A way to safeguard memory and tradition in Nuquí, Chocó, Colombia.
On January 5-7, Tamborito takes over the neighborhood with music, dance, workshops, murals, and vicheras (community meals). We offer an homage to the art form of traditional music from the afroindigenous northern pacific coast of Colombia and its legends.
The Festival del Tamborito has been celebrated for four generations according to our elders of Nuquí. They identify the festival as having always been part of the fabric of Nuquiseño society. Our elders tell us about memories in the municipal park where women and men danced and sang to the sound of the Tamborito, expressing joy with the movement of their skirts and colorful traditional dresses and attire.
Currently, the community of the neighborhood, specifically a group of artists, organizers and producers collectively known as the Tamborito Festival Committee, have come together with the purpose of resuming this tradition in tribute to the elders of this music, dance and cultural tradition that remains present in the neighborhood. Our elders include women of great wisdom and admiration in the cultural field, women who have carried the flag of their Afro-Colombian traditional arts with care and pride, which is why this dream of reviving the Tamborito Festival was born.
In 2021, the first revival version of Festival del Tamborito was a contemporary adaptation with the goal of safeguarding traditional Tamborito music from Nuquí, honoring the generational changes and integrating other traditional rhythms from the Chocoan and Panamanian North Pacific coast.
In this version, a 3-day cultural agenda was established that included a mural intervention in tribute to Tamborito legend Dellanira Sánchez also known as “Bella,” painted by the renowned urban artist Numa. We had 8 presentations by invited groups of the municipality and about 200 participants in attendance.
In its second version in 2023, we established a 4-day cultural agenda that included: a panel discussion with Tamborito elders discussing the history of the festival; a traditional crafts and vendor market with products like Viche, artisanal jewelry, and festival merchandise; a visit via the river Mortero to community farm and food access project Protectores de la Tierra we were witness the production of organic and traditional farming practices; a Gala Night with presentation of 8 intergenerational invited groups from the Gulf of Tribugá.
In this version, we were also able to engage in an initiative leading up to the festival called: Tamborito al Barrio, where neighborhood performances were held that welcomed and shared the festival agenda through music, inviting the entire community to participate in the upcoming festival.
To carry out the revival festival in the third version in 2024, we seek to replicate what was done in previous versions, expanding our cultural exchange to upwards of 100 invited artists with the cultural sector and community participation.