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The Structure of Orisha Music

As defined earlier, Orisha Music is that music sang to the deities of the Yoruba based religions of Ifa.  There are hundreds of Orisha; however, in the Western Hemisphere we work with primarily fifteen Orisha.  The seven primary Orisha also known as the Seven African Powers are Eshu, Ogun, Oshun, Yemoya, Obatala, Shango and Oya.  Orisha Music is specific to an Orisha and there is a litany of songs for each Orisha.  

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What is Orisha Music? Part 2

Overt expressions of African religions were suppressed in the United States.  Cultural markers such as language, African names and drumming were prohibited, under penalty of death.  In spite of this, Yoruba culture and influence is seen and preserved in the African American churches.  The spiritual and musical influence of the Yoruba heritage is seen in the call and response style of singing, the congregate style of worship, the institution of “The Mothers” as moderators of social behavior and the honoring of ancestors in ceremonial context.

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What is Orisha Music?

Orisha Music is the music that is sung to the deities of the Yoruba religion called Ifa. The Yoruba were brought to the Americas during the transport of slaves from West African during the European slave trade.  The Yoruba people come from what is now the Country of Nigeria, however, linguists believe the Yoruba migrated from Egypt to West African several hundred years ago spreading their religious and cultural heritage through the vast regions of West Africa.Yoruba people were brought to the Islands of Cuba and the eastern seaboard of the United States.  It is estimated that 85% of African Americans are descendants of the people brought from Yoruba Land.  

Young Master Drummers from Guinae

This video was shot during a performance in Conakry, guinea.  Reminds me of my time in Mali when , in an empty, abondoned building built by the French, Master Drummers of Malie brought down the howuse.  These ae students of Master drummer Boka, of Guinae [vsw id="v/htDTJMUwgWQ&hl " source="youtube" width="325" height="244" autoplay="no"]

Roots!

Roots

Roots

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