueledbysensationalistpressreportsthatfedpeople'sprejudices andfearsoftheblackmenace.Foradescriptionofdiscriminationduringthe earlyyearsoftherepublic,seeCastellanosandCastellanos1990:30327. 24.InCuba,ritoscruzadoswasthenamegiventopracticesthatmixedCatholic elementsandthoseoftheseveralAfroCubanreligiouspractices(Arar, Lucum,Congo,etc.).Themixingofdiversebeliefsandritesthroughaprocess oftransculturationgaverisetonewhybrid,creolereligiouspractices.Seethe sectiononsyncretisminPart3. 25.ThemembersofanAbakujuegobelongexclusivelytoitandcannotjoin anothergroup,unlesstheyestablishanewone.Theoldjuegoauthorizesthe foundingofanewjuegoandactsasthegodfatherforthenewgroup. 26.PeasantswhocamefromGaliciainSpain.HereFelipeusesthetermgallego torefertopeasantswithnoeducation.Itisalsoused,ingeneral,torefertoa whiteperson.AfroCubanmusiciansusethewordtorefertomusicthatdoes notswing:ItsoundsgallegoandYouareplayinglikeagallegoarecommon evaluationsofaperformance.

anothergroup,unlesstheyestablishanewone.Theoldjuegoauthorizesthe foundingofanewjuegoandactsasthegodfatherforthenewgroup. 26.PeasantswhocamefromGaliciainSpain.HereFelipeusesthetermgallego torefertopeasantswithnoeducation.Itisalsoused,ingeneral,torefertoa whiteperson.AfroCubanmusiciansusethewordtorefertomusicthatdoes notswing:ItsoundsgallegoandYouareplayinglikeagallegoarecommon evaluationsofaperformance. 27.Tomakethisbookaccessibletoawidereadership,themoretechnical aspectsofAfroCubanreligiousmusichavenotbeenincluded.Forthose interestedinmyviewsandfindingsonthesubject,seeVlez1996.

Page174 28.Itwascustomaryforblackpeopletostraightentheirhairbyironingit. 29.WhenFelipetalksaboutdrumming,hefrequentlydemonstratesthesound throughsyllables.Ihavekepttheminhisdialogueandtranscribedthemusing bothboldfaceanditalics. 30.Theorichasnotonlyorganizeandgrouptherepertoireoftoquesbutare alsoimportantinmattersofperformanceandinterpretation.Thus,thetempo andtheinterpretationofthetoquesareshapedbythecharacteristicsofthe orichabeingaddressedwithaparticularrhythm.Whentryingtoconveya matterofinterpretationtoanapprentice,experienceddrummersfrequentlyrefer tothemovementsofeachorichathatarerelatedtotheoricha'spersonalityand attributes.Therefore,theorichasplayanimportantroleinthemusictheoryof batdrumming. 31.Santeroslearnaboutthebehaviorthatcharacterizeseachorichabothduring theirapprenticeshipfortheirinitiationandfromattendingritualsandobserving others.Storiesaboutpossessionarealsofrequentlysharedamongsanteros. 32.Batdrums,likethestonesinthesoperasofsanteros,arefedwiththe bloodfromritualsacrifices. 33.AccordingtoFelipe,AmadoDaz'sfullnameisAmadoManuelDaz Guantica.OrtzmentionsManuelGuanticaastheownerofoneofthesetsof batdrumsmadebythefamousAtand.SeethesectionontheHistoryofthe DrumsbelowseealsoOrtz1952:vol.4,317. 34.QuintnBanderaswasablackleaderwhoparticipatedinthestruggle againsttheSpanishfortheindependenceofCuba. 35.Ortz,awellknownCubanresearcherandethnologist,wroteextensivelyon AfroCubancultureandwasresponsibleforbringingbatdrumsoutofthe templesandtothestageheorganized,in1936,aconcert/demonstration(with aconferenceincluded)ofbatinHavana,wherePabloRoche,JessPrez, andAguedoMorales,famousdrummersatthetime,performed.Sincethen, manyunconsecratedsetsofdrums(judosorabetikul)havebeenbuiltforuse insecularcontexts. 36.Exceptforminordiscrepancies,theaccountFelipegivesconcurswithwhat Igatheredfromconversationsandinterviewswithmusicianswhohadvisited Matanzas,andwiththeinformationIcompiledwhenIvisitedFelipe'sfamilyin Cuba,whereIhadtheopportunitytomeetandtalkwithEstbanBacayao Chach,oneofthemostfamousolbatsinMatanzas. 37.Thismistakenlystatesthatfourpeoplewereinvolvedinbuildingthissetof drums.Infact,IoblCrdenasandObaEnkol,orObankol,namethesame person.ThispointcameoutinrecentconversationswithFelipeand,separately, withhiscousinOsvaldo,whomImetinmytriptoCuba.Theerrorcameabout becausetheoriginalstatementwasdictated,notwritten,byFelipe,who,asis customarywithhim,usedinterchangeablythetwonames(IoblCrdenasand Obankol,whichisthesantonameofhisgreatgrandfather).Unawareofthis, thepersonwhowrotetheletterforFelipe

drums.Infact,IoblCrdenasandObaEnkol,orObankol,namethesame person.ThispointcameoutinrecentconversationswithFelipeand,separately, withhiscousinOsvaldo,whomImetinmytriptoCuba.Theerrorcameabout becausetheoriginalstatementwasdictated,notwritten,byFelipe,who,asis customarywithhim,usedinterchangeablythetwonames(IoblCrdenasand Obankol,whichisthesantonameofhisgreatgrandfather).Unawareofthis, thepersonwhowrotetheletterforFelipe

Page175 editedthetextincorrectly.ImyselfhadnoknowledgeofthiswhenIwrotemy dissertation. 38.Fromthispointon,Felipe'sletterismixedwithinformationhegaveme duringourconversationsandclasses. 39.ThehighestpriestoftheAbaku,whoplaysthesacreddrum. 40.CarlosAlfonsowastheowneroftwosetsofbatdrumsthatarementioned byOrtz,oneofthembuiltbythefamousAtand(Ortz1952:vol.4,317). 41.Felipe'scousinOsvaldoremembersadifferentversionofwhathappenedto thedrumsduringthispersecution.Accordingtowhatoneofthefamilyelders toldhim,thebodiesofthedrumswereburnedbyTomasa'sfather(Felipe's grandfather),andwhilehewasburningthemaragingstormbrokeout. 42.Antologadelamsicaafrocubana,vol.2:Orudeigbod1981. 43.EstbanVegaBacayao(Chach),personalcommunicationwiththeauthor, September9,1997. 44.OnesetwasmadeforMiguel(Michael)Spiro,andtheother,stillinthe processofconstruction,belongstoBillSummers.Chach,personal communication,September9,1997. 45.Thenamegiventotheironbellsvariesaccordingtothesources:Ortzcalls themekn,whichisalsothenameoftheAbakubells,andMartnezFurcalls themagog.FelipejustusestheSpanishwordforbell,campana. 46.Generally,thenamegiventoeachdrum,inorderofsize,is:bajo(played withastick),caja,segundo,andtercero. 47.TherecordingsofIyesmusicmadeforthealreadymentionedAntologa delamsicaafrocubanaweredoneatthiscabildo.Inthelinernotestothis record,writtenbyArgeliersLen,LoretoGarca,whoatthetimeofthe recordingwasonehundredyearsold,iscreditedasoneoftheveteran drummersofthiscabildo(Antologadelamsicaafrocubana,vol.3:Msica iyes1981). 48.Felipe'sfamilyhadclosetieswiththecabildoIyesinMatanzas,goingfar backintime.Infact,oneoftheperformerswhoappearsinthepictureofthe iyesensemblethatOrtzincludedinhisbook(1952:vol.4,371)isthe husbandofFelipe'ssisterBeba.HeisthefatherofthenephewFelipementions here. 49.ThetextsofthemambosuseSpanishsprinkledwithsomeCongowords butfollowthesyntacticstructureofSpanish.However,oneencountersinthem ageneraluseofaformofSpanishknownasbozal,whichwasspokenbythe slavesandlatersurvivedamongtheruralblacks. 50.Thetermsmakutaandyukaarenotalwaysusedintheliteraturetoreferto thesametypeofdance.Ortz,forexample,ascribesthevacunaoonlytothe dancecalledyuka,whileLenmaintainsthatthedanceknownasmakuta

butfollowthesyntacticstructureofSpanish.However,oneencountersinthem ageneraluseofaformofSpanishknownasbozal,whichwasspokenbythe slavesandlatersurvivedamongtheruralblacks. 50.Thetermsmakutaandyukaarenotalwaysusedintheliteraturetoreferto thesametypeofdance.Ortz,forexample,ascribesthevacunaoonlytothe dancecalledyuka,whileLenmaintainsthatthedanceknownasmakuta includesthevacunao.Makutaandyukaarealsonamesusedtorefertoadrum ensemble(Ortz1952,vol.3,455Len[1974]1984:73). 51.AccordingtoCabrera,fortheCongosyukaandmakutawerethesame thing:atrioofdrumsthataccompaniedaprofanecelebration(seeCastellanos andCastellanos1994:318).

Page176 PARTTWO 1.Felipeusestheexpressionrebelarmytorefertothestatearmy,notto antiCastrorebels. 2.ThespeechesanddocumentspublishedbythedifferentCubancultural institutesthatIconsultedinresearchingtheofficialculturalpoliciesofthe revolutionarygovernmentwerecompiledinseveralanthologies:Pensamientoy polticaculturalcubanos,4vols.,1986(abbreviatedPPCC)Laculturaen Cubasocialista,1982(abbreviatedCCS)Laluchaideolgicaylacultura artstica,1982,whichcontainstheresolutionoftheFirstandSecond CongressesoftheCubanCommunistParty,alongwithotherofficialresolutions (abbreviatedLICA)and,onthereportpresentedbytheCubangovernmentto UNESCOin1972,LisandroOtero,CulturalPolicyinCuba.Ihavealsorelied ontheofficialnewspaperoftheCentralCommunistParty,Granmaageneral weekly,BohemiaandCubainternacional,apublicationaimedataudiences outsideofCuba. 3.Duringthisperiodrockmusicandlonghairwerebanned,ablackcultural movementwasaccusedofblackseparatism,andthefamousPadillaaffair becameaninternationalscandalinwhichnumerousLatinAmericanand Europeanintellectualsintervened(Manuel1985:3Stubbs1989:770). 4.TheJUCEIwereregionalplanningboardswiththetaskoffacilitatingthe decentralizationofsomeadministrativeandeconomicactivities. 5.Onthesystemsofincentives,evaluation,andemploymentofmusiciansafter therevolution,seeRobbins1991. 6.FelipealwaysusesthewordCultura(culture)torefertogovernmental culturalagenciesingeneral. 7.TheOrganizacionesRevolucionariasIntegradas(IntegratedRevolutionary Organizations),formedin1961,runstheprovincialandbasicschoolsand playedanimportantroleinthecampaignagainstilliteracy.ORIwasformedby anumberofrevolutionaryorganizations:theCommunistParty,the RevolutionaryDirectorate,the26JulyMovement,theUnitedYouth Movement,andtheYoungPioneers.AnofficeoftheORIwasestablishedin almosteverytown,andthesecretariesoftheplanningboards(JUCEI)inmost casesbecametheprovincialsecretariesoftheORI.TheORIdisappearedin 1963andwassucceededbythePURS(PartidoUnificadodelaRevolucin Socialista),whichinturnbecametheCommunistPartyofCubain1965 (Thomas1971:1372,1373,1453). 8.Robbins(1991:242)offerstheexampleofaninstructorwhowantedto imposetheuseofbatdrums(Lucumdrums)onagroupwhosemembers playedmusicofCongoleseorigin.Thegroupwasdissolvedwhenthemembers refusedtousethebatdrumsandaskedforpermissiontobuildtheirown traditionaldrums. 9.Len,whodiedin1991,wasformanyyearsthedirectoroftheMusic DepartmentoftheCasadelasAmricas.HewasCuba'sbestknown musicologistandtheteacherofmostofthenewgenerationofCubanmusic

playedmusicofCongoleseorigin.Thegroupwasdissolvedwhenthemembers refusedtousethebatdrumsandaskedforpermissiontobuildtheirown traditionaldrums. 9.Len,whodiedin1991,wasformanyyearsthedirectoroftheMusic DepartmentoftheCasadelasAmricas.HewasCuba'sbestknown musicologistandtheteacherofmostofthenewgenerationofCubanmusic scholars.Aclassicalmusiccomposerhimself,heparticipatedactivelyinthe intellectualmovement

