Dancing Wisdom

Contents

#

Cap.

PP.

1.

Deciphering Diaspora dances

1-50

2.

Body-Knowledge at Crossroads

51-93

3.

Days of Remembrance

94-103

4.

Dances of Memory

104-47

5.

Praise-dance, Liturgical Orders

148-62

6.

Leaning with Haitian Lwa-s

163-87

7.

Learning with Bahi`an Orixa`-s

188-204

8.

Learning with Cuban Oricha-s

205-245

9.

Dancing body, embodied wisdom

246-279

p. 65 personal accounts of onset of spirit-possession

"I feel ice in my feet when Baba [the oricha Babaluaye`] starts to come ... – but the ice is coming. and then I don’t remember. ... All I remember is ... cold ice coming up from my feet to my back."

[quoted from ML, pp. 352-3] "When the spirit is going to come in your head, you feel very light, ... very light in your head. You feel dizzy in your head. Then after, you pass out. But the spirit come ... . Then he leaves and ... and you come from very, very, very far. But when the spirit [is] ... in your head, you don’t know ... . They have to tell you what the spirit say, what message he leave for you."

ML = Karen McCarthy Brown : Mama Lola. U of CA Pr, 1991.

p. 74 body-parts dedicated to specific deities (quoted from A-AD, p. 159), according to Haitian Vodou (from Dahomey)

body-part

deity

feet

god of war Ogoun

hips

Congo’s spirits of beauty and love

chest

[Ibo spirits]

spine

snake god Damballah

hands

spider spirit Ghede Zarien

A-AD = Joyce Aschenbrenner : Katherine Dunham : Reflections on the Social and Political Contexts of Afro-American Dance. NY : CORD, 1980.

pp. 74-75 body-parts dedicated to specific deities, according to Cuban Yoruba

p.

deity

body-parts

74

Ogu`n

legs; heart

74-5

Ochu`n

lower abdomen; female genitalia

75

Yemaya`

breasts; upper abdomen

 

Chango`

tongue; penis

 

Obatala`

head

 

Ochosi

eyen; left leg; left hand

 

Elegba

feet

 

Obba

ears

 

Oya`

lungs; back

 

Ibedy-s

fingers; toes

 

Babaluaye`

skin

pp. 75, 77 body-parts dedicated to specific deities, according to Bahi`an Candomble`

p.

deity

body-part

75, 77

Yemanja`

ova

75, 77

Oxala`

sperm

77

Xango`

chest

 

Yansan

ribs

 

Oxun

stomach; female genitalia

 

Exu

penis

 

Ogun

left leg

 

Exu

right leg

 

Omolu

skin

 

Oxumare

eyen

 

Oba

ears

 

Oxossi

arms

p. 78 (Chart 1.1) Haiti : divinities, body-parts, colors

deity

body-part

color

Legba

penis

white

Dambala; Ayida Wedo

spine

"

Ogou Feray

chest

red

Ogou Badagri

chest

"

Ogou Petwo

legs

"

Ezili Freyda

eyen, hands

pink

Ezili Danto

hips

red

Kuzen Zaka

feet

denim blue

Simbi Rada

?

light blue

Simbi Congo

hips

red

Ibo

back

red & yellow

Ti Jean Petwo

shoulders

red

Ge`de` Zarenyen

genitalia

black

Baron Sanmedi

pelvis

"

p. 79 (Chart 1.2) Cuba : divinities, body-parts, colors

deity

body-part

color

Elegba

feet

black & red

Ogu`n

legs, heart

green, black, purple

Ochosi

eyen, left leg & hand

turquoise blue

Yemaya`

breasts, upper abdomen

dark blue

Obatala`

head

white

Babaluaye`

skin

purple

Ochu`n

lower abdomen, female genitalia

golden yellow

Oya`

ribs, back

ochre, rainbow

Shango`

tongue, male genitalia

red & white

Obba

ear

yellow & red

Ibedy-s

fingers, toes

variegated

p. 79 (Chart 1.3) Bahi`a : divinities, body-parts, colors

deity

body-part

color

Exu

penis

black & red

Ogun

legs

dark blue

Oxossi

arms

turquoise

Yemanja

ova

crystal (translucent)

Oxala`

sperm

white

Omolu

skin

black & white

Oxun

abdomen, female genitalia

golden yellow

Yansan

ribs, back

ochre

Xango`

chest

red & white

Oba

ears

yellow & red

Ibeji-s

fingers, toes

variegated

Oxumare

eyen

rainbow / opaque

Nana

?

purple

p. 81 circling dance

"In Haiti, ritual practice surrounds the potomitan or center-post. As understanding grows, worshippers dance closer to the center and leave former positions that were circling on the periphery.

