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Nariño, Colombia

THE BLACK AND WHITE CARNIVAL


Black and white carnival in Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia. January 6, 2006. Photo by Artur Coral-Folleco - © 2006/ipitimes.com®



por
Julio Alfonso Vallejo Hernández
Artur Coral-Folleco: Webmaster

Nueva York, 11 de octubre de 2006.- The black and white carnivals (Carnaval de blancos y negros) is originated from Nariño, the southwest department of Colombia, the carnivals development is between 2 and 6 January every year. The festival is originated from the Spanish colony, when Spanish colonizers gave the black slaves one day to celebrate theirs parties agreement theirs Africans traditions.


<< Adriana Carolina, Ipiales carnival's Queen. . Ipiales, 2004.

 

The history says 1607 had a rebellion of slaves in Remedios (Antioquia), caused panic between the authorities. This event was remembered by the black population of Popayán (Cauca) who wanted a holiday of absolute liberty.

 

The Spanish’s king gave them the 5 of January, day before the celebration of the wise men, as homage to Melchor, the black wizard. When the slaves received the notice, the slaves left the streets of the city and paint the white walls and the faces of the people with black varnish and dance African music.

 

The first official celebration in Pasto was in 1927, preceding of marchs and students parties that celebrate at the end of 19th century.

The celebrations begin 2 of January, this day the farmers from rural districts around of Pasto, capital of the department, prepare yours best clothes and offer the parties "Michita Linda", a loving nickname of the "Virgen de las Mercedes", patron saint of the city. And this way they obtain the holy license to enjoy the parties.


The 3 of January, the mayor of the city give natives leaders the authority cane, in presence of bands of traditional music and popular cortege; this day the children share in the little carnivals (carnavalito), with theirs little carriages.

The 4 of January, the Castañeda family comes to the city, this is a representation of a historical success of the city, and represent the hospitality of the "pastusos" with the foreign visitants. This is the official begin of the Carnival. The history say Castañeda family came from the enchantment road (el camino del encanto) in Putumayo and they gone to the Lajas Sanctuary in Ipiales. Today Pericles Carnaval, a traditional character of the carnival, gives them welcome to the city and read an edict where he assume the authority of the city during the celebrations.

The 5 of January is the day of the blacks, a traditional game practice this day, this consist in the application of black make-up in the face of anybody, the traditional "pintica"; this easy finish the day with the face paint completely of black and another colors in the middle of music bands and costumed groups.

 

"Airplane". Ipiales carnival's, Ipiales 6, 2006


The 6 of January, the Pasto´s streets are full of talc, serpentines and happiness. Very early in the morning the people search the sidewalk and occupy balcony and windows around the route of the carnival, by this way walk custom people, murgas, costumed groups and monumental carriages, the principal attraction of the carnival, where the artisans use your imagination, dedication and effort for represent the mites, legends and inventions from the popular imaginary.

In this carnival the people sing the most important song of the traditional folklore of Nariño, "La Guaneña", is a typical Colombian bambuco and represents the idiosyncrasy of people. The song is very simple and says:

Guay que si…guay que no.
La Guaneña me engaño
Por tres pesos, cuatro riales
Con tal que la quiera yo.


The author was Nicanor Díaz, an important pastuso musician. He created this fabulous song in 1789. He inspired in Rosario Torres "La Guaneña", a beautiful woman of Pasto, he loved this woman, but she doesn’t loved Nicanor. One day she left Pasto with other guy and Nicanor with the broken heart created this song.

Although the principal celebration of the carnival is in Pasto, the celebrations extend by all Nariño. The photos of this page was taken in 2004´s carnivals in Ipiales.

I recommend this fabulous carnival because is a tradition of my town and is an expression of my roots. The carnival is a great opportunity to stay with your childhood friends, aunts, uncle, cousins and old girlfriends and celebrate the miracle of life.

 

"Medioeval fantasy". Ipiales, January 6, 2004

 


 

Carnavales en Nariño, Colombia

 


 

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