I can’t help but see the similarity between Cape Verde’s Batuko dance and my beloved Samba de Roda, a form of Samba coming out of Brazil’s African heart, in Bahia.
Batuko is one of the oldest dance and drum genres of the island chain, originating on the island of Santiago. It is thought that the word Batuko comes from a West African word Batuk or from the Portuguese word Batuque, meaning drums. The ensemble is usually comprised of women drumming and dancing in a semicircle. It is typically performed for various cultural celebrations as well as for women’s fertility. It is suggested that much of the movement, which involves subtle and quick movements of the hips and feet, very similar to the way Samba de Roda is performed in parts of Bahia, has sexual connotations.
Up until the mid 70s when Cape Verde gained its independence, Batuko was considered “obscene…
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