The batá drum is a double-headed, West African drum that originated with the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Sold in sets of three, the drums are believed to communicate with one another as they are played. Each drum boasts a gracefully tapered hourglass shape with walls that gradually increase in thickness for greater power and projection. There is a larger playing head (the inu) on one end and a smaller playing head (the chacha) on the other. To play the batá, just lay the drum across your lap and tap both percussive heads with your hands.
Batás are steeped in religious heritage and, until recently, were only played in Cuba as newly coronated priests were presented to the community. Although batás remain true to their religious roots, percussion players regularly integrate the batá’s distinct sound and varying tonalities into their performance.