Welcome to Ẹdùn Ará

bloco de carnaval

Ẹdùn Ará - bloco de carnaval is a percussion, song & dance performance based project that reflects the African heritage found in Brazilian & Cuban culture. Together with One Voice Music we run workshops that culminate in a costumed parade and/or stage performance.

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Click on the names in the table below for an overview on some of the Orixas/Orishas  honoured in Brazil and Cuba. The Orishas included here are from Candomblé de Ketu (Brazil) and Santeria (Cuba). 

Also included are sound samples of a few traditional rhythms (Toques) played for the Orishas. Some rhythms are specifically for a particular Orisha whilst others can be played for a number of different Orishas.

Learning about the Orishas is a lifelong journey. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list nor is it a detailed description of their various attributes, aspects, paths or qualities.


In Brazil the rhythms are played on drums called Atabaques.

The large, lead drum is the Rum and is played mostly using a stick & hand technique.

The middle sized and smallest drums, the Rumpi and the , are mostly played using two thin sticks.

There are some rhythms where all three drums are played only with hands.

 In Cuba the rhythms are played on Batá drums

In this trio the lead drum is the I
ya (means 'mother' in Yoruba). The middle sized drum is the Itotele and the smallest, the Okonkolo.

Each player has the drum on their lap. The larger head is usually played with the dominant hand.


 OYA /










Greeting: Laroye
Symbol: hooked staff (painted red & black) / whistle

Eleggua is the messenger between humans and the Orishas and between the Orishas and the Creator, Oludumare.  He is a warrior and opens the way/path.  He is the entrance and the exit and always the first and the last to be honoured in rituals and ceremonies. He presents choices in our lives and his domain is the crossroads. There are many aspects of Eleggua including the child and the trickster.

In Cuba: Day - Monday  ~  Colour - red & black
Rhythm: Elunbanche  ~   Song: Barasuayo

In Brazil: Day - Monday  ~  Colour - black or red & black

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OGUN (Cuba) / OGUM (Brazil)

Greeting: Ogum Ye
Symbol: machete / sword / iron objects

Ogun is a warrior and the courageous blacksmith who works tirelessly at his forge. He is iron, war, civilisation, technology and progress.  He is the older brother of Ochossi and he follows Eleggua to clear the way/path.

In Cuba: Day - Tuesday  ~  Colour - dark green & black
Rhythm: Ogun

In Brazil: Day - Tuesday  ~  Colour - dark blue
Rhythm: Ogum

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OCHOSSI (Cuba) / OXOSSI (Brazil)

Greeting: Oke Aro
Symbol: bow & arrow

Ochossi is a warrior and the hunter that never misses. His domain is the forest and the woods. He is the aim you want to achieve in life, constantly striving and always focussed. He is the younger brother of Ogun and the king of Ketu (Benin).

In Cuba: Day - Tuesday  ~  Colour - lavender & black / light green & black
Rhythm: Agere

In Brazil: Day - Thursday  ~  Colour - turquoise blue / green
Rhythm: Aguere

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Greeting: Atoto
Symbol: crutches / palm fronds / cowrie shells

Babalu Aye is both the illness and the cure.  He is the Earth and the sun. A hot and feared Orisha of infectious diseases and epidemics such as leprosy, small pox and Aids but he is also the protector of disease.

In Cuba: Day - Wednesday  ~  Colour - royal purple & black
Rhythm: Bariba Oge De Ma

In Brazil: Day - Monday  ~  Colour - black / white / red
Rhythm: Opanije

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OBATALA (Cuba) / OXALA (Brazil)

Greeting: Epa Baba
Symbol: fly whisk (white horse tail) / all things white

As an old man, Obatala is known as Obalufon (Cuba) and Oxalufan (Brazil). His domains include the sky and mountain tops. He is purity and wisdom. He is the father of the Orixas, merciful and tender and the protector of all humans and sculptured the human form. As a young man he is known as Ajaguna (Cuba) and Oxaguian (Brazil) who is agile and happy.

In Cuba: Day - Sunday  ~  Colour - white
Rhythm: Akete Oba

In Brazil: Day - Friday  ~  Colour - white & silver (Oxalufan) / white with transparent blue or red (Oxaguian)

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CHANGO (Cuba) / XANGO (Brazil)

Greeting: Kao Kabiesile
Symbol: double-headed axe / thunderbolt / castle

Chango is fire, thunder, lightning, rain, virility and male power. He lives in rocks and minerals and in volcano lava. He hates injustice and cowardly behaviour. He is a strategist and a king (Alafin) from Oyo, Nigeria. He is Lord of the drums (the Bata are his ceremonial drums). He had three wives, Oba, Ochun and Oya.

In Cuba: Day - Saturday  ~  Colour - red & white
Rhythm: Oferere

In Brazil: Day - Saturday  ~  Colour - red & white
Rhythm: Aluja

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OYA (Cuba) / IANSA (Brazil)

Greeting: Epa Hei
Symbol: fly whisk (black horse tail) / copper crown with 9 points

Oya is strong winds, storms, hurricanes, lightning, fire and female power.  She is corageous, a brave warrior and a remarkable tactician. Together with Chango (his third and favourite wife), they led their army to many victorious battles.  She had nine children and in Yoruba, Iansa means mother of nine. She lives at the cemetary gates and is the guardian of  the dead.

In Cuba:  Day - Wednesday  ~  Colour - nine colours, dominant is maroon/wine red
Rhythm: Tui-Tui

In Brazil: Day - Wednesday  ~  Colour - red / white / brown / pink
Rhythm: Aguere / Ilu

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YEMAYA (Cuba) / IEMANJA (Brazil)

Greeting: Adoia
Symbol: silver crown / blue fan / sea shell / coral

Yemaya is the sea, maternity and the essence of all motherhood. She is a protector of children and the wife of Obatala / Oxala. She is the mother Orixa, nurturing and loving. She is the queen of the sea and wears a silver crown.

In Cuba: Day - Saturday  ~  Colour - blue, light blue, transparent blue or green & white or crystal
Rhythm: Aro

In Brazil: Day - Saturday  ~  Colour - blue, light blue, transparent blue or green & white or crystal
Rhythm: Jinka

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OCHUN (Cuba) / OXUM (Brazil)

Greeting: Ora Ye Ye O
Symbol: gold fan / brass mirror / peacock feather

Ochun is fresh, sweet water and female sexuality. She bathes in rivers, streams and at waterfalls.  She is love, honey, beauty, gold, sensuality and the seducer. She helps women to conceive and is the protector of pregnant women. She carries a fan made of gold with a mirror in the middle.

In Cuba: Day - Saturday  ~  Colour - gold / yellow / amber
Rhythm: Yesa

In Brazil: Day - Saturday  ~  Colour - gold / yellow / amber
Rhythm: Ijexa

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Training in Brazilian & Cuban percussion

Rhythm and Spice

Rhythm Matters


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