7 Traditions And Customs Of Anzoátegui

Anzoátegui is a state of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that belongs to the northeastern region and that borders the Caribbean Sea and the Sucre state. It is the sixth largest state in the country. According to its latest demographic census (2011), it has a population of 2,171,199 inhabitants.

Venezuela has a territorial division with 23 states. The Anzoátegui state is one of the sources of passenger cars with the highest income per year. One of its main attractions are the hydrographic sources, since it is a coastal territory.

Regarding the scope of their traditions and customs, there is a large amount of material to study. Most of its typical dances present features related to the fauna, flora and indigenous culture of the northeastern region.

The following quote shows one of the impressions given by the local press regarding the cultural sphere of the state:

“The cultural richness of Anzoátegui is demonstrated with the variety of its dances or dances, as well as traditional religious festivals.” El Tiempo newspaper, Venezuela (2015).

Folklore, traditions and customs of Anzoátegui

Dances of the Sebucán

Sebucan dance. Source: Ajrh19, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Known as El baile del Sebucán, the Danzas del Sebucán, or the dance of the ribbons. It is one of the cultural expressions with the greatest impact in Venezuela.

It is known nationally for being a colorful dance whose theme is centered on the utensil of the same name: the sebucán.

The sebucán is a tool implemented in agricultural practices, used by the indigenous people of the area. The dance consists of grouping men and women around a pole erected in the center of said group.

The participants place colored ribbons around the stick and to the sound of the music they wrap them around it. Later they tangle them again, until the end of the dance.

Indigenous festivals and celebrations

Due to the fact that the Anzoátegui state still has inhabitants of the Kariña ethnic group (an ancient indigenous tribe of the northeastern territory), certain traditions are still maintained.

Some of these are religious dances, to the sound of music and instruments made with wood and shoes. The list includes the so-called “Maremare”. It is a dance widely used at wedding parties.

Its origin dates back to the history of a great cacique (chief of a tribe) who could not have a dignified burial. After his death, the Kariña population decided to pay homage through dance.

The guarandol bird

Source: Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most popular traditions of the Anzoátegui state and known throughout Venezuela is “The Guarandol Bird.” As with other traditions of the state, it is a typical dance.

This tells the story of a hunter and a bird. It is a tragic story that shows how man destroys nature through ambitions.

In the midst of the tragedy, a third character appears; a sorcerer who resurrects the bird. Each dance scene is narrated by stanzas. The result is a combination of a play and a musical.

The kingfish

The kingfish is the name given to the dance whose main characteristics are related to fishing. In this musical representation, men and women who play the role of “fishermen” participate. The kingfish as the main protagonist, is caught and taken to the boats.

In the final stage of the dance, the women must meet in said boats where they have taken the fish.

The women then make monetary donations to the fishermen. It is a work that symbolizes the daily struggle of the northeastern inhabitant.

Sports hobby

José Antonio Anzoátegui Stadium. Source: dapc21, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

In Anzoátegui there is a great passion for sport. Sample of them are the various stadiums to host different sports such as baseball, soccer or basketball. For example, the José Antonio Anzoátegui Stadium, located in Puerto de la Cruz, has a capacity for 40,000 spectators.

Night activity

Paseo Colon. Source: PKLSPC, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

In cities such as Barcelona or Puerto de la Cruz, there is a great nightlife and entertainment attraction. It is common to see how the Paseo Colón is a meeting point for families, who meet for lunch or dinner.

Tourist attraction

Mochima National Park. Source: Virginia Ortiz, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mochima National Park or the proximity to Isla Margarita attract thousands of tourists every year, which encourages the natives to also enjoy leisure infrastructures such as shopping centers, water activities and other types of national and international events.

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