Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Abakúa day in Miami Florida. Jan. 6 2013.

This is a brief depiction of an Abakúa masquerade portrayed by Angel Guerrero Aberiñan Itia Mukanda. Members ,from most if not all of Cuba's Abakúa potencias (lodges), exiled in Miami are present at this gathering which happens once a year in commemoration of Colonial Cuba's Three Kings Day processions. During this day of celebration all the Cabildos, Potencias, Ile's and various mutual aid societies would bring out their finest regalia, drummers, dancers and chanters in order to win favor with the Governor who would then bestow upon their respective nation group the Aguinaldo( gift of gold coins)which they would  each in turn use to buy the freedom of their enslaved compatriots.

 The Dia de Reyes(Three Kings Day)celebration was suppressed after the abolition of slavery in Cuba. The Abakúa day tradition is a way of maintaining those values of fraternity alive. The Cuban's combination of  innovation and  orthodoxy in regard to their Èkpé traditions has ensured the survival of the seed planted in Cuba by Qua, Ejagham, Efut and Efik people over 500 years ago. The fact that it does not exist in the U.S., in it's ritual context, is insignificant when you consider that these traditions remain in the hearts and souls of men who, wherever they may go, continue to remain true to the vows they took on the day of their initiation, upholding Bongo Itá. I would like to extend special thanks to Angel Guerrero Aberiñan Itia Mukanda, and all the ekobios present on that day for welcoming me and allowing me to partake in the contagious joy.

Asere Nunkue, Okobio Eyenison
Abasi Menguame,

Onel Mulet  for The Voice of The Leopard.


  1. Traditions reflect the culture of the place. Every country and region has its own traditions and customs which shows how people behave and live. This orthodox tradition reflects the thinking of Cuban people.

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