The exchange of culture between West Africa and the United States and Europe is mutual. One of the greatest impact of western culture upon West Africa is the shift towards women playing traditional Drums of Power such as the djembe. The following clip shows a group of young women performing with their teacher on the djembe, a feat that would have resulted in severe repercussion for the women and the teacher as recent as 15 years ago. No doubt, the fact that women are the greatest seekers of African drum teachers in the United States and Europe is a prominent factor. There is significant income to made from women students. Significant income has also been made by students, many of whom are women, traveling to Africa to participate in drumming intensives. Many benefit from these intensives including those who provide housing, cook meals, escort and teach.
Odu means womb and Odu refers to any opening between Heaven and Earth or the visible and the invisible realms of existence. Odu Osa Meji
This is the essence of the matter: The creative power of women rests in the womb; her ability to open the door for the souls of the ancestors to move from the non-physical into physical existence. In this manner women have the Power to “uphold the world.” Death is mitigated by the guarantee of physical rebirth. The physical cycle of life becomes as fluid; eternal.
You’re in luck! Today we begin a three week series on women drummers; those who have paved the way, those who hold open the doors, and those that have walked through to fill the rooms! Look for articles on Ubaka Hill, Fatu Lady Drummer, Mabiba Baegne and others. But first, enjoy this short clip present by Women Drummers International and feel the power of women on the drums! You will be glad that you did!
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Master Drummer, Francisco Aguabella, passed away on May 9, 2010 in California. Aguabella, a master of Orisha song, drum and dance came to the United States in the 1950’s and with other greats such as Patata and Tito Puentes. together these masters blasted open the doors of Salsa, Latin and Jazz music. the following clip is a tribute to the Influence of Aguabella and his master friends. Aguabella passed away of cancer in his home. May he fly in piece with Ancestor and Orisha.
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