Wednesday 6 January 2016

BATAKOTO - An Appraisal - By KOLA DAOMI (PART 1).

The heritage of Nigerian Musical Instruments are usually associated with traditional institution of Pre - colonial era that has survived the impact of the forces of western form of acculturation and is therefore quite distinct in idiom and orientation from contemporary popular and art music. Musical instruments of this genre are generally used in ensembles. They can be used in the music where they outline the rhythmic pattern of the repertoire or in ceremonies where they delineate the movements of priests and process of rituals in dance where they articulate the movement and rhythm created by the dancers. 

One of the instruments in focus is a great musical instrument known as Batakoto used for social and ritual functions. This traditional musical instrument can be described as a rigid prescription regarding roles, responsibilities and general frame work. This will be analyzed in due causes. Batakoto produces multilinear rhythmic patterns that involve several lines of organization. This involves grading, spacing and cross rhythm. This drum is mostly found amongst the Ekiti, Omuaran in Kwara State and Owo in Ondo State. 

The drum can also be found in Eruwa in Oyo State and is borrowed in Badagry Lagos State. When these scholars examine this drum attentively, the drum is also prominent amongst the Egbado, Viz Imeko, Igbesa, Aiyetoro to mention but a few. Abeokuta in Ogun State also uses Batakoto. The musical instrument which can be classified under the Bata family can be grouped under Religious musical instrument that is used for religious worship and also can be secular musical instrument for general entertainment. 

This is to say that some musical instruments are sometimes regulated in Yoruba land when it comes to religious worship. It will be pertinent to note that the people involved in such celebration are those that are initiated. In other words, this instrument has been handed down from one generation to the other in all the communities under focus, along a traditional route embracing several beliefs associated with it. 

There are three or more types of Bata in Yoruba land that is Bata from Oyo known as Sango drum. (2) Batakoto known as Oya/Gelede drums and Bata Ijebu mostly found amongst the Ijebus. As fore mentioned, Yoruba Bata drums are Yoruba drums. Yoruba civilization spans through the West, North and Southern Yoruba. 

Yoruba Culture is a set of values originating from and original to the Yoruba's as it is expressed in their national societies. It is a set of attitude, beliefs and sentiment which give order and meaning to the political process and which provides the underlining assumption and rules that pattern behaviour in the political system. The study of Batakoto by this scholar shows that it was not only the Oyo from the Northern part of the Yoruba's that had the monopoly of Yoruba civilization because Batakoto did not originate from Oyo. "Certain writers on some aspects of Yoruba traditional culture sometimes give the impression that they assume that the Yoruba have a uniform cultural and cultic set-up. 

They also give impression that Oyo, the Northern Yoruba metropolis is, and has always been representative of the whole of the Yoruba people and the area around Oyo provides the finest examples of what Yoruba people have to offer: (Oyin Ogunba - Nigerian Magazine 1965) but this critic may not agree with this view, because Agemo, Ekuku and Oro cult are fine examples of what some part of Yoruba Viz the Ijebu's people had offer.

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