Page177 afrocubanismoofthe1920sand1930s,whichinspiredtheuseofAfroCuban musicalelementsintheworksofsuchcomposersasAlejandroGarciaCaturla andAmadeoRoldn(Manuel1991:1,268).Hehadbeenactiveinthefieldof folklorebeforetherevolution,havingworkedcloselywithFernandoOrtz.In 1946hereplacedMaraMuozasteacherofthecourseonCubanfolkloric musicthattheUniversityofHavanahadbeguntoofferin1943(paralleltoa courseonCubanethnographytaughtbyOrtz).In1948hiswife,musicologist MaraTeresaLinares,replacedLeninthisposition(CCS1982:188). 10.CubanscholarsdivideCubanmusicintofolk,popular,andartisticmusic. Withintherealmoffolkmusictheydistinguishtwocategories:themusicthathas remainedclosetoitspreCubansources,suchastheritualAfroCubanmusic andthecampesino(peasant)music,andthesecular,urbanfolkmusics(Len 1991a:3). 11.Manyscholarsandartistsopinedthatthereligiousbeliefsthatwerepartof theAfroCubanculturalheritagewouldeventuallydisappear.Thus ethnographerJessGuanchewrites: Theprocessofdisintegrationofthereligiousbeliefsandin particularofthesyncreticcultsincreasesduringtheconstructionof socialismbecauseastheindividualacquiresrealfreedomand enlargeshisculturalhorizonshisideologicaldependenceon animismandtheancestralcultsbeginstodissolve.Ontheother handtheartisticmanifestationsofthesegroupsareanintegralpart ofourculturalpatrimony,duetotheirdefinitivetraditionalpopular character.Thecultivationofthesevaluesfromthescientificpoint ofview,thatistosay,eliminatingthemysticalhaloandpreserving thepositivetraditions,ispartofthepresentjoboftheprojection ofsocialistculture.(Guanche1983:44951) SimilarstatementsarefoundinGuerra1989:6MartnezFur1979:25962 Sosa1982:15SotonavarroinSosa1982:32528Vinueza1988:56.This wasobviouslytheofficialposition,notsharedbyeveryoneandattimesnot heldprivatelybythosewhoadvocateditpublicly.Sincethe1980stherehas beenamajorchangeintheofficialpositionofthegovernmentwithrespectto theAfroCubanreligions. 12.By1964therewere1,164suchgroupsthenumbergrewto18,000in 1975andby1980hadmultipliedto33,000(PPCC1986:90).Thesegroups notonlywereviewedasimportantvehiclestopromotetheartisticpracticeand theaestheticeducationofpeasants,workers,andstudentsbutalsowere consideredasignificantfactorforsocialintegration(Otero1972:21). 13.ThisisanimportantCubanethnologist,whowasoneofthefoundersofthe ConjuntoFolklricoNacional.HeistheauthorofmanyessaysonAfroCuban musicandculture,someofthemcompiledinawellknownbook,Dilogos imaginarios(MartnezFur1979).Untilrecentlyhewasinchargeofgivingthe lecturesandtalksofferedattheperformancesandworkshopsoftheConjunto Folklrico.

ConjuntoFolklricoNacional.HeistheauthorofmanyessaysonAfroCuban musicandculture,someofthemcompiledinawellknownbook,Dilogos imaginarios(MartnezFur1979).Untilrecentlyhewasinchargeofgivingthe lecturesandtalksofferedattheperformancesandworkshopsoftheConjunto Folklrico.

Page178 14.BennyMoristhekingofthemusicgenreknownasson,alegendinthe fieldofCubanpopularmusic. 15.RenLpez,wellknownintheworldofLatinmusicasarecordcollector, researcher,producer,andfolkpanelistfortheNewYorkStateCouncilonthe Arts,broughtarecordingofFelipe'sgroupEmikektoNewYorkaspartof thefieldrecordingsLpezmadeinMatanzasin1978.AccordingtoLpez,at thattimethegroupwasconsideredthebestinMatanzasprovince(Ren Lpez,letter,NewYork,1986). 16.LosMuequitosdeMatanzasisoneofthemostfamousCubanensembles. Thegroup,consideredtheworld'sbestperformersofrumba,wasfoundedin 1952andbegantouringtheUnitedStatesinthepasttwoyearsforthefirsttime sincetherevolution.AfroCuba,agroupfromMatanzasthatperformsa repertoiresimilartothatoftheConjuntoFolklricoNacional,wasfoundedin 1980.ManyofitsmembersbelongtoFelipe'sfamily,amongthemSaraGobel Villamil,BertinaArandaVillamil,ReynaldoAlfonsoGarca,ReynaldoGobel Villamil,andRamnGarcaPrez. 17.OsvaldoistheoriatinFelipe'sritualfamily,andheisalsoFelipe's consanguinealcousin.Heisaritualexpertandadeeplyspiritualand knowledgeablemanwhohasdedicatedhimselftothestudyofhisreligious tradition(Santera)anditsrituallanguage(Lucum).Heinheritedthelibretasof theeldersofhisritualfamily.OnceFelipetoldmeastoryaboutthehandwritten notebooksOsvaldousedtospenddaysstudyingFelipedescribedoneofthem asbeingsuchalargenotebookthatithadtobereadlayingonthefloor. 18.ForpracticalreasonsIuseonlythewordsanteroshere,butIamalso referringtothepractitionersofotherAfroCubanreligions,i.e.,palerosand igos(orAbakus).WhenFelipementionstheoldersanteros,heisreferring tothesanterosofhismother'sgeneration. 19.Whatiscommonlyreferredtoasthecuarto,orroom,istheigbodu,the sacredspacewherethesecretceremoniestakeplace. 20.InSanteraaswellasintheAbakurituals,asectionoftheritualalways takesplaceinasacredroom,closedtotheeyesoftheuninitiated,whilea publicpartisopentoeveryoneandhasthecharacterofafiesta(party),a celebrationinwhichfoodaboundsandeventheuninitiatedarewelcometo participate. 21.Felipeheremakesadifferencebetweenplayingforritualsandplayingin concerts.Aftertherevolution,manymusiciansperformedritualmusicof religiouspracticesthatwerenottheirown.Beforetherevolution,ritual drummersperformedwithintheboundsoftheirreligiousaffiliation. 22.Arcadio,thefamoussanterorituallylinkedtoLzaroPea,ledahouse templeinGuanabacoanamedLaAsociacindelosHijosdeSanAntoniothat stilloperatesinCubatoday,undertheleadershipofRamnValdsGuanche.In aninterview(LuisandCuervoHewitt1987)publishedintheAfroHispanic ReviewArcadiotalksabouttheGreatEgb,whichhedescribesasthree monthsofreligiouscelebrationsthattookplaceafterthetriumphofthe revolution.

22.Arcadio,thefamoussanterorituallylinkedtoLzaroPea,ledahouse templeinGuanabacoanamedLaAsociacindelosHijosdeSanAntoniothat stilloperatesinCubatoday,undertheleadershipofRamnValdsGuanche.In aninterview(LuisandCuervoHewitt1987)publishedintheAfroHispanic ReviewArcadiotalksabouttheGreatEgb,whichhedescribesasthree monthsofreligiouscelebrationsthattookplaceafterthetriumphofthe revolution.

Page179 23.Ididnotfindanyreferencetoabureauofreligionatthistime.Felipemay herebereferringtoanofficesetupbytheMinistryoftheInteriortogrant permissiontoholdmeetings. 24.Inaninterview(LuisandCuervoHewitt1987:11),Arcadiostatesthathis religiouspracticeswereneverrepressedaftertherevolution.Accordingtohim, wheneverhewantedtocelebratearitual,hewasallowedto. 25.Felipereferstothebeadednecklacesrituallybestowedtosanterosduringa specialceremony,whichtheycontinuetowearforprotection. 26.Ithasbeenestimatedthat40to50percentofthetroopspresentinAngola wereblackandmulattoCubans(Taylor1988:32).MiguelBarnetassertsthat thepractitionersofAfroCubanreligions(hedoesnotmakedefinitionsbyrace) weretheonessenttofightinAngolaandEthiopia(Barnet1988:57). 27.ManyaspectsofPanAfricanismandblacknationalismwerecriticizedby Fidelandothermembersofthepoliticalestablishmentinthe1960sasbeing divisiveandracialized.AlbertoPedro,writinginCasadelasAmricas53in 1969,emphasizedthattopretendand/orstatethatallblacksarebrothers wouldbetantamounttoacceptingthestrictlyracistpremisethatallblacksare equal(quotedinMoore1988:258).EventhoughFidelhasbeencriticized fornotfullysupportingPanAfricanismatalocallevel(Moore1988),hehas nonethelessembracedPanAfricanismataninternationallevel. 28.Itisinterestingtofollowthesedevelopmentsthroughthepressclippingsof publicationssuchasGraninaandCubaInternacional,whicharekeptbysubject intheCenterforCubanStudiesinNewYork.Underfileno.675,thecenter keepsallthearticlesonAfroCubanreligionsfeaturedinthesepublications. Few,ifany,datebefore1980.However,after1980thearticlesonthese religions(notexclusivelyontheirmusicanddance)proliferate,alongwith interviewswithpractitionersandpicturesofreligiousaltarsandparaphernalia. Bytheendofthe1980s,CubaInternacionalhadinitiatedanewsectioncalled CostumbreyTradiciones,whichincludesmythsabouttheorichas,information abouttheuseofplants,andotherissuesrelatedtotheAfroCubanreligions. 29.TheseviewsarenotheldbyallCubanspecialistsonAfroCubanreligions. Manyresearchersconsiderthesetraditions,althoughrootedinNigeria,as somethingCubanastraditionsthatdevelopedindependentlyandshouldbe studiedassuch.Forthem,LucumisnotequivalenttoYorubaLucumisa CubanreinterpretationandrecreationofYorubatraditionsthatencountered andincorporatedelementsofotherAfricanreligionsandofCatholicism (ProfessorLzaraM.Menndez,FacultadArtesyLetras,Universidaddela Habana,personalcommunicationwiththeauthor,September1997). 30.AfroCubanculturehasbecomeamajorattractionfortwodifferenttypes oftouristsinCuba:(1)thoseinsearchofalearningexperience,amongwhom aremanyAfricanAmericansandAfroCaribbeanswhotraveltoCubain searchofinformation(religiousandmusical)abouttheirsharedculturalpast and(2)thoseattractedbynature,thatis,beach,mountains,andsoforth,many ofwhomattendshowsatnightclubsandcabaretsthatfeatureAfroCuban music