In Cuba, ... dancers and singers, all trying to face the drums and drummers, create semicircular rows of performers that connect with the semicircular rows of drummers and singers. ...

In Bahia, there is a revered spot at the centermost point of a terreiro where initiates circle while dancing. Dancing takes place in a counterclockwise circle with the circling performers".

p. 88 names of types of drums (3 types to each ensemble)

in Haiti

manman

segon

boula

in Cuba

iya

oko`nkolo

ito`tole

in Bahi`a

rum

rumpi

le

p. 89 tuning the ensemble of drums [cited from MS, p. 17]

the __

of the __

should be identical in pitch with the __

of the __

enu [mouth or large drumhead]

okonkolo

chacha [butt or small drumhead]

itotole

enu

itotole

chacha

iya

MS = Amira & Cornelius : The Music of Santeria. 1992.

p. 98 (Chart 2) names of the nations

in Africa

in Haiti

in Cuba

in Bahi`a

Fon

Arada

Arara`

He^he

Yoruba

Nago

Yoruba

Ketu

other

Mahi`

Carabali`

 

p. 153 (Chart 7) generic structure of a caerimony in Haiti

1.

Libations

to drums, potomitan, doors, and altar rooms

2.

Salutation points

laplas’ and podwapos’ sword-salutation to cardinal directions and all ritual personnel

3.

Nations’ order

Arada singing and dancing

4.

Priye` Guinen

Fon, Yoruba, and Kikongo prayers

5.

continued Nations’ order

Ge`de` singing and dancing; Congo/Petwo singing and dancing : arrival of Lwa

6.

Socializing

people eating; lwas giving advice and counsel

7.

Lwa departure

 

8.

Retiring of drums

departure of guests

p. 155 drumming

"In Cuba, the lead drummer (olubata`) coordinates the voices of the drum battery. ... Usually the Oru seco or Oru de bata` begins the wemilere with its toque of twenty-four to twenty-six rhythms (Amira and Cornelius 1992:22-23)."

"After dark... can be performed ... a bembe` or rumbo`n for the orichas; however the baptized bata` drums are not ... played after dark."

p. 156 (Chart 8) generic structure of a Wemilere

1.

Oru` seco

"Private liturgical order on baptized drums, played without dancing or singing, in front of a decorated altar with offerings from initiated and ritual family".

2.

Oru` de cantos

"Liturgical order of drum rhythms played with singing and dancing for ritual family and guests".

a. "Libations and salutation to Elegba to open service."

b. "Salutation to all orichas in a set order of dance/music."

c. "Chants and dancing for the dedicated oricha."

d. "Advice and counsel from the orichas."

e. "Closing to Elegba and retiring of drums."

f. "Sharing the dedicated food with all present."

3.

Bembe`

"Liturgical order of drums, played on aberi`cula drums or chekeres."

a. "Salutation to Elegba to open service; libations."

b. "Salutation to all orichas in a set order".

c. "Chants and dancing for the dedicated oricha."

d. "Advice and counsel from the orichas."

e. "Closing to Elegba and retiring of drums."

f. "Sharing the dedicated food with all present."

p. 159 (Chart 9) generic structure of a Xire^

1.

Pade Exu

"semiprivate ceremony seven days before xire^".

2.

Xire^

"Libations and salutations to all orixas in set order with chants and dancing around the sacred center space ...; arrival of orixa`s".

3.

