Map of Uruguay

Map of Uruguay
Map of Uruguay

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Candombe

Latin American countries represent a vast array of cultures and Uruguay is no exception. Though the majority of Uruguayans are of Spanish or Italian descent, the culture brought by thousands of African slaves has had a great influence of Uruguayan culture even today.
Copious amount of slaves were brought into the country and by 1810, half of the Uruguayan population were of African descent. Though that number has dwindled to less than six percent today, the cultural affects still reverberate. An example of this is African music, specifically the candombe. The candombe is a distinctive beat involving three drums and was a ritual that also incorporated dancing.
At one point the gathering places for candombe were outlawed because they were deemed immoral, and those that participated in the candombe were harshly punished. Nevertheless, the tradition continued and became what it is today – no longer the ritual, but a distinctive rhythm that is part of Uruguayan culture.
Interestingly, the ritual of the candombe and the places were it was performed was called tang√≥. This leads to interesting speculation on the origin of the dance of the tango today, which is arguably the most well known dance to come out of Latin America. The tango appeared simultaneously in Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Though, the tango is usually thought of as being the result of Spanish and Italian influence, it’s stylistic dance and music also shows African influence.

Here are a link to a candombe videos:

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