Ivor L. Miller



Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba. UP of Mississippi, printed in Lagos, Nigeria by the Center for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC).


Voice of the Leopard: African Secret Societies and Cuba. UP of Mississippi.


Aerosol Kingdom: Subway Painters of New York City. UP of Mississippi. Foreword by Robert Farris Thompson. Reprinted in 2010, UP of Mississippi.


Ifá Will Mend Our Broken World: Thoughts on Yorùbá Culture in West Africa and the Diaspora. Wande Abimbola. Interviews and Introduction by Ivor Miller. Roxbury, MA: AIM Books. 206 pages.

In Progress

Voice of the Leopard: A Cultural History of Cross River Civilizations. Vol. 2. Pre-colonial civilization in West Africa, focused on the Ekpe society of Old Calabar. (book)

In Progress

Voice of the Leopard: 20th Century Cuba. Vol. 3, documents the horizontal integration of various African-derived traditions in Cuba. (book)

In Progress

“Battling Genres in the Trans-Atlantic African Diaspora: History and Aesthetics.” Co-edited with Dr. TJ Desch-Obi. Essays from a conference at CUNY, May 2008. University Press of Mississippi. (book)

In Progress

Cuban Lukumí Batá drumming guilds. Oral narratives and historical documents narrative this monograph about a West African classical tradition recreated in colonial Cuba that is now a global practice. (book)



“The challenges of articulating and promoting a trans-Atlantic African Diaspora: West African Ékpè and Cuban Abakuá within their contemporary nation-states.” Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). Transnational Working Groups Edited Volume.

In Progress

“Life-cycle Rituals in the Cross River Region.” For a catalogue-exhibition with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. co-authored with Dr. Mathew Ojong, University of Calabar. (essay)

“Ékpè ‘leopard’ association songs from the Cross River region: a thematic and linguistic study.” An analysis of some 100 songs in several languages (Agoi, Efik, Ejagham, Igbo, Lokaa, Umon) collected from 2004-2011; with M. Okon, and M. Ojong, University of Calabar. (essay)

Juan Boza, Afro-Cuban artist. A catalog of Boza’s work, based upon my photographs of 1989-90. Boza (1950-1991) paintings and installations won awards in Cuba and the USA. (essay)

“King-making in Calabar, Nigeria: Historical Photographs of Ékpè Ritual.” (essay)


“Abakuá Communities in Florida: Members of the Cuban Brotherhood in Exile.” Africa in Florida. Eds., Amanda Carlson & Robin Poynor. UP of Florida.


“Bongó Itá: Leopard Society Music and Language in West Africa, Western Cuba, and New York City.” Rewriting the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ed., R. Adams, Jr. Routledge P. [reprint of 2012 essay]

“Ékpè ‘leopard’ society in Africa and the Americas: Influence and Values of an Ancient Tradition.” With Dr. Mathew Ojong. Race and Ethnicity in Secret and Exclusive Social Orders: Blood and Shadow. Taylor & Francis. [reprint of 2012 essay]


Bongó Itá: Leopard Society Music and Language in West Africa, Western Cuba, and New York City.” Journal of Africa and Black Diaspora. 5.1 : 85-103. Routledge P.

Ékpè ‘leopard’ society in Africa and the Americas: Influence and Values of an Ancient Tradition.” With Dr. Mathew Ojong, University of Calabar. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Special Issue on “Secret or Private Organisations, Race & Ethnicity.” U.K. Pps. 1-16.


Abakuá Society: African Sources and Structure”; “Language: Efik-Carabali (Abakua).” Cuba: People, Culture, History. Encyclopedia: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Editor in Chief: Alan West-Durán.


“Naturalizing identity politics.” A review of Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness. DVD. A Vital Pictures Production. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 2009. H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


“’Honoring Verger’s Legacy’: Pierre Verger: Mensageiro Entre Dois Mundos (Messenger Between Two Worlds).” DVD. Grande Premio Cinema Brasil, 2000. 83 minutes. H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


The genesis of African and Indian cooperation in colonial North America: An Interview with Helen Hornbeck Tanner.” Ethnohistory Quarterly. 56.2 (Spring) American Society for Ethnohistory. Michael Harkin, Editor.

“Obras de fundación: la sociedad abakuá en los años noventa.” Raza y racismo. Antología de Caminos. Eds., Esther Pérez y Marcel Lueiro. La Habana: Editorial Caminos. P. 188-214. [reprint of my 2000 essay].


Cantos Abakuá de Cuba: examen de la nueva evidencia lingüística e histórica de la diáspora africana.” Catauro: Revista cubana de antropología. Havana: Fundación Fernando Ortiz. Año 8. No. 15. pps. 4-33. Translation of my 2005 African Studies Review essay.

“Abakuá: The Signs of Power.” Program notes for a performance and exhibition of paintings by Leandro Soto. Arizona State University. Phoenix.


