Intellectual property lawyers pray court to declare Yoruba Bata Dance as origin of Salsa Dance

Posted by News Express | 11 January 2021 | 372 times

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•Bata performance


The Intellectual Property Lawyers Association Nigeria (IPLAN) has filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that Bata dance is the root source of Salsa Dance.

Lead counsel to the association, Mr. Folarin Aluko, of Trumann Rockwood Solicitors told our correspondent in Osogbo, Osun State, that traditional knowledge is recognised as a specie of intellectual property.

According to him, “Historically, African Dance was the primary medium by which our ancestors transmitted our history, morals and culture.

“Bata dance was originated by the ancestors of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria and today it is a traditional cultural expression of Yoruba culture. Salsa incorporates the movements, choreography, instruments, performances and costume of Bata dance.”

He said as the world becomes a global village, there is an increasing need to protect our cultural heritage from exploitation and appropriation.

The broad jurisdiction of the Customary Court, especially on the subject of Customary Law, makes it the appropriate Court to hear and determine this matter.

In the lawsuit no. FCT/CC/PYS/CIV/01/2021 filed at the Customary Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, IPLAN prayed the court to declare Bata dance as the origin of Salsa Dance.

In the court documents, Aluko argues that Bata dance as an ancient intellectual heritage of the Yoruba deserves the appropriate local and international acknowledgment as well as protection from unfair cultural exploitation.

Relying on provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the FCT Customary Court Act, IPLAN seeks the authentication and recognition Bata dance.

The Association believes the suit will highlight the positive impact and intellectual property of Bata dance as a cultural asset of Yoruba People of Western Nigeria.

Aluko said the suit would settle the question of the Yoruba origins of the exotic Cuban Salsa dance.

Source: News Express

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