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Obiní Batá of Cuba from Amberly Alene Ellis.

Obiní Batá

"Obiní Batá is Cuba's female Afro Cuban folkloric group, famous for playing the bata drums. Historically, women have been banned from playing the bata. The group was founded in 1993, making it the first ever of it's kind. The bata drum in Cuba originated as an instrument that was used by African slaves. The Obiní Batá proudly break the gender norms and challenge the notions of the role of women in Yoruba religion."

Articles/Artículos

Obiní Batá of Cuba  4/18/2018 Vimeo: By Amberly Alene Ellis. "Obiní Batá is Cuba's female Afro Cuban folkloric group, famous for playing the bata drums. Historically, women have been banned from playing the bata. The group was founded in 1993, making it the first ever of it's kind. The bata drum in Cuba originated as an instrument that was used by African slaves. The Obiní Batá proudly break the gender norms and challenge the notions of the role of women in Yoruba religion."

Women drummers break barriers in Cuba percussion  6/11/2014 South Florida Times: "Instructors were warned that if they taught women, it could cost them a place in a traveling tour or a major performance. Over the years, doors slowly began opening for female drummers – just as women gradually took on greater roles in politics, academics and other areas of Cuban society. Today, experts say, the island is seeing a boom in women percussionists as the generation that first started playing in the 1990s comes into its own and inspires younger talent to follow. “I threw myself into the unknown,” said Eva Despaigne, the 60-year-old director of Obini Bata, Cuba’s first all-female bata orchestra, which takes its name from the Yoruban word for woman. “I have suffered many headaches.”"

Mastering drums being a woman: Obiní Batá  3/25/2014 On Cuba: "A group of women master the Iyá, the Itótele and Okónkolo-names given to each of the bata drums. Furthermore they sing, dance and play the claves and chequeré deftly as wise connoisseurs of our folk traditions. It is Obiní Batá. This ensemble looks at the Afro-Cuban syncretism from culture and has been for two decades on the scene. It emerged in 1993 within the National Folk Ensemble. Eva Despaigne, their leader, says it is nothing new that women are interested in this kind of aesthetic proposal; they are faithful to the legacy of Rumba Morena and other women’s groups who cultivate the rumba."

Obini Bata: All–Women Afro–Cuban music group  9/1/2011 Cuba Absolutely: "When Obini Bata was founded in June of 1993, it was the first all-female group featuring Bata drumming. Eva Despainge Trujillo, Artistic Director, left the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba (the National Folkloric Company of Cuba—until today a reference point in Cuban dance and culture) to found Obini Bata. She explained that chauvinistic attitudes have followed the group throughout its history. Unfortunately, some Cubans—both men and women—have not been able to separate the group’s use of the Bata drums for an artistic purpose as opposed to a religious one. As Eva stated, “we put the religious world on stage as art.”
 

Links/Enlaces

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www.womex.com/virtual/comunacuba_sl/obini_bata

www.ecured.cu/Obin%C3%AD_Bat%C3%A1

Obiní Batá celebrate their African origin
When: Fridays at 8:30 p.m.
Venue: Asociación Yoruba de Cuba

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