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The Sacred Language of the Abakuá - University Press of Mississippi
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The Sacred Language of the Abakuá

Lydia Cabrera, Ivor L. Miller, and P. González Gómes-Cásseres


In 1988, Lydia Cabrera (1899–1991) published La lengua sagrada de los Ñáñigos, an Abakuá phrasebook that is to this day the largest work available on any African diaspora community in the Americas. In the early 1800s in Cuba, enslaved Africans from the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon created Abakuá societies for protection and mutual aid. Abakuá rites reenact mythic legends of the institution’s history in Africa, using dance, chants, drumming, symbolic writing, herbs, domestic animals, and masked performers to represent African ancestors. Criminalized and s ... More

Keywords: Ñáñigos, Abakuá, Rumba, African Diaspora, Mutual aid

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781496829443
Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2021 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496829443.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lydia Cabrera, author

Ivor L. Miller, editor
University of Calabar

P. González Gómes-Cásseres, editor
Smith College

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