African Legacies in Pacific Colombian Music: A Synthesis


  • Carlos A. Arcila




 Essentially, a summary of extensive and intensive research with several Afro-Colombian musicians who live in Colombia’s Pacific Coastal region, this article is presented as two major complementary components. Firstly, a multimedia, predominantly, with original recorded music and photographs, as importantly, a separate text with explanatory discussions and analyses, both perform key roles and occupy centre stage. 

The article demonstrates in audible and visible terms the pervasive and living influences of Africa on the region’s cultures. To do so, the article concentrates on an explicit analysis of the currulao music. It traces the music’s origins to the cimarrones who fled the plantations and mines to live in the mountainous, tropical interior. The research shows that the formerly, enslaved Africans drew on their cultures, for example, their drums and music to accommodate and resist the insistent and usually, enforced colonizing activities of the Roman Catholic missionaries.