Abakuá drums from Havana. Made by S. López, 2002.Goatskin heads, traditional rope and wedge tuning system; lathe-turned outside; hand-opened inside.
The Abakuá orchestra of four drums is called biankomeko. The tall drum is the bonkó enchemiyá; the three smaller drums are enkomos. In descending order of size, they are the biapá, arobapá, and kuchiyeremá. The orchestra is often accompanied by men playing shakers, called (maruga). An additional musician hits the back end of the bonkó enchemiyá with two sticks. The biankomeko provides the music for the day long plante Abakuá, first to herald the Abakuá dignitaries coming out of the secret temple in procession, and then to accompany members dancing in full body masquerades, called íremes (see Art Gallery > Abakuá on this site).