Thursday, November 28, 2013

El Mapale

The most traditional African dance is called the Mapalé where the presence of blacks in Barranquila's carnival is always present. This dance consist mostly of movements in the hips, waist and arms. The movements range from the fastest to slow and sensual.

The Mapalé danced with a couple and the routine starts by making to lines, one of women and the other the men. They are facing each other and make progress by moving forward and backwards exchanging places in their lines. Most of the time the dancers keep their arms extended and their feet separated. Men and woman both move their hips  and body fast with strong movements. They say the beat which includes a lot of drumming comes from ancient dances practiced by African slaves in the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

When it comes to clothing men wear pants that are until their knee, any color. They are barefoot and shirtless, sometimes with a scarf or turban on their head. But some men prefer to wear shirt so in this case the men who dance mapalé use a sleeveless shirt and most of the time it's has a leopard fabric. Woman uses a short skirt, and a brightly colored blouse with a armhole sleeve, also mostly made with a leopard fabric or  it can be any color. It also goes barefoot. On their head woman use flowers or simple turbans. 


El Mapale. Online Image. 28 November 2013<>.

"Cátedra de Carnaval, Manifestaciones culturales, El Mapalé."Carnaval de Barranquilla. 28 November 2013 <>.

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