Afro Cuban Folkloric Music Featuring Bata Drums, Bembe Macagua, and Güiro
La Fuerza del Tambor: Bata, Bembe y Güiro en Matanzas, Cuba
DVD, 90 minutes, all regions
The Power of the Drum offers Santeria practitioners and newcomers alike a look inside the Santeria religion as it is practiced in Matanzas, Cuba. Matanzas is considered by many to be the region where the African roots of the religion are strongest and best preserved.
The DVD features eight segments from authentic, live Santeria drumming celebrations for the Orishas.
Five of the segments showcase the sacred bata drums, called Aña, which are the most fundamental form of communication with the African deities knows as Orishas.
Two other segments feature the Lucumi Bembe Macagua drums never before seen outside Matanzas.
Another, highly unusual segment contains almost 10 minutes of rarely seen or heard Palo songs accompanied by the sacred bata drums.
Each segment or group of segments is introduced by an interview with Alfredo Calvo, one of the most respected Santeros in Matanzas, and members of his ile (Ocha house) talking about some aspect of what the viewer is about to see.
There are also several drumming demonstrations:
- Palo rhythms played on bata
- Bembe Macagua rhythms and songs
- Two styles of Arara drumming
Subtitled lyrics are included for all the Lucumi and Palo songs. The interviews are in Spanish with English subtitles.
|The Power of the Drum||An interview about the power of the drums to communicate with the Orishas|
|Rhythm for Yemaya||One of the young bata drummers goes all out for Yemaya|
|Songs for Agayu||A full cycle of songs for the Orisha of the volcano|
|Presenting Iyawos||An interview about how new initiates are presented to the sacred drums in Matanzas|
|Presentation of Two Yemayas||Alfredo Calvo prays to Yemaya through song to bring her down on her two newest initiates|
|Chango, the King of Dance||A priest possessed by Chango dances in front of the sacred bata drums|
|Palo and Aña||An interview about the relationship of the various African religions to each other|
|"Now, the strong stick has been broken"||An unusual sequence of Palo Mayombe songs accompanied by the Lucumi bata drums|
|Mixing the Drums||An interview about the power of mixing several types of African drums together in one celebration|
|Güiro for Ogun||The conga drums and shekeres join the bata drums to play for Ogun|
|Bembe Macagua||An interview about the history of the Bembe Macagua drums, followed by an extensive demonstration of these unusual drums|
|Bembe Macagua for Ogun||A live tambor featuring the Bembe Macagua drums and some great dancing for Ogun|
|Bembe Macagua for Ochun||Ochun joins the party to dance in front of the Bembe drums being played in her honor|