Eres visitation

"Visitations of eres among ritual members; departure of eres; departure of all guests."

p. 162 (Chart 11) litourgical order

for Cuba

Elegba

Ogu`n

Ochosi

Oricha Oko

Inle

Babaluaye`

Obatala`

Dada`

Oggue`

Agayu`

Ibedy-s

Chango`

Obba

Yeggua

Oya`/Yansa`n

Yemaya`

Ochu`n

Orunla/Ifa

p. 207 (Chart 12.1) generic structure of drum-rhythm sequences (called a "road")

1.

Yakota`

slow-tempo rhythm

2.

N~ongo

medium-tempo rhythm

3.

Chacha-olokofu`n

swift-tempo rhythm

4.

[various]

swiftest-tempo rhythm of a given oricha

abbreviations for Chart 12.2-10

R

Right

L

Left

t

touch

b

back

st

step

cr

cross

fr

front

s

side

c

centre

pl

place

d

diagonal

f

forward

p

pivot

ch

chop

sha

shooting arrow

sh

shoulders

kn

knees

k

kick

h

hold

sl

slide

be

bounce

hl

heel

w

walk

lcw

low cramped walk

sw

slow walk

vsw

very slow walk

ALT

alternate

p. 208 (Chart 12.2) an Elegua road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Bara svavo

la Lubanche

w 1,2,1,2,3

2.

I Bara ago

la Tokpa

t R, b R, st L, st R

3.

Uchuo Elegbara-E

" "

"

4.

Teremina

Rumba

cr st : R cr fr; L; R s, l, cr fr, L, R c

5.

Kirinya

N~ongo

RLR 312, LRL 312

6.

Ochimini E A

Iyesa

s R, R pl, s L, L pl

7.

Sosa sokere

"

"

p. 208 (Chart 12.3) an Ogu`n road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Mariwo yeyeye

Kobu

d st – R cr f, L b, R pl; ALT

2.

Ibariba chekecheke

Rumba

p st : R to L d, L toe st, R to R d, L toe st; on beat 4, R hand throwing to R

3.

Ogun-dere arere

Ogun wado

d st

4.

Onile

N~ongo

d st

5.

Ogun babala

(Guiro)

ch st : ch RRRR, ch LLLL

6.

Amala Ogun

N~ongo

d

7.

E afereyo

"

d

8.

Komrere

"

d

9.

Ogun elese

"

d

10.

Sara y koko

Chacha

d

p 209 (Chart 12.4) an Ochosi road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Yakuo

Aguere (in 6 parts)

iyesa, cr st, iyesa, sha st (p to r, to L, t b of R sh with R hand), iyesa on 1&3 with sha on 3&4, k 2R & k 2L with arms ALT

2.

Sire sire

Oggue

d 1,2,1,2,3 on R L RLR L R LRL

3.

Yambeleke

"

"

4.

Iwara oddefa

"

"

5.

Aware ekun foya

"

"

p. 209 (Chart 12.5) a Babaluaye` road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Agada godo

Iba iba oggede ma

lcw ALT sh to kn-1,2,1.2.3

2.

Baba E, Baba soroso

" " " "

"

3.

Towe towe

Yewa

w RL h, RL h (sh pulses)

4.

Asokara kara sunawea

"

"

p. 210 (Chart 12.6) an Obatala` road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Baba ala yeo

Egguado

vsw : RL

2.

Fee ekwa O

"

sw : RL, RLR, LR, LRL

3.

Eribode

N~ongo

1,2,1,2,3

4.

Obatala elona

"

"

5.

Toto ito

Ayembeleko

arms folded on chest

6.

Wa E wa E lo mio

Iyesa

Iyesa

p. 210 (Chart 12.7) a Chango` road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Iya mase

Opolayao

t b st

2.

Ewayo

"

"

3.

Mofoni nana

Serabase

w s RL LR, w fr RL LR, w b RL LR

4.

Malamala

Opolayo

LRR, LRR, LRR, L; ALT

5.

Ala mala

Agayu #4

fr RL, b RL, s RL, s LR

6.

Mala malaluo

N~ongo

 

7.

Mofori borere

Chacha-olokofu`n

R k, RLR; ALT

8.

Kabo E

" "

"

9.

