Obiní Batá

Obiní Batá is a group of six Cuban female Batá drummers. Headed by Eva Despaigne, who had been a member of the prestigious National Folklore Group for 20 years, Obiní Batá is the only Afro-Cuban percussion group comprised solely of women. All six of the drummers are graduates of the National Art School.

In the Yoruba language, “Obiní Batá” means “female drummers.” By the longstanding traditions of Afro-Cuban religions, bata drumming has been regarded as taboo for women.

A documentary about the group, entitled Una Sonrisa para el Tambor, recently premiered at the 21st International New Latin American Film Festival. Directed by Damián Francisco Pérez Téllez, the documentary features interviews and performances by Obiní Batá.