Cumbia the Folk Music of Colombia
For Colombians, Cumbia is the best representation of our three ethnic backgrounds such as Colombian Indigenous, Africans and Spanish. Each culture brought its own language, corporal expressions, and passion. Cumbia was the product of history of pain and humiliation in the colonization time.
In this paper, I will to share with you the importance of Cumbia music as an expression of culture and national pride for Colombians. Cumbia is a dance that evokes legendary ancestors, that has been passed from generation to generation.
In order to understand the topic, it is important that you know about Colombia’s geographic location, in this way you will learn how our ethnic was formed. The Republic of Colombia is located in the northwestern region of South America, bordering to the east with Venezuela and Brazil, to the south with Ecuador and Peru, to the North West with the Pacific Ocean and Panama, to the North with the Caribbean Sea. Cartagena known as the Heroic city is located on the North of Colombia. It was founded in 1533 By Don Pedro de Heredia a Spanish conquer. Due to its excellent geographic location, from this time Cartagena became the most important ports in South America. Where African slaves arrived from Spain and Africa and they were sold in Colombia and South America.
Cumbia was originated in the 16th century and the Native Indigenous people such as the Koquis and the Kuna as well as the African slaves and Spanish contributed to its development. Cumbia was a dance that began secretly at nights between them. Therefore, the contribution of Africans was the name. According to Dana Griffin in her article Origins of Colombia Dancing states, “Cumbia’s name comes from the Guinean word Cumbè (festival or celebration).” Also, the Africans gave the rhythm of drums, Indians blends their flutes in the melody while Europeans brought the elegance of the choreography and the costumes of the dancers.
Colombian Cumbia is music from the coastal origin. However, “Cumbia's exact birthplace is the subject of debate. Palenque de San Basilio claims the slaves danced behind the ocean walls there at night in secret. However, El Banco, a town in the upper valley of the Magdalena River declares itself Cumbia’s focal point.”(Griffin, Origins of Cumbia Dancing.) Every year in the city of Barranquilla during the carnival, Cumbia is represented as the main expression of music and dance. This music invades the coast with the sounds of drums, gaitas (long flutes) and caña de Millo (short Flutes). Where people sing and dance happily through the streets with all the color of their clothes and smiles.
The percussion is Africans legacy that brings their rhythms with three different drums. “The bass drum (Tambora) is a double-sided drum, used to produce the deep bass rhythms. A secondary mid-drum known as a merry drum (tambor alegre) is used for backup rhythm. A small drum or calling drum (llamador) is also used for the...