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Yoruba/Dahomean Collection: Orishas Across The Ocean

Various Artists

Initial release : October 1998

Rykodisc 10405

This album of music from the Yoruba and Dahomean traditions of Africa, was collected in Haiti, Brazil, Cuba and Trinidad between 1939 and 1957. It is released as part of the Library of Congress Endangered Music Project. The album was produced and edited by Hart.

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  • Papa Legba Ouve Baye
  • St. Jak Pa La
  • An Nou Mache
  • Ketu Songs for Osain
  • Bori Songs (initiation rites)
  • Agolonă (Entry of the Orixas)
  • Opanije (Rhythms for Omulu)
  • Ketu: Roda de Dadá (Song cycle)
  • Ketu Songs of Oxalá
  • Song for Eleguá
  • Song for Naná Burukú
  • Song for Ogun
  • Song for Dadá
  • Song for Yemayá
  • Ochún Talade
  • Song for Yemayá
  • Song for Yemayá
  • Song for Changó
  • Itutu Song Funerary rites)
  • Itutu Song
  • Yariba-Oshun
  • Shango Ceremonial Music
  • Shango Ceremonial Music
  • Invocation (Shango)

The performers for each track are;

  • Papa Legba Ouve Baye - unknown
  • St. Jak Pa La - unknown
  • An Nou Mache - unknown
  • Ketu Songs for Osain - Manoel's group
  • Bori Songs (initiation rites) - Manoel's group
  • Agolonă (Entry of the Orixas) - Manoel's group
  • Opanije (Rhythms for Omulu) - Shimiya's group
  • Ketu: Roda de Dadá (Song cycle) - Manoel's group
  • Ketu Songs of Oxalá - Vidal's group
  • Song for Eleguá - Conjunto El Nino
  • Song for Naná Burukú - M. Portillo Dominguez and Group
  • Song for Ogun - unknown
  • Song for Dadá - unknown
  • Song for Yemayá - Candido Martinez and group
  • Ochún Talade - Alberto Yenkins (Yin) and group
  • Song for Yemayá - Fernando Hernandez with Ines Sotomayor group
  • Song for Yemayá - unknown
  • Song for Changó - Candido Martinez with ensemble led by Miguel Santa Cruz and Juan Gonzalez
  • Itutu Song Funerary rites)
  • Itutu Song - Fernando Hernandez and group
  • Yariba-Oshun - Margaret Buckley and Joe Alexander
  • Shango Ceremonial Music - unknown
  • Shango Ceremonial Music - unknown
  • Invocation (Shango) - Andrew Biddle and chorus

  • Producer - Mickey Hart, Alan Jabbour
  • Editor - Mickey Hart, Morton Marks, Frederic Lieberman
  • Booklet text - Morton Marks
  • Introduction - Kenneth Bilby
  • Transfer engineer (Library of Congress) - Michael Donaldson
  • Sonic restoration, equalization, mastering (3600 Productions) - Tom Flye
  • Sonic restoration (Rocket Labs) - Michael Romanowski
  • Mastering (Club Front) - Jeffrey Norman
  • Production management - Howard Cohen
  • 3600 Productions ethnomusicology consultant - Frederic Lieberman
  • Library of Congress research - Kenneth Bilby, Max Derrickson
  • Package design - Adam Larson
  • Photography - Josefina Tarafa, Laura Bolton Collection

The mission of The Endangered Music Project is the;

resurrection of archival tapes documenting such traditions from the silence of the Library shelves, remastering and sonically cleansing them to a listenable state for modern ears, and for posterity.
The tracks were collected as follows;
  • Tracks 1-3 recorded in Haiti in January 1947
  • Tracks 4-9 recorded in Salvador, Brazil in 1941 or 1942
  • Track 10 recorded in Venezuala before 1950
  • Tracks 11-20 recorded in Havana, Cuba circa 1957
  • Tracks 21-24 recorded in Trinidad in 1939
This album provides a 'musical snapshot' of Haitian Vodou, Cuban Santería, Trinidadian Shango, and Brazilian Candomblé. These religions originated with the Yoruba and Dahomean peoples, who were brought from West Africa to the Americas as slaves.

These pioneering recordings from the Library of Congress were made by Laura Boulton, Melville Herskovits and Lydia Cabrera.

The CD booklet provides an excellent introduction to the ritual songs and drumming on the album and provides two pages of suggestions for further reading and listening.