30.AfroCubanculturehasbecomeamajorattractionfortwodifferenttypes oftouristsinCuba:(1)thoseinsearchofalearningexperience,amongwhom aremanyAfricanAmericansandAfroCaribbeanswhotraveltoCubain searchofinformation(religiousandmusical)abouttheirsharedculturalpast and(2)thoseattractedbynature,thatis,beach,mountains,andsoforth,many ofwhomattendshowsatnightclubsandcabaretsthatfeatureAfroCuban music

Page180 anddancesandbuyAfroCubanhandicraftsinfamousresortssuchas Varadero.Theformertypeoftouristtakesadvantageofthenumerouscourses offeredbythevariousfolkloricensembles,theorganizedvisitstothe ethnographicmuseums,thearrangedtoursofAfroCubanreligiousceremonies, andthelike.However,withinthisgrouparethosewhoconsiderorganized culturaltourisminauthenticandplanvisitstohousetemplesinHavanaand Matanzasindependentoftheofficialtours,throughaseriesofprivatenetworks. Many,infact,traveltoCubaforreligiouspurposesandhaverituallinksto variousAfroCubanhousetemplesandritualfamilies. 31.MembersofensemblessuchasAfroCubaandConjuntoFolklrico Nacionalhavetakenpartasteachersintheseworkshops(talleres).The workshops,stillofferedandverypopular,lastapproximatelyfifteendaysand includevisitstospecializedmuseumsandparticipationinareligiousceremony. Here,foreignwomen,whoaccordingtoreligioustraditionoughttobeexcluded fromplayingbat,participatesidebysidewithmeninthepercussion workshops.Thishasplacedmanyofthedrummers,whoarepracticing santeros,inanawkwardposition.Theyteachforeignwomentoplaybatwhile, forreligiousreasons,theyexcludetheirownwomenfromthispractice. 32.Theuseofthetermbembcanleadtoconfusionbecausebembalsorefers to:(1)areligiouscelebrationaccompaniedbybatdrums(2)areligious celebrationaccompaniedbybembdrums,calledinMatanzasbembLucum (3)asecularcelebrationtohonortheorichas,calledbembcriolloand(4)a secularpartythatisexclusivelyforenjoyment,calledsuncho(Ortz1952:vol.3, 376). 33.IsraelMolinerCastaedaatpresentispresidentoftheSociedadde Antropologa(SocietyofAnthropology)deCuba. 34.SeeHagedorn1995forastudyoftheConjuntoFolklricoNacionalthat examinessomeoftheseissues. PARTTHREE 1.OnthewavesofCubanimmigrantstotheUnitedStatesaftertheCuban Revolution,seeBach1985PedrazaBailey1985Fagen,Brody,andO'Leary 1968. 2.UsingsamplesofthebiographicalinformationformsthattheU.S. ImmigrationandNaturalizationServicefiledoneachentrant,combinedwiththe profilesdevelopedbytheCuban/HaitianTaskForceandtherecordsofeachof thefourmilitarybasestowhichtherefugeesweresent,Bach,Bach,andTriplett concludedthatdespitecontraryclaims,mostoftheemigrantswereneither marginaltotheCubaneconomynorfromthesocialfringes.Althoughtheexact numberofcriminals,deviants,andmentalpatientswillneverbeknown,only16 percentoftherefugeesintheresettlementcampsadmittedtohavingspenttime inprison(Bach,Bach,andTriplett1981/82:2846).Ofthosewithprison records,69.71percenthadbeeninprisonforminorcrimesofactsnot consideredcrimesintheUnitedStates,and40percentreportedthattheir imprisonmentwasduetoinvolvementinillegaleconomicactivities(blackmar

numberofcriminals,deviants,andmentalpatientswillneverbeknown,only16 percentoftherefugeesintheresettlementcampsadmittedtohavingspenttime inprison(Bach,Bach,andTriplett1981/82:2846).Ofthosewithprison records,69.71percenthadbeeninprisonforminorcrimesofactsnot consideredcrimesintheUnitedStates,and40percentreportedthattheir imprisonmentwasduetoinvolvementinillegaleconomicactivities(blackmar

Page181 ket,taxevasion).Only7.4percentwereconsideredseriouscriminals (Fernndez:1982:18992,PedrazaBailey1985:2629). 3.ThosewhoarrivedintheflightsfromVaraderotoMiamithatbeganin1965 andendedin1973(PedrazaBailey1985:16). 4.RenardSimmons,anAfricanAmericansanterowhowasveryactiveasa musicianinthe1970sandatpresentisapriestofOrula(ababalao).He belongstothesantohouseofSuntaSerrano,aPuertoRicansanterawho initiatedalotofAfricanAmericansintothereligion. 5.HerefersheretotherecordingmadebyRenLpezinMatanzas,Cuba. LpezalsopresentedoneofthefirstgroupsFelipe'sorganized,Tradicin Matancera,atRutgersUniversityandincludedFelipeaspartofaCubanmusic documentary,DrumsacrosstheSea,directedbyLesBlank. 6.SeeRushdie'sanalysisoftheidentitybuildingofIndianwritersinEngland (Rushdie1991:124). 7.IusethewordofficialinthesensegivenbyCantwell,whodefinesitasthe sumtotalofthoseaugustinstitutionswithwhichweidentifyourhistorical momentandlevelofcivilization:thestate,itsgoverningbodies,itseducational andbusinessestablishments,itscorporatestructure,commercialinterests,its systemsoftransport,communication,production,andexchange,andso on(Cantwell1992:274). 8.Thesetypeofnonmainstreamorganizations,however,relyheavilyfortheir fundingonofficialsourcesofsupport,rangingfromprivatecorporationsand foundationstogovernmentinstitutionsatthefederal,state,andlocallevel, includingtheNationalEndowmentfortheArts. 9.ForthepoliciesonfolkloreofofficialinstitutionssuchastheSmithsonian,see Cantwell1991and1992Kurin1989and1992Sheehy1992aand1992b. SeealsoWilcken1991,foradiscussionofstagedfolkloreinNewYork. 10.ForthehistoryofSanterainNewYork,seethesectionFelipe'sThere FacesHisHere,below. 11.SeeVlez1994fortherolemusicianssuchasMiltonCardonahaveplayed withinthismusicaltradition. 12.Ritualwordspronouncedasthebloodofthesacrificedanimalbeginstofall onthestones,orinthiscase,ontheringofthedrums. 13.Forthehistoryofthistempleandacompletedescriptionofthebuildingof thissetofdrumsseeBrown1989. 14.SeePartTwo,CraftingaBembDrum. 15.Whenaskedaboutthemeaningofachant,Felipenevergaveawordfor wordtranslation.Hedidexplainwhatthechantwassaying,sometimeswitha longstorybasedononlytwoshortlinesoftext.Thiswayoftranslatingthe chantsiscommonamongCubanpractitionersofSanteraandisthetypeof

thissetofdrumsseeBrown1989. 14.SeePartTwo,CraftingaBembDrum. 15.Whenaskedaboutthemeaningofachant,Felipenevergaveawordfor wordtranslation.Hedidexplainwhatthechantwassaying,sometimeswitha longstorybasedononlytwoshortlinesoftext.Thiswayoftranslatingthe chantsiscommonamongCubanpractitionersofSanteraandisthetypeof translationIsubscribetohere.(See,forexample,thelibretasdesanto publishedinMenndez1990.)IdisagreewiththosewhoconsiderLucumjusta modifiedversionofstandardYoruba(Hopkins1992).Inmyview,alanguage thatdevelopedindependentlyforalmostacenturycannotbetranslatedby correctingitand

Page182 assimilatingittoanotherone(inthiscase,standardYoruba).Formoreonthe problemsoftranslatingtheSanterachants,seeVlez1996.SeealsoMatory 1996:168. 16.Specificobjectsareattributedtoeachorichaandthenplacedinthealtaror sometimesusedduringtherituals(e.g.,aswordandadoubleedgedaxfor Chang,ahookedtreebranchcalledgarabatoforElegu,ahorsetailwitha beadedhandleforBabalAy).Someoftheseobjectsaredecoratedwith elaboratebeadwork. 17.ThisaltarhasalsobeenincludedinexhibitsinJapan,Berlin,andseveral citiesinLatinAmerica.FortheexhibitinNewYork,RobertFarrisThompson wroteabook(1993),inwhichapictureofoneofFelipe'saltarsisincluded. ThisbookwasdedicatedtoFelipeandtoDanielDawsontoacknowledgetheir collaborationintheproject. 18.See,amongothers,Ames1986and1992HooperGreenhill1992Karp andLevine1991MarcusandMyers1995. 19.FormoreonthepracticeofSanteraintheUnitedStates,inparticularin NewYorkCity,seeBrandon1983and1993Brown1989Cornelius1989 Curry1991and1997Dean1993Friedman1982Gregory1986Morales 1990Murphy1993. 20.ForacompletehistoryofOyotunji,seeHunt1979. 21.OnthereinterpretationofSanteraintheblackcommunity,seeCurry1991 and1997. 22.ForstudiesoftheconnectionsbetweenPuertoRicanespiritismoand SanterainNewYork,seeBrandon1993Morales1990andPrezyMena 1991. 23.Gregory(1986:320)foundthatamongpractitionersinNewYork,the Havanapracticewasassociatedwiththemoreaffluentandcosmopolitan residentsofthatcity,whocleanedupSanteraandmadeitmoreacceptable towhite,middleclassCubans.ThepracticefromMatanzasisreputedcloser tothereligiouspracticeoftheLucumandconsideredmorepotentandless refinedwithrespecttoceremonialdecor.Howeveraccuratethisevaluationof thedifferentpractitionersmaybe,thereisanacknowledgeddifferencebetween theAfroreligiouspracticesofthetworegions. 24.See,amongothers,Brandon1993Dean1993Morales1990Murphy 1993. 25.Forsimplicity'ssakeIcontinuetousethenameSantera,althoughinthe UnitedStates,asthepractitionershavedividedalongdifferentideologicallines, othernameshavebeenadopted. 26.Hybridisusedheretoavoidtheproblematictermsyncretic. 27.AlthoughBrandon(1993),inhisanalysisofsyncretisminSantera,argues thatpractitionerstendtobeunawareofthehybridityoftheirpractices,hedoes

25.Forsimplicity'ssakeIcontinuetousethenameSantera,althoughinthe UnitedStates,asthepractitionershavedividedalongdifferentideologicallines, othernameshavebeenadopted. 26.Hybridisusedheretoavoidtheproblematictermsyncretic. 27.AlthoughBrandon(1993),inhisanalysisofsyncretisminSantera,argues thatpractitionerstendtobeunawareofthehybridityoftheirpractices,hedoes notspecifyifheisapplyingthistoaparticularperiodofthehistoryofSantera. JudgingfrompractitionerslikeFelipe,suchalackofawarenessdoesnotseem tobethecaseinthelatterhalfofthiscenturyespecially. 28.Thewordalsoisusedtodescribeapicnicoranexcursion. 29.ThisisthecasefordrummersOrlandoPuntillaRiosandAlfredo Coyude