Oba ibo

Aluya

"

p. 211 (Chart 12.8) an Oya road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Ye Oya wimi

Oya biku

fr b Chachacha, R fr, L b, RLR to R-s; ALT

2.

Oyade

Oba

"

3.

Oyadeo

(transition)

Caballo

4.

Longoito

N~ongo

fr b Chachacha

5.

Eeaah

"

"

6.

Koro unle O

"

"

7.

Olele

"

"

8.

Oya gaga

"

"

9.

Oya wima

"

"

10.

Oyansan A sere

"

"

11.

Oya Oya O

Chacha-olokofu`n

Caballo

12.

Oyanko emi

" "

"

13.

Ye oya wimi

Tuitui

RLR 234, Lfoot pt s 234 & DA1; ALT

p. 212 (Chart 12.9) a Yemaya` road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Asesu

Yakota`

RL in 3s, sl R b, sl R fr; ALT

2.

Sokutani wo

"

"

3.

Barago yemaya

"

"

4.

Odda asesu

"

"

5.

Okota

"

"

6.

Omolode

Zapateo

R hl, R fr, R b; ALT

7.

Emi odwe

"

"

8.

Oluba chikini

"

"

9.

Ala modanse

"

R, L, RLR; ALT

10.

Larioke

N~ongo

"

11.

Kai kai kai

"

"

12.

Waro mio

Chacha-olokufu`n

 

13.

Agolonae

Aro

turning, spinning

14.

Okuo yale aro

"

k st

p. 213 (Chart 12.10) an Ochu`n road

#

chant

drum rhythm

dance step

1.

Iya mile

Chenche-kururu

w

2.

Yeye moro igi

Yakota`

 

3.

Aladeye

Ibaloke

t b st

4.

Oma oma

"

"

5.

Yeye bio

Yakota`

 

6.

Olu were

"

 

7.

Imbe imbe

Iyesa

Iyesa

8.

Ore ore

"

"

9.

Ala unbanche

"

"

10.

Ide were were

Wolenche

 

11.

Ala iyeye

"

 

12.

Gbogbosun

"

be st : RL, LR, LR with skirt ALT

13.

Yeye yeo

N~ongo

 

14.

Eyure amala

(transition)

Caballo

15.

Yan yan Iroko

Chacha-olokufu`n

 

p. 214 two patakin-es / oriki-s / iriki-s (myths)

The woman "Oya` pretended to be a boy in order to be alone with Chango`. Chango` took her hunting ... . ... Then one day, Oya` revealed that she was a woman. ... Chango` was amazed and enamored."

{The woman Prokris "went disguised as a handsome boy" so that her husband Kephalos "whom she joined in a hunting expedition, did not recognize her", until she "revealed herself as his wife." (GM 89.e-f)}

The river-goddess Ochu`n "took honey, omi, it all over her body ... . It was ... an attraction and temptation for Ogu`n."

{The naiad (river-goddess) Arethousa explained how bees found be kept (for honey) by Aristaios (GM 82.g). }

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

pp. 275-276 oriki about Rabbit-god

p.

Yoruba

Norse & Astika

Ute

p. 275

"one of each of their sons to be placed underground

{Confined underground is LoKi, whose name may be cognate with Hellenic /LaGos-/ ‘rabbit’.}

{Little Rabbit "caused the ground to collapse and buried them all." (HNAM, s.v. "Rabbit", p. 153)

 

for fourteen days. ...

{There were 14 world-deluges (Manu-antara-s), according to the Puran.a-s.

A world-deluge was produced by

 

Rabbit offered to help by arranging with the ants".

The eyen of the sage Valmiki (‘Emmet’) were poked while he was underground in an emmet-hill, according to the Rama-ayana.}

the bursting of the eyen of Little Rabbit (HNAM, s.v. "Rabbit", p. 154).

p. 276

The son was Ossein returned afterwards as an unrecognized "stranger".

{Until being confined, Loki used to travel in disguise.}

 

HNAM = Dawn Bastian & Judy Mitchell : Handbook of Native American Mythology. ABC-Clio, 2004.

Yvonne Daniel : Dancing Wisdom : Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahian Candomble`. U of IL Pr, Urbana, 2005.