Origins of the Claves

I had read somewhere that claves were pieces of wood used in shipbuilding; pegs to hold the ship together before treated metal fasteners. These pegs were adopted by the dockworkers as instruments.
This idea incidentally lends more support to the theory of rumba coming from the Abakua tradition, as the docks were controlled by the Abakua societies. In addition, many believe that the clave rhythmic pattern comes from Abakua as well.

This is the source of the shipmaking clave connection:

"In the beginning was the clave. In Spanish, code or key; in music notation, clef or signature. For black slaves and freedmen working the docks in late 17th century Havanaclaves were the hardwood pegs used in shipbuilding. Clapping a pair of claves makes a sharp click loud enough to cut through the brassiest Latin big band. Crucially, the clave is the basic rhythm traceable to ancient African rites, the building block of all Cuban music: a cell of two measures—one syncopated, one on the beat—around which every song, variation, and improvisation revolves."   Ned Sublette

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