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A typical dancing celebration for the Island of Santiago in which - still being extremely african influenced - mainly women take part in. Pilon in the cycle of Tabanka, as well as other festivities like weddings and baptisms, offer excellent occasions for it.

creole Batuku, portuguese Batuque

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A couple of women sit in a cirlce and beat the rhythm on the pressed cloth ball which is on their lap. In turns they sing to it with a solo singer. The beat becomes louder and faster with the repetition of the chorus by the solist. One or two women who tie a cloth around their waist dance in the middle swinging their hips. Usually the celebration finishes with the solist singing a Finason right in the middle of the circle

(According to Jose Maria Semedo e Maria R. Turano: "A tabance em Cabo Verde. To be found in the magazine "Fragmentos", Nu. 11/15 1997, Page 51-59)  

Batuko - Folklore just for the Sake of Tourists?

According to a german guidebook, Batuko is only performed at folklore events.

However, various events, baptisms, and other festivities have already contributed to convince us that Batuko is still alive and very present. We do not mind so much that the youth use "real" drums in a period that makes the split between modernism and tradition more and more difficult. We rather find it fascinating that the band "po di terra" from Tarrafal combines a guitar and violin with the Batucadeiras of Cha Bom on their most recent CD "Triste sta na rua". (See Um novo som de batuco in the biggest newspaper. "A Semana". 24.06. 05.,Supplement Kriolidadi, Page 5)

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These pictures were taken on Friday the 24 th of July 2005 at the yearly small feast of John in the nearby village Ponta Verde which is 3 km away from Calheta.


Very often an improvised singing which is performed by a female solist at Batuku: The lyrics mainly have a didactic, moralizing character by means of articualting proverb -like folkloric wisdom. Very often the bridal couple is praised at weddings

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