By María Teresa Vélez
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Additional resources for Drumming for the gods: the life and times of Felipe García Villamil, santero, palero, and abakuá
The ceremony of presentation to the drums authorizes the novitiate to dance in front of the sacred drums in any toque or fiesta de santo and creates a special link between the initiate and the particular set of drums used in the ceremony. Santeros who are to perform specialized rituals functions receive further initiations. Aside from initiation, santeros are involved in permanent ritual relationships with their orichas that cover a gamut of ceremonies, from the very simple and personal ones of saluting the orichas daily to the more public ones of celebrating bembés (ritual parties) in their honor.
The division of words (when unknown or unclear) also follows the way in which the words are delivered in song. I have kept alternative pronunciations of the same word or expression. I have chosen to use the phoneme /w/ to convey a sound different from that of the Spanish vowel u and closer to the sound of w in English. However, Felipe alternates between this sound and one that uses a g in front. For example, sometimes he would say chawala and other times chaguala. Instead of giving a consistent spelling, I have chosen to keep the inconsistencies and to follow the phonetic transcription of the words.
48–1984 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Vélez, María Teresa, 1952- Drumming for the gods : the life and times of Felipe García Villamil, santero, palero, and abakuá / by Maríesa Vélez. p. — studies in Latin American and Caribbean music) Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 1-56639-730-8 (cloth: alk. paper). : alk. paper) 1. Garcia Villamil, Felipe, 1931– . 2. Drummers (Musicians)— Cuba—Biography. 3. Santeria music—History and criticism. 4. Blacks—Cuba—Religion.