Liner notes to Tambor Lucumí: Andrés Chacón y Iré Iré. Música Afro-Cubana. Three CD set. EarthCDs MPM003. 2006. 27 pages.


Cuban Abakuá chants: examining new evidence for the African Diaspora.” African Studies Review. April. 2005, v. 48. n.1. Pp. 23-58.

How I went to Calabar and became an Ékpè Ambassador to the Cuban Abakuá brotherhood.” WARA Newsletter. West African Research Association. (Spring) : 11-13.

Abakuá entry (1000 words). Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas. Colin Palmer, Editor in Chief. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

“Kongo Cruzado: Cuban Lukumí and Kongo Identities in the Art of Francisco ‘Gordillo’ Arredondo.” The International Review of African American Art. v. 20, n. 2. Pp. 16-24.

Graffiti entry (2000 words). Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States. Vol. 2. Ilan Stavans, Ed. Grolier Academic. Pp. 266-70.

“On Hip-Hop”; “Ògún and Aerosol Art”; “The Trains and Aerosol”; “’Writing’, Not ‘Graffiti’.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.


The Formation of African Identities in the Americas: Spiritual ‘ethnicity’.” Contours: A Journal of the African Diaspora. 2, 2 : 193-222.

Introduction.” Special Issue. Contours: A Journal of the African Diaspora. 2, 2 : 141-156.

Notes from the Underground: the Increasing Relevance of Hip Hop.” Black Renaissance/ Renaissance Noire. New York Univ. v. 6, n. 1 : 146-154.

“El tambor como madre en la sociedad Abakuá.” Madre África: conceptos maternos en escultura tradicional africana. Centro Cultural Conde/ Duque. Madrid, Spain. (April-June) : 12-16.

Introduction.” A Quatre Mains. CRASH/ H. Di Rosa catalogue. Galerie Speerstra. Paris, France. Pp. 1-2.


Jesús Pérez and the transculturation of the Cuban batá drum.” Dialago. n. 7. Center for Latino Research. DePaul University. Spring : 70-74.


A Secret Society Goes Public: The Relationship Between Abakuá and Cuban Popular Culture.” African Studies Review. v. 43, n. 1 (April) : 161-88. [Mine was the first article in this journal to use tone markers for West African tonal languages].

Religious Symbolism in Cuban Political Performance.” TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies. v. 44, n. 2 (T166). Pp. 30-55. [this paper contains the main conclusions of Miller's Ph.D. Dissertation].

Obras de fundación: la Sociedad Abakuá en los años 90.” Caminos: Revista Cubana de Pensamiento Socioteológico. La Habana: Centro Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nos. 13-14 : 24 – 35.

“Vandalised Names: the search for a title.” Race & Class. v. 38, n. 1 : 49-63.


We, The Colonized Ones: Peruvian Artist Kukuli Speaks About Her Art and Experience.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal. v. 20, n. 1 : 1- 25.


“Belief and Power in Contemporary Cuba: The Dialogue Between Santería Practitioners and Revolutionary Leaders.” Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Performance Studies, Northwestern University. Advisor, Margaret T. Drewal.

The Singer As Priestess: Interviews with Two Cuban Artists.” Sounding Off!: Music as Subversion/ Resistance/Revolution. Eds., Ron Sakolsky & Fred Wei-han Ho. New York: Autonomedia. Pp. 287-304.

We, The Colonized Ones: Kukuli Speaks.” Third Text: Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art & Culture. 32 (Autumn) : 94 – 102.

Eno Washington: the memoirs of a Mississippi shaman.” (with Jill Cutler) Race & Class 36. 3 : 21-38.

“Interview with Abdel R. Salaam,” director of Forces of Nature Dance Company, New York City. New York Public Library Performing Art-dance Division. [6 cassettes — *MGZMT 3-1870].


“Creolization for Survival in the City.” Cultural Critique. 27 : 153-188.

Celina González: The ‘Queen’ of the Punto Cubano.” (with Idania Diaz). LUCERO: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies. 5 : 9-20.

Piecing: the Dynamics of Style.” Calligraphy Review. 11. 1 : 20 – 33.

“Celina González: Queen of the Punto Cubano.” The Beat. 13. 2 : 46 – 47.


“Guerrilla Artists of New York City.” Race & Class. v. 35, n. 1 : 27-40.


No More Carnivals: Cubans Struggle to Survive Their Economic Crisis.” International Forum at Yale. 12. 1 : 23-27.

“Aerosol Kingdom: The Indigenous Culture of New York Subway Painters.” Thesis (M.A.) Yale University. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Dissertation Services.


“Night Train: The Power That Man Made.” New York Folklore. XVII. 1-2 : 21 – 43.


“If It Hasn't Been One Of Color: an interview with Roy DeCarava.” Callaloo: Journal of African-American and African Arts and Letters.13. 4 : 847 – 857. [Author's title: “Seeing Another America: an interview with Roy DeCarava.”]