Page183 Vidaux(whobecameimportantfiguresinthehistoryofbatdrumminginNew York)anddancerXiomaraGarca,amongothers. 30.Duringthemid1950s,ArsenioRodriguezlivedinanapartmentat23East 110thStreet,betweenMadisonandFifthAvenue(Salazar1994:12). 31.Varela1994:2627.OntheWestCoast,Aguabellahasledanactive careerasadrummerinjazzandLatinmusicensembles.Hisworkwas recognizedwiththeNationalHeritageFellowship,awardedin1992.Many considerAguabellatohavebeen,togetherwithCollazosandOrnelioScull (whoestablishedhimselfinPuertoRico),apioneerofLucumritualdrummingin theUnitedStates. 32.TeddyHoliday,personalcommunicationwiththeauthor,NewYork, September12,1991. 33.OthernonLatindrummerswerealsoattractedbythismusic.Bat drumminghasaconsiderabledegreeofprestigeamongLatinmusicdrummers, whoconsiderittheultimatetestforagooddrummer. 34.MiltonCardona,personalcommunicationwiththeauthor,NewYork,April 18,1991. 35.InCuba,aftertheconferenceorganizedbyOrtzin1936,whenbatdrums werefirstplayedoutsidearitualcontext,secularbatdrumsbegantobebuilt andusedinpopularmusicrecordings,radioshows,andconcerts.IntheUnited States,batdrumshavealsocrossedovertothefieldofpopularmusicand jazz.Manyrecordingsnotonlyusebatdrumsbutincludetoquesand arrangementsofchantsfortheorichas. 36.Seetheepilogueforacommentaryonthebehaviorofpossessedinitiates. 37.By1962,therevolutionarygovernmentreportedtheadultliteracyratetobe 96percent.SeeLouisA.Prez,Jr.,Cuba:BetweenReformandRevolution, 2ded.(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,1995),359. 38.Ortz'sbooksareextremelypopularintheUnitedStatesamongstudentsof AfroCubantraditionsandculture.Manycopieshaveevenbeenstolenfrom libraries.InCubatheyarealsowellknown,mainlyamongintellectualsand students.However,theymeanverylittletopeoplelikeFelipe'sfamilyin Matanzas.WhenIvisitedMatanzas,IwastakenbyClarita,Felipe'sniece,to visitthedirectorofthefolkloricensembleshewasworkingwith.Hewasa drummakerandanintellectualandownedallOrtz'sbooks.Whenwewere talkingabouttheiyesdrums,hetookoutoneofthebookstoshowme something.Clarita,whowaslookingovermyshoulder,suddenlyexclaimed: That'smyfather!Indeed,herfatherwaspartoftheIyesensemblewhose pictureOrtzhadincludedinhisbook.Shehadneverknownherfatherhad appearedinabookandhadnoideaoftheimportancethesebooksweregiven outsidetheworldofLaMarina. 39.ThethemeforthissectiononFelipe'slifeisdrawnfromMilanKundera, TheBookofLaughterandForgetting(NewYork:Knopf,1980),3.

pictureOrtzhadincludedinhisbook.Shehadneverknownherfatherhad appearedinabookandhadnoideaoftheimportancethesebooksweregiven outsidetheworldofLaMarina. 39.ThethemeforthissectiononFelipe'slifeisdrawnfromMilanKundera, TheBookofLaughterandForgetting(NewYork:Knopf,1980),3. 40.Thisexclusionalsoextendstohomosexuals. 41.Forexample,IwastoldbyababalaothatAwasajealousfemaledeity whoresentedthepresenceofotherwomeninherterritory.However,Ortzin his

Page184 researchfoundthatAisamalespirit.Eventhedrumcalledthemother drum,theiy,isamaledruminSpanish,drummersrefertoitaseliy,el beingamasculinepronoun.(SeeOrtz1952:vol.4,305.) 42.EstbanVegaBacayao(Chach)alsoofferedanexplanationthat emphasizedtheaspectofprotectingwomenfromdanger.Hesaidtheskinof thegoat(usedtobuildthedrums)istheworstenemyonemayhave(Estban VegaBacayao,personalcommunicationwiththeauthor,September9,1997). 43.Ihavenoticedthatanasal,tensevocalqualityseemstobehighlyand frequentlypraised. EPILOGUE 1.Adriverwithanunauthorizedcarcanmaketheequivalentofauniversity professor'smonthlysalarywithasingletriptotheairport. 2.J.HenryDrewalandJohnMason,Beads,BodyandSoul:ArtandLightin theYorbUniverse(LosAngeles:UCLAFowlerMuseumofCulturalHistory, 1998). 3.RecentlyheparticipatedinavideofortheBBC,withProfessorRobert FarrisThompson,ontheuseoftobaccointheAfroCubanreligions. 4.Appadurai,talkingoftheroletheimaginationplaysinthebiographiesof ordinarypeople,pointsoutthatthisroleisnotasimplematterofescapism,for itisinthegrindingofgearsbetweenunfoldinglivesandtheirimagined counterpartsthatavarietyofimaginedcommunitiesisformed,communities thatgeneratenewkindsofpolitics,newkindsofcollectiveexpressionandnew needforsocialdisciplineandsurveillanceonthepartofelites(Appadurai 1991:198). 5.Connertonisconcernedwiththeformalaspectsofrituals.Heseesritualsas sharingtwobasiccharacteristics,formalismandperformativity.The performativityofritualsisencodednotonlyonmoreorlessinvariantsequences ofspeechactsbutalsoonasetofpostures,gestures,andmovements,which actaseffectivemnemonicdevices.However,Connertonarguesthatifthereis suchthingassocialmemory,itislikelytobefoundincommemorative ceremonies,whichheconsidersdistinguishablefromallotherritualsbythefact thattheyreferexplicitlytoprototypicalpersonsandevents(1989:61).Inmy opinionSanteraceremonies,inasmuchastheyrefertoprototypicalpersonsand eventsthatareunderstoodtohavebothhistoricalandmythologicalexistence, maybeconsideredunderthecategoryofcommemorativeceremonies.

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Page193

GLOSSARY
Forsimplicity,nonSpanishwordsusedintheAfroCubanreligiouspractices arelabeledasLucum,Congo,orAbaku,thoughthelinguisticoriginofsome wordsmaynotbeclear.Key:(L)Lucum(A)Abaku(C)Congo(S) Spanish. Abaku (A)NameofthesecretsocietiesofCarabalorigin. Aberikul (L)InSantera,thenamegiventoapersonwhodoesnotbelongtothe religion,anonbaptized. AchorAshe (L)Power,force,strength,luck,energy,blessing. AcherorAtcher (L)Rattle. Agall,Agay,orAgany (L)Oricha,owneroftheriverandthedesertedplain.Patronofporters andtravelers.Thevolcano. Agog (L)Metalbell. Ahijado,Ahijada (S)Godson,goddaughter. AkpnorAkpwn (L)SolosingerinSanterarituals.Alsocalledgallo,Spanishwordfor rooster. Ala (L)Ownerofasetofbatdrums.Alsocalledola. Amal (L)Cornflour. A (L)Thepowerorforcethatinhabitsthebatdrums. Anaforuana (A)ThepictographicwritingsystemusedbytheAbaku. Arar (S)NamegiveninCubatoslavesandtraditionscomingfromtheareaof Dahomey.

Page194 Asiento (S)ThemajorinitiationceremonyinSantera. Avatares (S)Seecamino. Aw (L)Diviner. BabalaoorBabalawo (L)HighSanterapriestwhoreadsandinterpretsthedivinationsystem knownasIf. Babalocha (L)NamegiventomenwhoareinitiatedinSantera. BabalAy (L)Orichaofsickness,inparticularthoseillnessesthataffecttheskin (smallpox,leprosy,etc.).Protectsagainstdiseaseandwant.Syncretized asSanLzaro(SaintLazarus).ThisdeitywasadoptedbytheArarin Matanzas,anditscultbecamecentraltotheirritualpractices. BantorBandel (L)Beadedliturgicalgarmentsusedtodecoratethebatdrumsduring ceremonies. Bat (L)Thesetofthreedoubleheadedsacreddrumsusedintheritualsof Santera. Batalero (LS)Batplayer. Bemb (L)Namegiventoareligiouscelebration(aritualparty).Knownalsoas tamborandgemilere.Namegiventoasetofsingleheadeddrumsand tothemusicplayedonthem. BinkomorBiankom (A)ThehighestpitchedenkomdrumoftheAbakudrumensemble usedforpubliccelebrations. BonkEnchemiy (A)LargestdrumintheAbakudrumensembleusedforpublic celebrations. Botnica (S)Placethatsellsthereligiousparaphernaliausedbysanteros. Cabildo (S)Mutualaidorganizationoffreeblacksandslavesthatweresaidto belongtothesameethnicgroup,ornacin.Namegivenlatertohouse templesinSantera. Cachimbo (S)NamegiventothesmallestdrumoftheCongoyukaensemble. Caja (S)Literally:box.Nameusedtorefertothebiggestdruminthebat ensemble.Itisalsousedtorefertothesecondlargestdrumoftheiyes ensemble. Camino (S)Literally:road.Thedifferentaspects,sometimescontradictory,ofthe orichas,alsoknowasavatares(avatars). CasadeOchaorCasadeSanto(seeIl) (S)Housetemple.Basicsocialunitthatgroupsthepractitionersinitiated bythesamegodfatherorgodmother. Chach

ensemble. Camino (S)Literally:road.Thedifferentaspects,sometimescontradictory,ofthe orichas,alsoknowasavatares(avatars). CasadeOchaorCasadeSanto(seeIl) (S)Housetemple.Basicsocialunitthatgroupsthepractitionersinitiated bythesamegodfatherorgodmother. Chach (L)Thesmallerheadofthebatdrums. Chaguala (L)Arawhidestrapintheshapeofthesoleofashoe,usedinMatanzas toplaythesmallerheadoftheomelanditteledrums. Chamalongo (C)Namegivenbythepalerostotheshellsusedfordivination. Chang (L)Orichaoffire,thunder,lightning.

