The Voice of the Leopard
Part 2 of our special 3 part series celebrating Nigeria’s 50th anniversary of independence. The leopard cult of ekpe in Calabar, in present-day Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon, has one of the most unique performance traditions in all of Africa–a complex theatrical tradition, referred to in calabar English as “play,” which encompasses a cycle of sacred dramas that takes many years to execute. The music of this society is almost completely unknown outside the region, because it was not recorded until the 1980s.. This program will feature Calabar-themed recordings by artists including Sexteto Habanero, Chano Pozo, Arsenio Rodríguez, and Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Dr. Ivor Miller, the only scholar who has both penetrated the Abakuá society and visited the motherland in Calabar, and promoted the first-ever re-encounter between the two traditions, will play some of this powerful music and tell stories of this fascinating culture.