The typical dances of the Amazon region are a legacy of the cultures prior to the Spanish conquest of the territory that today Colombia occupies.
Although these cultures were devastated, many of their traditions remain to this day.
The Amazon region is located in the southern part of Colombia.
Despite the fact that many of the peoples that lived here before the arrival of the Spanish have disappeared, today it is inhabited by more than 40 indigenous peoples, who maintain much of their folklore.
Main typical dances of the Amazon region
The dances of this region are characterized by their spiritual and religious symbolism. The natives believed that through them they communicated with the spirits, and used them for purposes such as thanking them for good harvests or making offerings.
1 – Bambuco
The bambuco is one of the traditional dances of the region that survives to this day.
It is a dance designed to be performed by three couples moving simultaneously to the rhythm of a flute and a drum. Couples should try not to turn their backs at any time during the performance.
This dance is based mainly on rhythms and melodies of Peruvian and Brazilian origin. At various festivals in the country, live demonstrations are held with the idea of keeping this tradition alive. It does not require a special wardrobe for its realization.
2 – Dance of the bride and groom
This dance is performed on the wedding day of a couple. The participants are divided into two rows, with men and women in pairs. The two rows go forward and backward simultaneously to the rhythm of the music.
The bride and groom dance is made up of three very simple steps, with the intention that the whole community can practice it. It is intended to be used as a celebration of the new bond that is formed in marriage.
3 – Dance of the Sanjuanes
This dance is a modern version of a typical dance from a pre-Columbian culture that disappeared after the arrival of the Spanish.
Its origin is in the rituals of yagé, in which the elders of the tribes tried to communicate with the spirits using a pair of masks.
In principle, the masks represented the Sun and the Moon, but after the invasion of their land, the indigenous people changed the meaning of the dance and began to make masks to laugh at foreigners.
For this reason, the masks that can be observed today take very different forms.
4 – Zuyuco
This dance is traditionally performed to celebrate the construction of a new set of traditional musical instruments: the maguaré.
These instruments are drums taller than a person, which are usually played by hitting them with a pair of rubber mallets.
These dances, which are usually accompanied by songs, originally had an acculturating function.
The traditional songs spoke of the methods of obtaining basic resources, such as honey, fire or fruits. Today, it is considered exclusively a recreational dance.
5 – Bèstknatè
This dance began as a commemoration of the meeting between two indigenous tribes of the Putumayo region, the Inga and the Kamentzä.
Later, it took on the meaning of celebrating successful harvests, serving as a time to distribute food to those who needed it most.
All participants must wear costumes, as well as simple handmade musical instruments.
Before starting to dance, a Carnival parade takes place. It is one of the best known festivals in the Amazon region of Colombia.
“The Amazon Region” in: Colombia. Retrieved on: October 23, 2017 from Colombia: colombia.com.
“Amazon Region” in: Folklore. Retrieved on: October 23, 2017 from Folclor: proyectofolclor.blogspot.com.es.
“Region of the Amazon” in: Colombia and its folklore. Retrieved on: October 23, 2017 from Colombia and its folklore: jorgearturo.wordpress.com.
“Region of the Amazon – Dances and culture” in: United by history. Retrieved on October 23, 2017 from Unidos por la historia: omardavidn.blogspot.com.es.
“Amazon Region” in Colombian Folklore. Retrieved on October 23, 2017 from Colombian Folklore: elfolclorcolombianoeshermoso.blogspot.com.es.