Definitions for "Abakuá"
Abakua or Abakuá (various spellings are used) is an Afro-Cuban men's initiatory fraternity, or secret society, which originated from fraternal associations in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Known generally as Ekpe, Ngbe, or Ugbe among the multi-lingual groups in the region, these closed groups all used the leopard as a symbol of masculine prowess in war and political authority in their various communities. Ekpe and related organizations in the Calabar region were heavily invested in the slave trade emanating from the Bight of Biafra, though high-ranking officials were themselves ultimately captured and sold into slavery in Cuba, where the society re-emerged.