1. A secret fraternal society formed in Cuba by descendants of the Calabar tribe, referred to as the Carabalí. 2. The ritual music and dance of the Abakuá sect, which has greatly influenced Cuban secular forms such as rumba.
The African Carabalí people from the Calabar coast in the south of Nigeria, from which thousands of slaves departed toward the end of the 18th Century and during the first half of the 19th Century, were called abakuá in Cuba. They brought with them their secret fraternal societies, especially one which worshipped the leopard. The abakuá societies (also called ñañigos), are the antecedent of numerous customs and rituals that are very widespread in Cuba, where they deeply mark the culture. These are based on the mutual assistance among members. The abakuá instruments used particularly in ritual ceremonies are the following drums: bonkó enchemiyá, bincomé o biankome, obí-apá, kuchi-yeremá and the ekón bell.These rituals, named plantes are carried out in sacred places as well as in processions where the ireme is danced.