A gendered tone: representations of sexuality and power in Cuban Batá Performance

Vicky Jassey

Resumo


Fundamento or Añá are the three hour-glass consecrated batá drums central to the
worship of the orichas (deities) in Cuban Santería and belong to initiated heterosexual men.
Taboos prevent women and homosexual males from coming into close proximity with these sacred
objects. Thirty years ago however, Cuban men began teaching women to play non-consecrated
batá called aberikulá. Three decades later there are now six all-female batá groups and a growing
contingent of female batá players in Cuba. Furthermore, in Santiago in 2015, women started
playing fundamento batá in a historical break from tradition. There has been extensive research
focusing on men’s sacred batá performance and its associated religious and cultural practices but
in-depth studies which focus on gender and the growing number of female batá players have been
few. Addressing gender asymmetry, this article examines representations of power and sexuality in
male/female, sacred/secular batá performance.


Palavras-chave


Batá; gender; sexuality; performance

Texto Completo:

PDF

Referências


Allen, Jafari S. (2011) Venceremos?: the erotics of black self-making in Cuba. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press.

Beliso-De Jesús, Aisha M. (2015) “Contentious Diasporas: Gender, Sexuality, and Heteronationalisms in the Cuban Iyanifa Debate”. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and

Society. 40(4): 817-840.

Block, Adrienne Fried (2008) “Matinee Mania, or the Regendering of Nineteenth-Century Audiences in New York City.” 19th-Century Music 31(3): 193–216.

Doubleday, Veronica (2008) “Sounds of Power: An Overview of Musical Instruments and Gender.” Ethnomusicology Forum 17(1): 3–39.

Farnell, Brenda M. (1999) "Moving bodies, acting selves”. Annual Review of Anthropology.

Castro Flores, María Margarita (2001) "Religions of African origin in Cuba: a gender perspective”. Nation Dance: Religion, Identity, and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean. 54-62.

Hagedorn, Katherine J. (2015) “Ochún and Añá: Engendering Spiritual Power and Empowering Gendered Spirits.” in Villepastour, A. (ed) The Yoruba God of Drumming: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Wood That Talks. University Press of Mississippi.

Koskoff, Ellen (2014) A Feminist Ethnomusicology: Writings on Music and Gender. University of Illinois Press.

Morad, Moshe (2014) Fiesta de diez pesos: music and gay identity in special period Cuba. Farnham: Ashgate.

Rodriguez, Andrea (2014) “Women Drummers Break Barriers in Cuba Percussion | Reading Eagle - LIFE”. The Associated Press. Reading Eagle. http://readingeagle.com/life/article/women-drummers-break-barriers-in-cuba-percussion. [Accessed 2015-02-16]

Said, Edward W. (1977) Orientalism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Scherpf, Stephanie (2011) “Stephanie Scherpf: Obini Bata: Pioneering All-Women Afro-Cuban Group”. http://stephaniescherpf.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/obini-bata-pioneering-allwomen-afro.html [accessed 2015-04-08]

Schweitzer, Kenneth (2015) “The Cuban Añá Fraternity: Strategies for Cohesion.” In Villepastour, A. (ed) The Yoruba God of Drumming: Transatlantic Perspectives on the

Wood That Talks. University Press of Mississippi.

Villepastour, Amanda (2015) “Anthropomorphizing Àyàn in Transatlantic Gender Narratives.” in The Yorùbá God of Drumming: Wood That Talks. University Press of Mississippi.

Vincent [Villepastour], Amanda (2006) Batá Conversations: Guardianship and Entitlement Narratives about the Bata in Nigeria and Cuba. Ph.D. Thesis, School of Oriental & African Studies.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.