The Cumbia dance and song is a symbol of Colombian culture around the globe (Dimartio, 1999 p26). This is because Cumbia dance has strong links to the history of the Colombian people and for generations, acted as a melting point for numerous Colombian cultures that defines the national identity of the nation (Wade, 2008 p109).
Cumbia can be traced to music and dance that reflected the social lives of the countries of origins of African slaves brought to Colombia by the Spaniards to work on the plantations. The African slaves created Cumbia as the only form of entertainment that they had to ease the unpleasant and harsh nature of work as a slave in the Americas (Rosa & Neciosup, 2008 p59).
Up until the 1930s, Cumbia was only known in Colombia (Dimartio, 1999 p26). It was performed by a few professional groups that toured the Colombian countryside and was also performed by gifted musicians who lived in the various villages. These gifted musicians were preserving a tradition that was handed down to them by their ancestors.
Aside the African influence, there is clear evidence of Spanish influence in Cumbia. Most Cumbian songs are sang in Spanish and the costumes used by the main, like the hat, pants, shirts and dresses are sewn according to Spanish standards. They reflect the main cultural trends of the dresscode of Spanish America. There is also a strong Amerindian influence in the dance and some of the instruments used in the dance of Cumbia. All these observations were made after watching the Xiomara dance video and the Ballet Esmeraldas group perform. The purpose of the research is to identify the origins and manifestation of Cumbia. ...Show more