Monday 11 January 2016


It will be worthy of note that the places of performance include village square, the shrine, the courtyard, the street for procession e.g during the celebration of Osun festival the annual celebration done in reverence and appreciation to the goddess otherwise referred to as goddess of fertility. The music that is usually supplied by the ensemble include spontaneous music creations, improvisation within the frameworks of the melody and frequent use of polyphony and harmony. Eegun-tira and Gelede masquerades were until recently performed their music at the shrine popularly called Igbale in Yoruba which they use as rehearsal ground before their procession, where the director among them insist on the masquerade that will take part to respond to the punctuations to the music by specific part of the body already worked out. 

The masquerades dance round the town soon after returning from their sacred rite at the shrine. The colour and excitement of their dances epitomized the masquerade festival. One will wonder why masquerade festival is prominent among the Yoruba. This is because the colourful ceremony is celebrated in worship of ancestors and in remembrance of loved by departed (dead) relations, this is why masquerades are referred to as people of the other world. Today, in spite of everything, the members of the masquerade cult still cling tenaciously to their belief. They know that masquerade has proved his worth and justified himself in many ways.

As for Yoruba deities in relation to Batakoto, the principal deities in some part of Yoruba land that use the traditional drums are Oya and Osun. During the celebration of their festivals, people throng the street as if there is a mass movement or a political campaign. The influx of other deities have been faded away e.g. Ose festivals of the Owo and the Akoko's. The most important thing is that Ose River still exists till date. The name Batakoto drum has grown into a familiar one since the late 20th century. This is as a result of the unforgettable history of the Yoruba deities whose performance and attribute have championed the cause of educating Yoruba descendants on the importance of these deities and their most usual symbol.

In conclusion, this writer agrees with Ogunba and other Yoruba scholars that give the impression that the Oyo, the Northern metropolis is and the area around Oyo provides the finest example of what Yoruba have to offer. But where I disagree in totality is the fact that Yoruba civilisation that started from cradle is Ife, Owo, Ekiti and most part of Kwara developed and used the great drum called Batakoto. Although it is a known fact that the development of the drum is interwoven in terms of name and usage, it will be pertinent to note that this part of the Yoruba's may have been developed their art from the cradle which is Ife. Batakoto drum is a great symbol of the Yorubas so let it be.


Daomi K : Authentic Nigerian Musical Instrument (National Concord 1984)
Daomi K : Cultural Arts Quiz for Secondary Schools (Global Cultural Communication L.t.d 2002)
Ogunba O : Nigerian Magazine No 86, September 1965.
Sangokunle A : Interview (Rua Nora Canaa, n 151 - Taquara Jacarepayua Brazil.

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