Thursday, September 23, 2010

Calabar Radio Broadcast W/Ene Ita and Dr. (Chief) Ivor Miller #2

Thanks to all those folks who have been tuning in to the blog and our podcasts. I am now compiling transcripts of these transmissions; for those who are interested please email me at In this weeks' podcast Ene Ita and Dr. (Chief) Ivor Miller talk about the shared traditions of Cuba and Calabar through Ékpè and Abakuá culture. Cuba's Abakuá music is maintained in epic poetic form, a tradition that has enabled Cuban Abakuá to maintain the memory of their ancestors. They also used it to survive the repression of a colonial government looking to strip them of their cultural identity, recording their own history in the hearts and minds of Abakuá members for generations to come and for our enjoyment in the 21st century nearly 200 years since the first consecration took place in Regla;Havana, Cuba.

Please click on the logo below to hear the podcast.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Images from Abijang, Etung S.E. Nigeria

A view of the Cross River from the town of Abijang, in southern Etung Local Government Area, between Ikom urban and the Cameroun border. Photo by Ivor Miller, 2010

Inside the Mgbe hall of Abijang, a copy of Voice of the Leopard is proudly displayed. The Mgbe members of Abijang supported Miller's research by performing rare funerary rites, and a photograph of the hall and their sacred Ukara cloth is published in Miller's book. Photo by Ivor Miller, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Images from Dr. (Chief) Ivor Miller's Archives

Martin Cohen and Jesus Perez "Oba Ilu", Havana.
In the course of research on the history of the Lukumi bata drum ensemble in Cuba, specifically the legacy of one of its masters, Jesus Perez, Miller assembled a visual archive from the private collections of Perez's extended community. This one depicts Perez's happy encounter with Latin Percussion founder and photographer Martin Cohen of New Jersey.

Margarita Ugarte, founding member of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, dances for Yemaya in Mexico. Margarita, a colleague of Jesus Perez, met Miller through Dr. Rogelio Martinez-Fure, Cuba's leading Africanist. Margarita was raised in an family that practiced Ocha and Abakuá in Regla, the town where Abakua was founded in the 1830s.