Page195 ChawororChaguor (L)Strapsofbellsandjinglesattachedaroundtheheadsoftheiydrum. Cheker,Agb,orAgw (L)Percussioninstrumentsbeadedgourds,alsocalledgiros. Clave (S)Repeatedrhythmicpatternthatservesasapointofreferenceinthe musicofSantera(chants,drumming,anddancing). Coartacin (S)Acommonsystemofmanumissionthatinvolvedthepaymentofa preestablishedfeetothemaster. Collares (S)Necklacesusedbysanteros.IlekesinLucum. Colonia (S)Namegiventolargefarmsthatwereformerlysugarortobacco plantations. Congo (S)NamegiveninCubatoslavesandculturalpracticesofBantorigin. Controversia (S)Literally:controversy.Duelorcompetitionamongsingers. Conversacn (S)Literally:conversation.Namegiventotherhythmicdialoguethat takesplacebetweentheiyandtheittele. Criado (S)Literally:servant.InPalo,theinitiateswhohavebeenritually preparedtobecomepossessed,alsocalledperros(dogs). Cuarto (S)Literally:room.Seeigbod. Cumpleaos (S)Literally:birthday.Annualcelebrationoftheinitiationassantero/a. Dad (L)Orichaofthenewlyborn. Dilogn (L)Systemofdivinationthatusescowryshells. EgborEb (L)Sacrificeorofferingtotheorichas. gun (L)Thespiritsofthedead,theancestors. Ekn (A)AbellusedintheAbakudrumensemble. Ekue (A)ThesacreddrumoftheAbakuthatincorporatesthepowerand voiceofTanze.Seealsofundamento. Ekuel (L)NecklaceofIfusedbythebabalaosfordivination. Ekuen (A)oneofthefoursymbolicdrumsoftheAbaku.Usedbythedignitary thatbestowsjustice. EleguorEleggu (L)Oricha,guardianofthecrossroads,guardianofthedoor,trickster, themessengerofOlofi.Hastobehonoredfirstinanyceremony. Empeg (A)oneofthefoursymbolicdrumsoftheAbaku.Calledalsotambor deorden,itisusedtoopenandcloseallritualsandtoimposediscipline

(A)oneofthefoursymbolicdrumsoftheAbaku.Usedbythedignitary thatbestowsjustice. EleguorEleggu (L)Oricha,guardianofthecrossroads,guardianofthedoor,trickster, themessengerofOlofi.Hastobehonoredfirstinanyceremony. Empeg (A)oneofthefoursymbolicdrumsoftheAbaku.Calledalsotambor deorden,itisusedtoopenandcloseallritualsandtoimposediscipline withinthetemple. Enkom (A)GenericnamegiventothethreesmallerdrumsoftheAbakudrum ensembleusedforpubliccelebrations. Enkrkamo (A)OneofthefoursymbolicdrumsoftheAbaku.Usedtoconvenethe iremes. En (L)Thelargerheadofthebatdrums.

Page196 Erib (A)OneofthefoursymbolicdrumsoftheAbaku.Theritualsacrifices areplacedoverthisdrum. Erikund (A)TworattlesusedintheAbakudrumensemble. Ewe (L)Herbs. EyArnla (L)Thelivingroominthehousetemplewherethepubliccelebrations takeplace. Famb (A)ThesacredroomintheAbakutemple. Fardela,Fadela,orId (L)Resinplacedontheheadoftheiydrum. Fiesta (S)Literally:party.Usedtorefertoacelebrationinhonoroftheorichas thatincludesdancing. Firma (S)Literally:signature.InPalo,themagicritualsymbolsthatrepresent thespiritthatinhabitsthenganga.Notonlyspiritsbutalsopaleroshave firmasusedtoidentifythem. Fula (C)Gunpowder. Fundamento (S)InalltheAfroCubanreligiouspractices,thefundamentostandsfora thingthatistheobjectofcultbecauseitincorporatesagodoraspirit:in Santera,theotanesinPalo,thengangainAbaku,theeku. Gemilere (L)Seebemb. Giro (S)Atypeofcelebrationfortheorichas,wherebeadedgourds (chekers)andcongadrumsareusedinsteadofthebatensemble.Also thenamegiventothechekers.Thewordisalsousedtorefertoakind ofrattleusedinseculardancemusic. Ibeyis (L)Orichas.Theholytwins,themysticaltwin(jimagua)children.They bringgoodfortune. If (L)AlsoOrula.Theorichaofdivination.Namegivenalsotoadivination system. Igbodu (L)Sacredroomofthehousetemplewheremostoftheimportantrituals areperformed.SometimesreferredtousingtheSpanishwordcuarto. Ik (L)Death. IlorInle (L)House. Ilekes (L)Necklacesusedbysanteros. IlOrichaorIlOcha (L)Housetemple. Inle (L)Oricha.Theholyphysician,owneroftheriverandoffish.

IlorInle (L)House. Ilekes (L)Necklacesusedbysanteros. IlOrichaorIlOcha (L)Housetemple. Inle (L)Oricha.Theholyphysician,owneroftheriverandoffish. IremeorDiablito (AS)Thelittledevil,thespiritofthedeceased.Wellknownbythe generalpopulationfortheirparticipationasstreetdancersinthecarnival heldonJanuary6,theDayoftheThreeKings.Alsocalledigos,a nameusedtoreferingeneraltothemembersoftheAbakusociety. Irongo (A)Seefamb.

Page197 Isu (A)Abakudignitary.ThepriesttheigoscalltheBishop.Swearsthe newmembersin.Responsibleforthesymbolicdrumcalledtheseserib. Isunekue (A)Abakudignitary.HeaccompaniedSikntotheriverwhereTanze appeared.ThehusbandofSikn. Italero (L)Asanteroknowledgeableinreadingthedilogn. Ittele (L)Secondlargestdruminthebatset,alsocalledsegundo. Itutu (L)FuneralriteinSantera. ly (L)Mother.Thelargestdruminthebatset,alsoreferredtoascaja. Iyalocha (L)NamegiventoafemaleinitiateinSantera. Iyamba (A)AdignitaryoftheAbaku.ThehighestpriestoftheAbaku,theone thatplaysthesacreddrum.Heconfirmsthenewlyinitiatedmembers. Iyawo,Yagu,orYaw (L)Namegiventoinitiatedsanterosduringthefirstyearaftertheir initiation. IyesorYes (L)Namegiventotheliturgicalpractices,theensembleofdrums,anda repertoireofchantsoftheIyes,asubgroupoftheLucum. Juego (S)Potencia,tierra,plante,andpartidoaretheothernamesusedtorefer tothisconfraternityofigosorAbakus. Korikoto (L)Orichaassociatedwithfoodtaboos. Kputaki (L)Leaderofthebatensemble.Usuallytheiyplayerandownerofthe setofdrums. KuchYerem (A)ThemediumpitchedenkomdrumoftheAbakudrumensemble usedforpubliccelebrations. Libreta (S)Notebookusedbysanterostowritechantsandmyths. Licencia (S)Permission. Llamadas (S)Literally:calls.Thecallsmadebytheiydrumthathavetobe answeredbytheotherdrums. Lucum (L)SlavesandtraditionofYorubaorigin. MadrinaorYubbona (SL)Godmother. Makuta (C)Asetofdrums,adance,andtypeofmusicofCongoorigin. Mambo (S)Congoritualchants. MariworMarib (L)Ritualornamentmadewithpalmfiber.Skirtmadeofcoconutpalm

MadrinaorYubbona (SL)Godmother. Makuta (C)Asetofdrums,adance,andtypeofmusicofCongoorigin. Mambo (S)Congoritualchants. MariworMarib (L)Ritualornamentmadewithpalmfiber.Skirtmadeofcoconutpalm orraffiathatisplacedaroundtheupperrimofthebembdrum. Mayombero (C)Palero.OnewhopracticesPalo,thereligiouspracticeofCongo origin. MokongoorMokuire (A)Abakudignitary.Representsmilitarypower.Accordingtoaversion oftheoriginmyth,hewasthefatherofSikn. Monte (S)Themeaningforsanterosandpalerosgoesbeyondtheliteral translationofforest,woods,orwilderness.ForAfroCubans,elmonteis asacredplaceinhabitedbythespiritsofthedeadandtheorichas.Itis alsotheplacewherealltheherbs,plants,andtreesthataresoimportant fortheritualpracticesofsanterosandpalerosarefound.

Page198 Mpaka (C)Ahornembellishedwithexquisitebeadwork,wherethevititimensu isplaced. Mpungu (C)Spiritsthatinhabitthecauldronofapalero. Muones,Chcheres,orBeromos (A)Theornamentsmadewithfeathersthatrepresentthehierarchyof thefourmainpostsorchiefs(obones)intheAbakusocietyandthe spiritsofthefourobonesofthefirstAbakupotencia. Nacin (S)Slaveswhowereconsideredtosharethesameethnicor geographicalorigin. igo (A)MemberoftheAbakusociety.Seealsoireme/diablito. Nasak (A)Abakudignitary.Thediviner. Nganga (C)Thespiritofthedeadthatapaleroworkswith.Therecipientor cauldronthisspiritinhabits.Alsoknownasmakuto,prenda,nkisi. Ngombe (C)MediuminPalopractices. Nsambi,Sambi,orSambia (C)ThesupremecreatoroftheworldinthePaloreligioussystem. ObaorObba (L)Femaleoricha,oneofChang'swives.Owneroflakes.Symbolizes devotionandfidelity. Obatal (L)Fatheroftheorichas,creatorofmankind.Kingofwhitecloth wisdom,justice. Obi (L)Coconut. Obaporsalidor (A)ThelowestpitchedenkomdrumoftheAbakudrumensemble usedforpubliccelebrations. Obonekue (A)NamegiventoamemberoftheAbakusociety. Ocha (L)Saint.RegladeOchaisthenamegiventoSantera. Ochosi (L)Orichaofhunting. Ochn (L)Seductivefemaleorichaoflove,beauty,money,fortune.Ownerof therivers.OneofChang'swives. Ogn (L)Mightywarrior,orichaofmetals,iron.Knowsthesecretsofthe monte. Ok (L)Orichaofthemountain. OknkoloorOmel (L)Thesmallestdruminthebatset. OlodumareorOlofi (L)ThesupremecreatoroftheworldfortheLucum. Olkun

monte. Ok (L)Orichaofthemountain. OknkoloorOmel (L)Thesmallestdruminthebatset. OlodumareorOlofi (L)ThesupremecreatoroftheworldfortheLucum. Olkun (L)OneoftheroadsofYemay,thebottomlesssea. Ola (L)Initiatedbatdrummer.HewhoknowsthesecretsofA. Omiero (L)AliquidusedrituallyinSanteria,madewithvariousherbs.

Page199 Omo (L)Child. Oma (L)SonofA.Namegiventobatdrummerswhohaveundergonethe ritualcleansingoftheirhandsthatauthorizesthemtoplayconsecrated drums. Omoricha (L)Childoftheorichas. Ori (L)Head. Oriat (L)Aritualexpertandtraineddiviner.Playsanimportantroleinallthe initiationritualsinSantera. Oricha (L)ALucumideity. OrichaOko (L)Orichaofagriculture,farming,land,andcrops. OroorOru (L)Aliturgicalsequenceofrhythmsandchantsfortheorichas.Oro cantadoororodeleyrnlaincludessongs,orosecoororodeigbodu onlydrumming. Orula,Ormila,orOrnmila (L)Orichaofdivination.OwnerandmasterofIf,patronofthe babalaos.SvncretizedwithSaintFrancisofAssisi. Osain (L)Orichaofherbsandplants,theoneleggedandoneeyedlordofthe forest,patronofosainistas.Thisorichahastoberenderedtributebefore onetakesawayplantsandherbs.Osainisalsothenamegiventoa talisman. Osainista (L)Amanwithavastknowledgeofthecurativeandreligious applicationsandusesofplantsandherbs.Heistheonewhovisitsel montetocollecttheplantsthataretobeusedinthevariousceremonies. Itwastraditionalforeachcasadesantotohaveitsownosainista. OsunorOsu (L)Santerosdisagreeastothemeaningofosun.Forsomeitisanoricha. However,itisnevergiventoanyone(therearenopriestsofOsun),and itneverpossessesanyadept.Itisrepresentedbyaritualobjectmadein leadoranyotherwhitemetalacockorsometimesadogoradove thatperchesonapillargiventosanterosintheceremonywhenthey receivetheguerreros.Theguerreros,aseriesofsacredobjectsthat representtheorichasElegu,Ogn,andOchosi,aregiventotheinitiate tostrenthenthebondwithandobtaintheprotectionoftheseorichas. Osunisalsothenamegiventothepaintsusedforritualpurposes. Otanes (L)ThesacredstonesinSantera. Oy (L)Femaleoricha,thewind,fire,anddeath.OneofChang'swives. Padrino (S)Godfather. Palero (S)PriestoftheAfroCubanreligionPaloMonteorMayombe.Known alsoamayombero.Thepalerosspecializeinworkwiththespiritsofthe

(L)ThesacredstonesinSantera. Oy (L)Femaleoricha,thewind,fire,anddeath.OneofChang'swives. Padrino (S)Godfather. Palero (S)PriestoftheAfroCubanreligionPaloMonteorMayombe.Known alsoamayombero.Thepalerosspecializeinworkwiththespiritsofthe dead. PaloorPaloMonte (S)Literally:stick.AnAfroCubanreligiouspracticeofCongoorigin.

