Dr. Ivor Miller, an American and a Fullbright Scholar, connects the dot between the people of Calabar and Cuba. It is a fascinating discovery and Dr. Miller’s knowledge and full immersion into the Calabar culture is intriguing.
A bit from his bio:
“Ivor Miller is a cultural historian specializing in the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and the Americas. His book Aerosol Kingdom (UP of Mississippi, 2002) documents and interprets the creation of Hip Hop culture in New York City from its beginnings in the late 1960s till the present, focusing on the Afro-Caribbean and African American contributions resulting from 20th century migrations. Miller’s current book, Voice of the Leopard (UP of Mississippi, 2008), documents the little known history of the Cuban Abakuá, a society derived from the Ekpe (leopard) society of the Cross River region of Nigeria and Cameroon. Working with both Ekpa and Abakuá leaders, he has documented the foundation of the society in 19th century Havana, and its continuation in Cuban society. Abakuá lore in Cuba may prove useful to Cross River peoples as they reconstruct their own past. In July 2001 he helped facilitate the first-ever encounter between the Efik of Nigeria and the related Abakuá of Cuba – an event sponsored by the Efik National Association at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Since then a series of further encounters have been organized, in Michigan (2003), in Calabar (2004), and in Paris (2007).”