Cumbia, a Traditional Dance from Colombia

Topics: Colombia, Dance, Slavery Pages: 3 (857 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Cumbia is a traditional form of music and dance originated in Colombia's Caribbean coastal region; its roots come mainly from Africa, in fact the name of this traditional dance its comes from the African term cumbé which means revelry or party. However, Cumbia is a musical and cultural fusion of Native Colombians, slaves brought from Africa, and the Spanish. Today Cumbia is the national dance of Colombia which gradually has evolved around this music and came to be known as the Cumbia dance. Cumbia started in the Caribbean coast of eastern Colombia, mainly in or around Cartagena during the period of Spanish colonization, Spain built ports in the coast of Colombia and with the gold they stole from the natives they imported African slaves who tried to preserve their musical traditions, therefore it is often asserted that Cumbia is a variant of Guinean cumbé music. Furthermore, it should be noted that the rhythm of Cumbia can be found in music of Yoruba (more specifically, the rhythm is associated with the god Obatala), and in other musical traditions across West Africa. At the beginning the Cumbia dance was only practiced among the African slave population and was mainly performed with just drums and claves, but as time went by its original form was influenced by other forms of music. The African natives got acquainted with some of the local ethnic groups such as the Kogui, the Kuna and the Amerindians, and their music gradually got incorporated into Cumbia, soon this original mix of cultures developed into a courtship ritual. Due to its origins Cumbia was deemed as a dance form not appropriate for people coming from the higher strata of society, and it was considered to be an unconventional dance performed primarily by the lower social classes, till around the middle of the 20th century, today the Cumbia dance is a recognized dance form, loved by people all over the world. Cumbia is one of the most melodic representative expressions of Colombia. It brings...

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