Page200 PatakorAppatak (L)Lucummythsandlegends.Storiesaboutthelifeandattributesofthe orichasthatweretransmittedorally,manyofwhichhavebeenwrittenby santerosinprivatebookssomehaveevenbeenprinted.Thesepataks arealsousedindivinationasadvicetotheconsultant. Plantar (S)Literally:toplant.WordusedbybothpalerosandAbakus,meaning tocelebratearitual. Potencia (S)Seejuego. Prenda (S)Seenganga. Puya (S)Taunt. Rama (S)Literally:branch.Thelineofdescentbasedonritualkinship. Rayar (S)Literally:toscratch.ToinitiateintotheRegladePalo. Regla (S)GenericnamegiventothedifferentAfroCubanreligiouspractices: RegladeOchaLucum,alsoknownasSanteraRegladePalo Congo,alsoknownasMayomborKimbisaReglaArarfrom. Dahomey. Santera (S)TheAfroCubanreligiouspracticesofLucumoriginwhereinthe CatholicsaintsaresyncretizedwiththeAfricandeitiesknownasorichas. Santero,Santera (S)PractitionerofSantera. Santo (S)Saint. Segundo (S)Literally:second.Usedtorefertothesecondlargestdruminan ensembleinthebatensemble,theittele.Thedrummerwhoplaysitis calledsegundero. Seserib (A)Seeerib. Sikn (A)IntheAbakumyth,thewomanwhofoundthesecretembodiedin thefishTanze. Sopera (S)Tureen.InSantera,thesacredstonesarekeptinsouptureens. Tambor (S)Literally:drum.Seegemilereandbemb. TambordeFundamento (S)Consecrateddrum. TamborJudo (S)Literally:Jewishdrum.Unconsecrateddrum,alsoknownas aberikul. TanzeorTanse (A)IntheAbakumyth,thefishthatembodiedthesacredpower. TataNganga (C)MaleheadofahousetempleinPalo. Tierra

TamborJudo (S)Literally:Jewishdrum.Unconsecrateddrum,alsoknownas aberikul. TanzeorTanse (A)IntheAbakumyth,thefishthatembodiedthesacredpower. TataNganga (C)MaleheadofahousetempleinPalo. Tierra (S)Seejuego. Toque (S)Drummedrhythmicpatterns.Alsousedtorefertoaceremonywhere drumsareplayed,asintheexpressiontogotoatoque. Viros (S)Literally:turns.Changesintherhythmicpatternsplayedbythebat ensemble.

Page201 VititiMensu (C)Adivinationsystemusedbypaleros.Itisasmallmirrorplacedinthe openingofahorn(mpaka). Yamboki (L)Anapprenticebatdrummer. Yegu (L)Femaleoricha,ownerofthecemetery. Yemay (L)Orichaofthesea,saltwaters,maternity. Yes?orIyes (L)NamegiventoasubgroupoftheLucuminCubaalsotothe religiouspracticesandritualmusicthatoriginatedinthisgroupandtothe drumensembleusedintheirrituals. Yuka (C)MusicanddrumensembleofCongoorigin.

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INDEX
Abaku,10,11,1723,3435BenignoGarcaandthe,4,3435Benigno Garcia'sjuego(Kerew),22,35diablitosoriremes,17dignitaries(plazas), 18drumensembles,1820,172n.11ekuedrum,19,20,21empegdrum, 19,84enkom,172n.11eribdrum,19,20Felipe'sinitiationin,3435 Felipe'sjuego(EfikKunambere),22,35firmas(anaforuana)18foundingnew juegos,35,173n.25isunekue,2122,35iyamba,33,52,175n.39juegos orpotencias,17members(obonekues),18,173n.25mythoforigin,2021 persecutionof,2223,8384andpolitics,22,172n.2rituals(plantes),18, 83ritualmusic,18temple(famb),18,19,20,178n.20 aberikul(unconsecrateddrums),157,174n.35 AbuLughod,Lila,xx Acosta,Leonardo,37 AfroCubanculture:andtheCubanintelligentsia,100asobjectofreflectionfor AfroCubans,100101.SeealsoCubanrevolution afrocubanismo,100,176n.9.SeealsoAfroCubanculture Aguabella,Francisco,58,117,145,183n.31 Aimes,Hubert,172n.3 Alcina,Miguel,58,59 Alfonso,Adela,55 Alfonso,Benerando,56 Alfonso,Carlos,48,53,55,5859,175n.40.Seealsobatdrums:historyin Matanzas Alfonso,Daniel,57 AmateurArtistsMovement(Movimientode Aficionados),76,7778,177n.12.SeealsoCubanrevolution Amira,John,147 Aab,JuanelCojo,53 AabOy,5157,59 anaforuana,18 Angarica,Nicols,147

Aab,JuanelCojo,53 AabOy,5157,59 anaforuana,18 Angarica,Nicols,147 Angarica,Papo,147 AntologadelamsicaAfroCubana,175nn.42,47 Appadurai,Arjun,184n.4 Arar,10,11,6264,172n.8drummersof,63,64musicensembles,63 relationswithLucuminMatanzas,6263 Arcadio,elbrujodeGuanabacoa,88,90,178nn.22,24.SeealsoCuban revolution:andAfroCubanreligions Argelles,Anbal,94 ArtisticCouncils,74.SeealsoCubanmusicandmusiciansaftertherevolution 204

Page204 asiento,13,54 Atand,FilomenoGarcia,53,58,59.Seealsobatdrums:earliestdrumsin Havana avatares.Seeorichas Awe,Francis,164 babalao(s).SeeSantera Babcock,Barbara,50,11920 Bach,Jennifer,180n.2 Bach,RobertL.,108,180nn.1,2 bandeles,47 Barnet,Miguel,88,179n.26 Bascom,William,10 batdrums:aberikulorjudos(unconsecrateddrums),157,174n.35of CarlosAlfonso,5859andA,48,50,54,118,156,157,183n.41A crossestheocean,113,11718apprenticeship,4245,47,48,49babalaos and,123,124,125,126bandeles,47building,48,12027ofIobl Crdenas(AabOyandIlA),5157,59andcommunicationwiththe orichas,15,50conversationamong,40,45earliestdrumsinHavana,53,58 ensembleof,39fardela,47feeding,47,121,124,174n.32historyin Matanzas,5161initiate'srituallinkto,50,5455ittele,39,45iy,39,45 andlanguage,40lineages,50,51,5260,126,147namesof,60,124in NewYork,126Ognand,124oknkolooromel,39,44oriatand,123, 125orichasandperformancepracticeof,174n.30playingtechniques,39 40,45,122,131andpopularmusic,174n.35,183n.35andpossessionor trance,15,4344preparingandplacingA,12324,125presentationto, 14,5455,59ofPuebloNuevo,56sacreddrums(fundamento),48,54117, 118,119,120,126,157signaturesorritualmarks(osun),123,124,125of Simpson,56skin,11223asspiritualentities50transmissionofpower betweensacred,50,12527tuning,47andwomen,96,103,15557,180n. 31,183n.41,184n.42woodtypes,120,121.Seealsobatdrummers batdrumminginNewYorkbatsets batdrummers:initiationofritualdrummers,4950ochicha,49ola,3, 49,51,126,171n.1olbat,47,49oma,3,49,51,171n.1.Seealso batdrummersinCubabatdrummersintheU.S. batdrummersinCuba:Aguabella,Francisco,58Alcina,Miguel,58,59 Alfonso,Daniel,57Angarica,Nicols,147Angarica,Papo,147Caldern, Felipe,58Caldern,Isaac,58Candito,145Crdenas,PedroJose,51,57 ChambronaTorriente,Ernesto,51,57Diaz,Ral,145Fernndez, Candelario,51Gobel,Reynaldo,57Joseito,57Juanelcartero,51Julito,

49,51,126,171n.1olbat,47,49oma,3,49,51,171n.1.Seealso batdrummersinCubabatdrummersintheU.S. batdrummersinCuba:Aguabella,Francisco,58Alcina,Miguel,58,59 Alfonso,Daniel,57Angarica,Nicols,147Angarica,Papo,147Caldern, Felipe,58Caldern,Isaac,58Candito,145Crdenas,PedroJose,51,57 ChambronaTorriente,Ernesto,51,57Diaz,Ral,145Fernndez, Candelario,51Gobel,Reynaldo,57Joseito,57Juanelcartero,51Julito, 57MartnezCrdenas,Bonifacio(Patato,Alangayuinsanto),51,52,56 Morales,Aguedo,174n.35Prez,Jess,147,174n.35Roche,Andrs, 53Roche,Pablo,147,174n.35RalNasak,145Somodevilla,Miguel, 40Surez,Ricardo(Fantmas),56,5758,175n.42Torregrosa,Trinidad, 145Torrigente,Ernesto,58Ulloa,Dionisio(Pipe),51VegaBacayao, Estban(Chach),xvii,58,59,174n.36,175nn.43,44Villamil,Jorge,59 Villamil,Juan,51Zamora,Francisco(Minini),57 batdrummersintheU.S.,14547Aguabella,Francisco,58,117,145,183 n.31Amira,John,147Bauzo,Louis,147 Berrios,Steve,146Cardona,Milton,117,147Collazos,Julito,145,146, 183n.31Holiday,Teddy,113,114,119,145Malab,Franky,146 Raymat,JuanElNegro,126,147Rios,OrlandoPuntilla,117,126,147, 148,182n.29Scull,Ornelio,146,183n.31Silveira,JuanCandela,112, 146Vidaux,AlfredoCoyude,126,182n.29 batdrumminginNewYork,14448linktolineagesinCuba,148marielitos and,14748 bat,sets:LosMachetones,147fromPobolotti,148.Seealsobat,drums: historyinMatanzas Bauzo,Louis,147 Beads,BodyandSoul:ArtandLightintheYorbUniverse,164 bemb,180n.32.Seealsoritualparties bembdrums,47,9798,127,173n.15,180n.32intheU.S.,117 Berrios,Steve,146 Bleque,Tano,45,46,47,51,52,55,5657 Bolvar,Natalia,93,94,172n.10 bozal,175n.49 Brandon,GeorgeE.,182n.27

