This group of twelve women stands fanned out in a semicircle, each one wildly beating away at a batuko, a tightly folded cloth held between the knees. The beat ebbs and flows in rhythm to the singing, liberally sprinkled with calls and dares.
Occasionally, in the middle of one of the songs, one of the women comes and stands in the middle with a jumper or a shirt tied around her waist and moves with all of the power of African dancing in a display of cultural diversity from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The frenetic yet slightly wistful beat created by the women in the Batuko Tabanka lasts three quarters of an hour enough to bring the public to fever pitch with their batukadas, coladeiras and mornas, all with an unmistakable hint of Galicia.
This group shows the positive side of migration with respect and dialogue, perfectly summed up in the Creole words: SABI, SABI
The members of the group, Antonina de Cangas, Antonina de San Cibrao, Ivone, Fafa, Beba, Isabel, Dezideria, Ilda, Mariazinha, Chuca, Belita and Santinha, all call each other by their pet-names or nomezinho, not just a nickname but their passport to the world.
Tabanka is the name of an association set up several years ago in order to pay tribute to capeverdean culture, to stand as a reminder to its African roots in all of its different cultural facets, and with the music brought to us by this group of very talented women.