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Obiní Batá celebrate their African origin
- Fridays at 8:30 p.m.
- Obiní Batá
- Asociación Yoruba de Cuba
- Prado Street #615 between Monte and Dragones, Habana Vieja.
Obini Bata performs regularly, every Friday night, at the Yoruba Association, a cultural center and museum highlighting Afro-Cuban culture, a cornerstone of life which Cubans celebrate and are proud of (seemingly even Cubans of European descent), unlike in other Diasporic countries where these cultural riches have often been sublimated, repressed or stamped out.
Obini Bata is the first all female folkloric drumming ensemble in Cuba. The group was formed in 1993 by director Eva Despaigne and other female members of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. All members of the group play a variety of Cuban drums and percussion, as well as singing and dancing.
Like African percussion, Bata drumming is polyrhythmic, featuring three different types of drums, each one with its own tone and associated rhythm. As is customary, Bata drumming and song opened the performance which segued into dances of the Orishas gods and goddesses of the Afro-Cuban religion, Santeria. Santeria has its roots in the religious beliefs that Africans brought to Cuba, which was layered over Catholic iconography and doctrines, eventually forming a new syncretic hybrid. This mix of Yoruba and Catholic beliefs has sister equivalents in much of the Caribbean and beyond, including Brazils Candomble and Vodou of Haiti.