Page205 Brenner,Louis,12 Brown,DavidHilary,126,181n.13 Bunck,JulieMarie93 cabildos,79,172n.4inIoblCrdenas'houses,8,23,52,53Iyesmodu SanJuanBautista,26,6061,85,129,175n.48SantaTeresa,2526,85, 97,99 Cabrera,Lydia,xi,9,20,22,171n.1,172n.10,173n.20,175n.51 Caldern,Felipe,58 Caldern,Felipita,55,59 Caldern,Isaac,58 Camarioca,4 caminos.Seeorichas Candito,145 Canizares,Ral,121 Cantwell,Robert,181nn.7,9 Carabal.Seeslavegroups Crdenas,Iobl(Felipe'smaternalgreatgrandfather),3,7,8,13,23,40,41, 4647,5152,59,118,119,172n.13 Crdenas,PedroJos,51 Crdenas,Tomasa(Felipe'smaternalgrandmother),3,23 CrdenasVillamil,Osvaldo(Felipe'scousin),6,79,174n.37,175n.41,178 n.17 Cardona,Milton,117,147 CaribbeanCulturalCenter,115 CarneadoRodrguez,Jos,92.Seealso Cubanrevolution:andAfroCubanreligionscarnival,71 Carpentier,Alejo,100 casadesantoorilocha.SeeSantera CasasdelaCultura,76

Cubanrevolution:andAfroCubanreligionscarnival,71 Carpentier,Alejo,100 casadesantoorilocha.SeeSantera CasasdelaCultura,76 CasinoEspaol,37 Castellanos,Isabel,8,10,21,159,172nn.4,10,173n.23,175n.51 Castellanos,Jorge,8,10,21,172nn.4,10,173n.23,175n.51 CenterforCubanStudies,NewYork,179n.28 CentrodeInvestigacionesyDesarrollodelaMsicaCubana(CIDMUC),72 chamalongo.seePalo ChambronaTorriente,Ernesto,51,57 ChavalesdeEspaa,37 cheker(guiro),25,39,54,172n.14 Clark,JuanM.,109 Clifford,James,xviii Colina,Ciro,94 collares,13 Collazos,Julito,145,146,183n.31 CommitteesfortheDefenseoftheRevolution(CDR),77.SeealsoCuban revolutioncomparsa,71 ConfederationofCubanWorkers(CTC),77,78,87.SeealsoAmateurArtists MovementCubanrevolution Congoorigin:musicof,6466drums,6566makuta,64,65,175nn.50,51 mambos,64,175n.49man,64,65vacunao,64,65yuka,33,64,6566, 175nn.50,51.SeealsoPalo ConjuntoFolklricoNacionaldeCuba,76,77,79,81,103,117,156,177n. 13,178n.16,180n.31 Connerton,Paul,167,168,184n.5 ConsejosPopularesdeCultura,77.SeealsoCubanrevolution Cornelius,Steven,146,147 criollos,31 cruzarpaloconocha,34,177n.24

ConsejosPopularesdeCultura,77.SeealsoCubanrevolution Cornelius,Steven,146,147 criollos,31 cruzarpaloconocha,34,177n.24 CubanmigrationtotheU.S.:wavesofexiles,1079,180nn.1,3andMariel exiles,1079,110,180n.2.Seealsomarielitos Cubanmusicandmusiciansaftertherevolution:autonomousenterprises (empresas),72carnival,71classificationofmusic,177n.10Conjunto FolklricoNacionaldeCuba,76,77,79,81,103,117,156,177n.13,178 n.16,180n.31earlyyears,71evaluationandhiringpolicies,7375folkloric ensembles,76,77,78,79,8687GrupoAfroCuba,79,117,148,156,178 n.16,180n.31JUCEIand,7273,176nn.4,7msicabailable,71,72 organizationandpromotion,7273,78ORIand,73,176n.7plantillastatus, 73,7475stageperformancesofritualAfroCubanmusic,75,76,77,78, 8081,8285,8587,1014stronggovernmentalsupport,72workshopsof AfroCubanmusic,96,103,180n.31.SeealsoAmateurArtistsMovement Cubanrevolution Cubanrevolution:theAfricandecade,92,179n.26andAfroCubanculture, 7576,96,100101,104andAfroCubanreligions,76,7778,8384,87 94,177n.11,179n.28culturalpolicies,7172,7576,78,176n.3 definingnationalculture,7576folklore,76,102,103nationalidentity,101 religion,87,89,92,93stagingofAfroCubanritualmusicand

Page206 Cubanrevolution(cont.)dance,7678,81,8285,1014PanAfricanism andblacknationalism,92,179n.27thepressandAfroCubanreligions,179 n.28andSantera,93,94sugarindustry,69,70tourismandAfroCuban culture,96,179n.30.SeealsoAmateurArtistsMovementCasasdela CulturaCommitteesfortheDefenseoftheRevolution(CDR)Confederation ofCubanWorkers(CTC)ConsejosPopularesdeCulturaCubanmusicand musiciansaftertherevolution danzn,37 Dawson,Daniel,172n.7,182n.17 diablitos,17 diaspora,African,115,138.xSanteraritualmusic Diaz,Ral,145 DiazGuantica,AmadoManuel,4849,56,59,174n.33 dilogn,14,125 displacement,11112 Drewal,J.Henry,184n.2 drums:asculturalobjects,xx,50,97,11920importanceinFelipe'slife,97, 117,11920,13031,166.Seealsonamesofindividualdrums Dunham,Katherine,58 EastHarlem,145 Eckstein,SusanEva,87,108 Edwards,Gary,136 EfikKunambere,22,35 Efor.SeeAbaku egh(offerings),14,140.SeealsoGreatEgb ekue,19,20,21 ekuel,14,2829 ElBarrio(EastHarlem),145 elmonte,11 EliRodriguez,Victoria,101

ekuel,14,2829 ElBarrio(EastHarlem),145 elmonte,11 EliRodriguez,Victoria,101 empeg,19,84 enkom,172n.11 erib,19,20 Escambray,70 ethnicity,101,138 eyarnla,43 FaceoftheGods:ArtsandAltarsofAfricaandtheAfricanAmericas,133, 182n.17 famb,18,19,20,178n.20 Fantmas.SeeSurez,Ricardo fardela,47 Fernndez,Candelario,51 Fernndez,Gastn,181n.2 firmas,16,18 folklore,76,102,103public,intheU.S.,11516,181nn.79 Fox,Richard,xix Friedman,RobertAlan,145 fula,15 fundamento,13,15,21,48,118,119.SeealsoSantera:ach, Garca,Carlota(Felipe'spaternalgrandmother)3,30 Garca,Cundo(Felipe'suncle),33,6566 Garca,Fabin(Felipe'suncle),33,6566 Garca,PedroAntonio,93,94 GarcaCaturla,Alejandro,100,177n.9 GarciaGarcia,Benigno(Felipe'sfather),35,3036,6465 GarcaGmez,Aniceto(Felipe'spaternalgrandfather),3,30

GarcaCaturla,Alejandro,100,177n.9 GarciaGarcia,Benigno(Felipe'sfather),35,3036,6465 GarcaGmez,Aniceto(Felipe'spaternalgrandfather),3,30 GarciaVillamil,Felipe:andamateurgroups,78arrivalintheU.S.,10911as artisanandartist13133buildingbatdrums,48,12027buildingbemb drums,97,98100,12728buildingiyesdrums,12830Cubanfamilyof, 38,andEmikek,7981,178n.15evaluationasmusician,7475,176n.5 father'soppositiontodrumming,36invitedtojoinCommunistparty,9091 learningarar,64learningbat,4042,4446learningiyes,26,6162 learningtoplaydrums,3637learningsecretsofA,48learningtuningand maintenanceofbatdrums,46,4749managingdiningfacilitiesforsecurity forces,70manufacturingAbakuritualobjects,9496musicianbycontract, 73PanAfricantraditionsof,115performingararandiyesmusic,8586as plantillamusician,73playinginabigband,3739playingmusicduring carnival,7071playingtechniquesof,131predestinedtoplaybat,42public concertsandlecturedemonstrations,114schoolingof,69singingto remember,15860stagingofAfroCubanritualmusic,8185teaching,153 56workinsugarindustry,69,70 gender.Seebatdrums:andwomen Gobel,Reynaldo,57

Page207 GreatEgb,88,178n.22 Gregory,Steven,182n.23 GrupoAfroCuba,79,117,148,156,178n.16,180n.31 Guanche,Jess,177n.11 Guerra,Ramiro,77,177n.11 guerreros,13 Guilln,Nicols,100 giro,172n.14.Seealsocheker Hagedorn,KatherineJ.,87,180n.34 Halbwachs,Maurice,167 HartDvalos,Armando,72 Hewitt,JuliaCuervo,178nn.22,24 Holiday,Teddy,113,114,119,145 Hopkins,Tometro,181n.15 identity:Cubannational,101andmusic,168,169rebuilding,11112 igbodu,24,4243,81,178n.19 ilekes,13 IlA,5157,59 individual:ascarrierofculture,xixasfocusofstudy,xix,xx iremes,17 isunekue,2122,35.SeealsoAbaku:mythoforigin italero,17 ittele,39,45 itutu,14 iy,39,45 iyamba,33,52,175n.39.SeealsoAbaku:mythoforigin iyawo,13

itutu,14 iy,39,45 iyamba,33,52,175n.39.SeealsoAbaku:mythoforigin iyawo,13 iyes:drumensemble,26,6061,175nn.45,46drumsintheU.S.,117,129 drummers,61musicaltraditions,26,175n.47religiouspractices,26,60 Felipe'sfamilytiesto,60,175n.8.Seealsocabildos jazzbandsinCuba,37 Johnson,Ragnar,50 Joseito,57 Juanelcartero,51 judos(unconsecrateddrums),157,174n.35 juegos,17 Julito,57 kariocha,13.Seealsoasiento Kerew,22,35 KirshenblattGimblett,Barbara,115 Klein,HerbertS.,7 Lam,Wilfredo,100 Len,Argeliers,76,82,87,175nn.47,50,176n.9,177n.10 Levinson,Sandra,72 libretas,137,178n.17,181n.15 Linares,MariaTeresa,58,177n.9 Lpez,Ren,178n.15,181n.5 LpezValds,Rafael,11,172n.2 Lucum:Felipe'sancestorsandritualfamily,2330language(anag),23,24, 40,181n.15andYorubareligion,94,179n.29.Seealsogroupsofslaves Luis,William,178nn.22,24 makuta,64,65,175nn.50,51 Malab,Franky,146 mambos,64,175n.49

Luis,William,178nn.22,24 makuta,64,65,175nn.50,51 Malab,Franky,146 mambos,64,175n.49 man,64,65 Manuel,Peter,176nn.3,10 manumission,8 marielitos,1079,125,126,142,143,144,14748,180n.2 Marshall,Peter,72 Mart,Jos,165 MartnezCrdenas,Bonifacio(Patato),51,52,56 MartnezFur,Rogelio,77,81,103,173n.16,175n.45,177nn.11,13 Mason,John,136,184n.2 MasudPiloto,FlixRoberto,108 Matanzas(city):LaMarina,5,25,31,110PuebloNuevo,5,23,31,51,56 Simpson,56 Matanzas(province):Crdenas,30,33,65Camarioca,33slavepopulation in,7Varadero,38,71,96,153,179n.30 Matory,J.Lorand,181n.15 Mayomb.SeePalo mayomberos.Seepalero(s) mayordomo,17,32 memory:applyingcultural,119commemorativeceremonies,184n.5 Connertonand,167,168,184n.5group,167habit,167andmusic,168, 169possessionandcultural,167,168roleof,167singingtoremember,158, 159,162teachingtoremember,155 Menendez,Lzara,179n.29,181n.15 migration.SeeCubanmigrationtotheU.S.marielitos MolinerCastafieda,Israel,79,99,180n.33 Moore,Carlos,23,179n.27 Morales,Aguedo,174n.35

