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The Rise of Female Batá Drummers

Wednesday, March 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
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The Rise of Female Batá Drummers:
Gender, Sexuality, and Taboo in a Cuban Ritual Tradition
By
Vicky Jassey
Folklife, February 8, 2019

Why would a woman dedicate herself to learning a cultural practice that is not her own? Especially when she is largely forbidden from participating in it?

I still don’t have a real answer, although I’ve been playing batá for fifteen years. This Cuban tradition is derived from a Yoruba spiritual practice carried from West Africa during the slave trade. I am a British percussionist and singer, a white woman, who fifteen years ago became captivated by the sound of the batá drums . . .

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Folklife is the digital magazine of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

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