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Abakuá Secret Society

Abakuá is an all-male secret society, also known as ñañigo, primarily located in Cuba. The lodges associated with Abakuá emerged in the western, urban, and coastal areas of Cuba in the 1820s to 1840s, especially in the areas of Havana (Regla, Guanabacoa, and Marianao), Matanza, and Cárdenas. Ideas that undergird Abakuá were transported across the Atlantic Ocean by West Africans captured in their continental homelands and delivered as slaves to the largest island of the Caribbean. There, they and their island-born (Creole) descendants enlarged and reinvented aspects of customs and practices from the homeland regions of Calabar—known in Cuba as Carabalí.

Whereas Cuba's imported, enslaved Africans were originally from regions of West Africa, the ideas and practices of the first Abakuá lodge, Efik Buton, were drawn ...

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