Rumba and Guaguanco

Monday, December 25th 2023. | Cultural Traditions

Typical of the transculturation process that took place in Cuba, in the 19th Century, a mixture of black people music with that of Spanish origin occurred.

Rumba evolved in the western part of the country, shaped by three fundamental variants: Yambu, and Columbia in the rural areas of Matanzas and Guaguanco in Havana City.

It features a dance without limitations to be performed but it is mainly a black people dance. Guaguanco is the most complicated in its music and in its lyrics. Although it can be paradoxical, its lyrics are completely in Spanish language without any African or marginal expressions.

Guaguanco tempo is slightly slower than that of the Columbia and faster than Yambu. Those who dance Guaguanco move to the rhythm of the percussion instruments surrounded by a chorus that is conducted by a soloist and make a choreography highly charged with eroticism.

Despite being a black people rhythm, Guaguanco has Spanish influences in their lyrics, especially, its flamenco and decima expressions.

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