Los Tambores Ararás, La Conga

     Well no sooner was I lamenting the fact that I missed the ebay auction of the Fernando Ortiz book in my earlier post , when I decided to check into my local library and see if they had a copy. They did not have a copy of The Scholar and The Collector, which I think would have been very cool. However they did have copies of La Africanía de la Música Folklórica Cubana and the book above Los Tambores Ararás, La Conga. La Africana did not have any images, it did have some somewhat hard to read handwritten transcriptions of bata rhythms. It is certainly the more scholarly book. This book, Los Tambores, etc is a small little pamphlet, only 66 pages long. I don't know if this book and the ones pictured in my previous post La Ekon, La Clave, Las Tumbas, and El Achere´, Los Chekere are all separate essays, or cheaply reproduced excerpts of Fernando Ortiz's larger work Los Instrumentos de la Musica Afrocubana. I suspect the later, as I have seen better quality scans of the book's photos, which I assume came from a more expensive book, which I further assume Los Instrumentos is. If only my Spanish was a little better, this would be a more interesting post.

   Fear not intrepid bloggers y rumberos, I may not be so fluent in Spanish, but I am handy with a scanner. So I've scanned some of the plates inside the book. The Arara drums are really interesting, and the captions to the plates are simple enough for me to translate. My favorite being this caption: 

Figura #12 . Tres congas de Guantanamo, con simbolos lucumies, congos, nanigos y cristianos.
   Which roughly translates to: 3 congas from Guantanamo, with Lucumi, Congo, Nanigo and Christian symbols. The Lucumi are descendents of the Yoruba in Cuba and the word Lucumi I have been told means friends. Congos refers to the Bantu in Africa. Nanigos refers to the Abacua and the last is of course Spanish Catholicism.

    Anyways, I'm lucky enough to live in San Francisco with it's large Spanish community, so I am happy to share these scans with you rumberos with less well stocked libraries.

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