Moore,Carlos,23,179n.27 Morales,Aguedo,174n.35

Page208 Morales,Beatriz,137,145 MorenoFraginals,Manuel,172n.5 Morrison,Toni,165 mozambique,71 mpaka,15 mpungu,12 Murphy,JosephM.,48,152 MuseumofAfricanArt,NewYork,133 museums:politicsofrepresentation,13334transformationofritualobjects intomuseumpieces,134 musictheory.Seeorichas:andmusictheory msicabailable,71,72 Myerhoff,Barbara,xvii naciones.Seeslavegroups igos.SeeAbaku Nasak.SeeAbaku:mythoforigin ndungui,15 nganga.Seeprenda nsonganga(housetemple),15 obi,14 obonekues,18,173n.25 ochicha,49 O'Farrill,Arturo,37 oknkolo,39,44 Olodumare(Olofi),13,28,139.SeealsoSantera Olofi.SeeOlodumare olkundrums,61

oknkolo,39,44 Olodumare(Olofi),13,28,139.SeealsoSantera Olofi.SeeOlodumare olkundrums,61 ola,3,49,51,126,171n.1 olbat,47,49 omel,39,44 oma,3,49,51,171n.1 OrganizacionesRevolucionariasIntegradas(ORI),73,176n.7 oriat,14,123,125 orichas,xiv,11,12,2425,172n.10,173n.18BabalAy,11,62 caminosoravatares,12Chang,149Elegu,13,28,43,50,149,150 Korikoto,40andmusictheory,40,174n.30inNewYork,149 50Obatal,28Ochosi,13,40Ochn,26,61,12930Ogn,12,13,26, 27,2829,61,124,129,130Olkun,61Orula,14,17Osain,101,120, 124,128,139,159Oy,2526,42,97,99,100,127,150ritualobjects, 182n.16Yemay,150.SeealsoSantera OrquestadeRafaelOrtega,145 Ortiz,Fernando,xi,10,19,20,40,50,53,58,59,61,93,126,146,147, 152,172nn.4,11,174nn.33,35,175nn.40,45,48,50,177n.9,180n. 32,183nn.35,38,41 osainista,47,52 otanes(sacredstones),13,118 Otero,Lisandro,74,177n.11 pachanga,71 palero(s),16BenignoGarciaas,4,3034andcultofthedead,31Felipe's initiationas,4,3031Felipe'strainingas,4,3132,34,64misrepresentation of,31andsecrecy,31transmissionofreligiousknowledgeamong,3133 Palo,10,1113,1517,3034altarsinNewYork,132,143inCrdenas (Matanzas),30chamalongos,15communicationwithspirits,15deities (mpungus),12deitiesinNewYork,143,150,151divinationsystems,15 firmas,16focusofreligiouspractice,13fula,15initiation(rayamiento),15, 30mayordomo,17,32elmonte,11mpaka,15mpungu,12ndungui,15 nonorthodoxyof,1617nsonganga(housetemple),15possessionortrance, 15,150,151religiouspractices,13ritualexperts,16ritualmusic,16 Sambia,13andseculardances,65supremecreatorin,12,13vititimensu, 15.SeealsoCongooriginprendaslavegroups PanAfricanism,115,138.SeealsoCubanrevolution patak,xiv,12

15,150,151religiouspractices,13ritualexperts,16ritualmusic,16 Sambia,13andseculardances,65supremecreatorin,12,13vititimensu, 15.SeealsoCongooriginprendaslavegroups PanAfricanism,115,138.SeealsoCubanrevolution patak,xiv,12 Paz,Octavio,134 PedrazaBailey,Silvia,85,108,109,180n.1,181nn.2,3 Pea,Lzaro,8788,90.SeealsoArcadioCubanrevolution:andAfro Cubanreligion Prez,Jess,147,174n.35 PrezdelaRiva,Juan,172n.3 PrezPrado,Dmaso,37 plante,18,83 plazas,18 Portes,Alejandro,109 possession:andmusic,14,15,25,4344.SeealsomemoryPaloSantera Santeriamusic prenda(nganga),1516,3234,173nn.19,21,22Mariamunda,16,3234 RompeMonte,16,33.SeealsoPalo Rabkin,Rhoda,89 RalNasak,145

Page209 Raymat,JuanElNegro,126,147 recontextualizationandsecularizationofAfroCubanritualmusic:inCuba,76, 77,78,8082,8587,1014intheU.S.,11517,148 ReglaConga.SeePalo RegladeOcha.SeeSanteria repressionofAfroCubanreligions:ofAbakus,2223,8384inearlyyears ofCubanRepublic,173n.23inMatanzas2728,54ofpaleros,3334.See alsoCubanrevolution:andAfroCubanreligion Rios,OrlandoPuntilla,117,126,147,148,182n.29 ritualparties(bemb,tambor,ortoque),14,25,28,4041,50 Robbins,James,75,79,176nn.5,8 Roche,Andrs,53 Roche,Pablo,147,174n.35 Rodrguez,Arsenio,145,183n.30 Roldn,Amadeo,100,177n.9 Romeau,Armando,37 Rouget,Gilbert,122 rumba,36,37,85 Salazar,Max,183n.30 Sambia.SeePalo Santera,1115,2330ach,48,118,119,120,125(seealsofundamento) altarsorthrones,4243asientoorkariocha,13,54babalao(s),14,17,28, 29,12324,125,126,13637,142casadesantoorilocha,8,9,19,24 25.dilogn,14,125divinationsystems,14ekuel,14,2829egb (offerings),14,140eyarnla,24focusofreligiouspractice,13guerrerosor warriors,13igbodu,24,4243,81,178n.19ilekesorcollares,13initiation, 13,54italero,17itutu,14iyawo,13nonorthodoxyof,1617obi,14 omiero,120,121oriat,14,123,125osain,121osainista,47,52osun, 123,125otanesorsacredstones,13,118patak,xiv,12possessionor trancein,14,25,43,44,149,150,155,167,168,174n.31,184n.5 religiouspractices,13ritualexperts,16ritualmusic,15,25santeros,11 soperas,13,118supremecreatorin,12,13.SeealsoLucumorichas SanterainNewYorkSanteraritualmusicSanteraritualsingingslavegroups SanteriainNewYork,13438andarrivalofmarielitos,137,14244,147 48behavioroforichas,14953andCubanimmigrantsfromfreedomflights,

123,125otanesorsacredstones,13,118patak,xiv,12possessionor trancein,14,25,43,44,149,150,155,167,168,174n.31,184n.5 religiouspractices,13ritualexperts,16ritualmusic,15,25santeros,11 soperas,13,118supremecreatorin,12,13.SeealsoLucumorichas SanterainNewYorkSanteraritualmusicSanteraritualsingingslavegroups SanteriainNewYork,13438andarrivalofmarielitos,137,14244,147 48behavioroforichas,14953andCubanimmigrantsfromfreedomflights, 137andEspiritismo,136HavanaandMatanzaspractices,109,182n.23 ideologicaldifferences,135,136Oyotunji,135powerofbabalaos,13637, 142andYorubareligion,13536,182nn.20,21andYorubaRevisionism, 136YorubaTheologicalArchministry,136 Santeraritualmusic,12,15,25,39Africandiasporaand,116bembsor toques(ritualparties),14DavidByrneand,117ensembles,39jazzand,116 orodeeyarnla,43orodeigbodu,4243andpossessionortrance,15,25, 39,43,44,149,155,160toquedegun,142,143toquedemuerto,142in theU.S.,11617.SeealsoSanteraritualsinging Santeraritualsinging,15862callandresponsein,158classificationof chants,159competenceofsingers,160controversias,159,160inNew York,159,160,161paymentofsingers,161puyas,159roleofchorus, 161signifyingandpuyas,159suyeres,159trainingofsingers,161 translationofchants,128,181n.15.SeealsoSanteraritualmusic Sarabanda,12fromaltartomuseum,133,182n.17.SeealsoPalo Scott,RebeccaJ.,7 Scull,Ornelio,146,183n.31 Serrano,Sunta,181n.4 signifying.SeeSanteraritualsinging Sikn.SeeAbaku:mythoforigin Silveira,JuanCandela,112,146 Simmons,Renard,112,113,181n.4 slavegroups(naciones),812Arar,1011cabildosand,8,9Carabali,9, 10,11,17,34Congo,9,1012Lucumi,811,172n.6 slaveryinCuba,68,172n.3Somavilla,Rafael,3739,41 Somodevilla,Miguel,40 soperas,13,118 Sosa,Enrique,17,22,172n.2,177n.11 Stubbs,Jean,72,176n.3 Surez,Ricardo(Fantmas),56,5758,175n.42 syncretism,12,13942,172n.11,182n.27 tambor.Seeritualparties

Stubbs,Jean,72,176n.3 Surez,Ricardo(Fantmas),56,5758,175n.42 syncretism,12,13942,172n.11,182n.27 tambor.Seeritualparties Tanze.SeeAbaku:mythoforigin

Page210 Taylor,Frank,179n.26 Thiem,Darius,122 Thomas,Hugh,176n.7 Thompson,RobertFarris,13233,182n.17,184n.3 toque.SeeritualpartiesSanteriaritualmusic Torregrosa,Trinidad,145 Torrigente,Ernesto,58tradition:Felipe'sconceptof,13839oralityand writing,101,119,15153astext,100101transmissionof,24,30,3132, 101,103,152transmissionoforalmusical,36,4243,4445,6162,64,66, 15354.Seealsobatdrums:apprenticeship transculturation,12 translation.SeeSanteraritualsinging Triplett,Timothy,180n.2 UCLAFowlerMuseumofCulturalHistory,LosAngeles,164 Ulloa,Dionisio(Pipe),51 vacunao,64,65 Valdz,Bebo,37 Varela,Jesse,183n.31 VegaBacayao,Estban(Chach),xvii,58,59,174n.36,175nn.43,44 Vidaux,AlfredoCoyude,126,182n.29 Villamil,Jorge,59 Villamil,Juan(Felipe'smaternalgrandfather),3,2627,51 VillamilCrdenas,Jorge,41,44,45,59 VillamilCrdenas,Tomasa(Felipe'smother),37,23,2526,57,61 Villamilfamilyandmusic,25,36,41,46,51,79,178n.16 Vinueza,MaraElena,62,63,64,78,177n.11 vititimensu,15 Waterman,ChristopherAlan,172n.6

Villamilfamilyandmusic,25,36,41,46,51,79,178n.16 Vinueza,MaraElena,62,63,64,78,177n.11 vititimensu,15 Waterman,ChristopherAlan,172n.6 worldmusic.SeeSanteriaritualmusic:intheU.S. Yoruba,8,9,11,23,172n.6religion,94,13536,179n.29,182n.21. SeealsoLucumi yuka,33,64,6566,175nn.50,51 Zamora,Francisco(Minini),57 Zumthor,152