A cultural project to keep the fighting traditions, music, dance, history, lineage, rituals, religions, etc, of Puerto Rico and Cuba alive.
Classes are on the Puerto Rican art of Cocobale (Kokobale: a stick fighting & unarmed combat method) and the Cuban art of "El Juego De Mani", Kokoye, etc. These arts were created by the enslaved Africans who were brought to the islands. Right now classes are being conducted through ZOOM or privately. Later on we will resume back to group classes.
He is the last of the living apprentices to have studied under the great grand professors in the arts of "El Juego De Mani" (the game of war, similar to Capoeira or La'gya), Juan De Dios Ramos Morejon and Carlos Lazaro Aldama Perez, Alberto Pedro, and Rogelio Furez. Members of Conjunto Nacional De Cuba, Juan and Carlos made sure that Maestro Quijano worked hard under their tutelage to pass on the teachings of their ancestors.
The late Juan De Dios considered him his protege and presented him the only one a certificate of mastery in the art and the one to carry it on. He studied both the folkloric and martial curriculum completely. The only one to do so.
Maestro Quijano is also the responsible keeper of the teachings for Cocobale under a long list of teachers from Puerto Rico, some who are no longer here or who are have reached a very prime age respectively. He was blessed to have learnt much from his father and senior Maestros in bomba families, which helped him to keep the flame alive for others to reap the benefits of this beautiful arts.
For over 50 years, Maestro Quijano has been in these arts of Cocobale & Mani and is looking for the right students to pass them onto. Don't read wiki, because they keep changing things. Get it from Maestro himself.
He has been teaching here in the States, Puerto Rico, etc. Helping many folkloric groups, Bomba groups, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, etc. learn the authentic arts of Cocobale and Mani.
Mani is not the word for peanut, it means "War". He is constantly in demand for teaching engagements, lecturing, etc. But he will rather not teach just anybody, but those that truly deserve the arts and will put in the work. There has to be a love for the arts, respect, discipline, and a respect for ancestors. The lineage is important.
Juan De Dios
Juan De Dios
The late Juan De Dios was an accomplished artist & practicing initiate of a spiritual lineage brought to Cuba by Africans during the slave trade. He was a founding member & principal dancer of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional (Cuba's National Folklore Company) and was the director of Raices Profundas, one of Cuba's premiere companies. Juan was a Santero & Babalawo, as well as Akpon (ceremonial singer) versed in Yoruba, Palo, Abakua and Arara traditions. He is known throughout Cuba a singer of religious songs and Rumba. As one of the last living reservoirs of the cultural treasures which came to Cuba from Africa, Juan was recognized internationally as a dancer, singer & teacher.
Juan De Dios Ramos Morejon
Juan De Dios worked with Argeliers Leon, Fernando Ortiz, Lydia Cabrera, to help them archive Mani into a Folkloric version for Cuba. Juan was considered everywhere that he went, the last known Manisero, Master of his time. He was a walking & living encyclopedia of Mani, from his upbringing & from practical experience on the streets, etc.
Carlos Aldama, the knowledge that was passed to him orally by his teacher, Jesus Perez "Oba Ilu",. He was the original musical director of Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba and favorite student of Pablo Roche Cunal, "Akilakua", the man co-responsible with famed Cuban folkloric historian Fernando Ortiz for bringing the Bata drums out of the religious setting for its first public appearance, circa 1935. When Jesus passed on, Mr. Aldama became the musical director for the next fifteen years of the total twenty-eight years in which he remained with CFNC. He is a co-founder of the Ministry of Culture, Havana Cuba (1959) and Co-founder of CFNC (1962). Both the Cuban government & the Ministry of Culture have recognized him. He has been awarded a Doctorate on Folkloric Percussion and has a degree from The School of Music Ignacio Servantes Institute of Superior Art (ISA).
Alberto Pedro Sr. was an Afro-Cuban writer, 1930, researcher at the Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. Advisor to the National Council for the Performing Arts, the Fernando Ortiz African Cultural Center & the Yoruba Cultural Center Association of Cuba, founded in 1991. He has various articles published on Black freedom struggles & Cuban, Haitian & Caribbean cultural identity.
Really. Ask us anything.