Many of us in Trinidad and Tobago and the English speaking Caribbean not to mention the wider world have a notion that the Caribbean is made up of that chain of islands that start with Cuba, and end with Trinidad and Tobago.
However some of you might know that the Caribbean is much much larger, and we of the English speaking Caribbean are but a minority in the region, simply because the Caribbean sea is ends at eastern shores of central America and the northern shores of south America, and the populations of these combined countries dwarf those of the English speaking Islands. However the Caribbean Sea is not the only thing we have in common with our mainland neighbours, we also share a common history of European conquest, repopulation, African Slavery, and Carnival.
With that in mind over the next couple of weeks I hope to explore the Carnivals of the Wider Caribbean, and I will share with you whatever video’s and histories I come up with and what other cultural Carnival similarities we share with the Americas, and what about T&T’s Carnival that makes us so unique.
The following videos are taken from two parts of Colombia, Barranquilla, and Cartagena, looking at their Carnival we can without a doubt see the similarities in what seems to be their traditional and contemporary carnival celebrations, also in the Cartagena video, a performance with obvious deep African connections.
Enjoy this peek into a Columbian Carnival.
Barranquilla's Carnaval (Spanish: Carnaval de Barranquilla) is a carnival with traditions that date back to the 19th century. It takes place for four days preceding Ash Wednesday. During the carnival the city of Barranquilla's normal activities are paralyzed because the city gets busy with street dances, musical and masquerade parades. Barranquilla's Carnival is reputed for being second in size to Rio's, but is far less commercialized. The Barranquilla Carnival includes dances like the Spanish paloteo, African congo and indigenous mico y micas. Many styles of Colombian music are also performed, most prominently cumbia, and instruments include drums and wind ensembles.
The Carnival of Barranquilla was proclaimed by UNESCO, in November of 2003, as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, during Olga Lucia Rodriquez carnival queen year.