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