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Consejo Supremo Abakuá de Cuba - Buro Abakuá
Asociación Abakuá de Cuba

The phrase "Buro Abakuá" is the popular short-hand reference to the "Consejo," and since many Abakuá don't recognize the 'Consejo' as legitimate, the term 'Buro' is a way of saying administrative', therefore 'oppressive', since Abakua is essentially an urban 'cimarron' group that repulses being 'administrated'.

In 1960 as Cuba was nationalizing all property, some Abakuá leaders drew a line and said: "We need separation between state and religion. Abakuá is a religion. We are more Cuban than the palm tree. Leave us alone." They created a "Buro Abakua" to confront the excesses of the revolution. That didn't work: in 1967 the state prohibited any Abakuá initiation. This lasted until 1977.

In 1991, around the time of the IVth Party Congress, the State approved of the Buro Abakuá (Consejo supremo) to 'represent' Abakuá. From 1960 to 1991, the state had trained 'Abakuá initiates' to infiltrate the lodges and spy, and they sought the complete integration of Abakuá into the state. Just like with Ifa and the Asociacion Cultural Yoruba, this is impossible because there
never was a 'supreme' Abakuá leader, just lots of autonomous lodges (potencias). Many of the members of the Buro don't know the rituals well and they are not respected by rank and file Abakuá.

The whole issue of African roots is dismissed as bogus since 'creolisation' or 'transculturation' cubanized everything. Thus the state has a 'right' to control it.

There is a Buro Abakuá in every town, they are organized under the provincial Buros. Each municipal Buro consists of many juegos, where the state sanctioned Abakuá can gather.

This structure is completely separate from the traditional potencias originally founded by Africans from Calabar (Carabali in Spanish) in the Cross River Delta. These African potencias are related to the Ékpè lodges in Calabar and carry the same names in a number of cases. The Ékpè elders will have a hard time recognizing the state created Buros as authentic.

Consejo Supremo Abakuá de Cuba

Dr. Orlando Gutiérrez Boza, Secretario de Asuntos Religiosos

Asociación Abakuá de Cuba

Ángel Freire, Presidente
Arístides La Madrid, Vicepresidente
Ramon Torres Zayas, miembro

Buró Provincial Abakuá de La Habana

Dr. Orlando Gutiérrez Boza, miembro


Articulos/Articles

La secta Abakuá hace votos por la recuperación de Castro 11/6/2004 AFP: "''Lo admiramos por ser un hombre valiente, decidido e inclaudicable'', dice el mensaje firmado por el presidente del Consejo Supremo de la Asociación Abakuá de Cuba, Angel Freyre Fernández (Iyamba Potencia Erumé Efó)."


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