Maobong Oku

Maobong Oku is a singer, dancer, drummer and priestess of the Ndem water spirits of Calabar, Nigeria, where Cuba’s Abakuá originated. She performs here with Project Nunkue Ayaya (Roman Diaz, Clemente Medina, Onel Mulet).

The performance above was introduced by cultural historian Ivor L. Miller. For more on the history of African secret societies in Cuba see his book: Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba.

Also read this 2007 interview with Ivor Miller conducted by Ned Sublette for Afropop Worldwide.

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