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ADSactly Folklore:Traditional dances of Venezuela - I


6 months ago7 min read


Besides the amazing gastronomy of Venezuela there is a product of diverse currents of immigrants that enriched the original culture, a great quantity of cultural manifestations as the dances, they are also the result of the European, indigenous and African interaction. Different beliefs and ceremonies will be present in the dance, that show the feeling and even the history of the regions.

I like to enjoy the folkloric dances, since they transmit and give to know the origin of a town or region, its history and idiosyncrasy. Their custom and execution are transmitted to successive generations, that is why those who practice this culturals manifestations faithfully are concerned not to alter what it mean, without changing the way to execute it.

The dances in each region are different, vary according to culture and traditions, so we can say that it is a fairly diverse field artistic. No have no specific structure or order, which means in some way that this type of movement artistic is intrinsical of the identity of the population in which it is.

Through dance, one can express feelings, sensations, beliefs and traditions of the people and of the regions where they are manifested. can tell stories, poems and songs that identify them, and in this way spread the culture of the region. It should be noted that these dances are picturesque, and in they the charisma of the dancers prevails. Below is a brief summary of several of them.

The Sebucan

Also known as "the ribbons stick", this traditional dance is characterized by its diversity of colors and accuracy in its execution. it should be noted that has its origin in Europe where it bears the name of "the dance of the May Wood". Despite being considered a cultural icon of the nation venezuelan, its practice is carried out throughout America hispan as a result of European colonization of the continent. However, in Venezuela the indigenous and African influence caused modifications specifically in the music that accompanies it.

We emphasize that its name, "Sebucan", given in the east of the country, is the product of the weaving association of a utensil bearing the same name and is used to drain the cyanide of yucca when preparing the cassava bread
It is important to note that the choreography must be done correctly to achieve the fabric around the pole and then unweave the 12 ribbons that compose it.

This representation, according to some folklore experts, implies the importance of teamwork, of what can be done and undone when one wants to achieve a goal. I particularly admire those who practice this dance because it requires a lot of coordination and concentration in the weaving and unweaving of the tapes, really admirable and worthy of enjoyment.



In the states of Anzoategui, Monagas and Bolivar one of the most deeply rooted customs of the ethnic group "Kariña" is the dance of "Maremare" performed in honor of the Virgin of Carmen. In this collective dance the members are placed in a circle, they embrace each other and, as the dance develops, they express some anecdote, verse, prayer, or event that occurred in the population. It is a song of free improvisation.

"The Maremare is a dance performed to commemorate the visit of an important person or a family member to the community, culmination of the funeral for the death of a character or family member. The death is celebrated with maremare, because the Kariñas estimates that the deceased passes in reality to better life, for that reason it is motive of celebration".
His steps are very simple, since movements are made back and forth to the beat of the music. Although originally the dance was accompanied only by a flute, it is now enriched with other musical instruments such as el cuatro, las maracas and el tambor.

The dress for the ladies is extremely colorful, reflects the colors of the rainbow and resembles an indigenous tunic, called "sayal" or robe Kariña. The knights use a costume called in Kariña language "Pentú", which consists of a lining of marine blue color, and in the head they shine ribbons and necklaces made of seeds.

For the ethnicity "Kariña" the world was created by celestial heroes by means of the power of dance, thus establishing that the existence of man is a product of original dance. From there the importance of dancing, that would give, according to them continuity to human existence.


The Joropo of the plains

To culminate this article of the traditional dances of Venezuela in its first installment, nothing better than to close with one of the most characteristic and representative dances of this country and that identifies it anywhere in the world: the Joropo, known as Venezuelan Cultural Heritage. To the sound of traditional instruments such as the cuatro, the arpa and the maracas, inherited from our Venezuelan Indians and Spanish colonizers, the Joropo of the plains is a dance that is performed in much of Venezuela, but is native to the state of Apure.

This dance is characterized for being cheerful and amusing. In it are executed diverse steps and figures like the "valsiao", that is realized at the beginning of the dance moment in which the couples embrace and cross the space doing diverse figures and turns; the "escobillao", where face to face couples make short movements of the feet back and forth; the "zapateado" which is usually more of a male figure, where the man releases the lady and while she makes the step of the escobillao, he takes the lead by sounding his footsteps strongly with rapid advances. This dance represents a great popular festival in the country, where each region or geographical area takes its own essence for interpretation.

A cultural manifestation "is national when it is dispersed throughout a country and logically acquires characteristics specific to the different regions, because the different regions of the country, have a different social historical background and are part of the cultural diversity of Venezuela" Rafael Salazar.

It is important to note that the origins of the Joropo date back to 1700 and derives from the "fandango" Spanish, which represents the most significant songs and dances within flamenco. The joropo as dance adopted movement of the hands and turns of the waltz .


Finally, the traditional dances mentioned in this publication, as well as many others, were conceived and developed from the community itself, where they converge and link a diversity of local elements that identify it, such as handicrafts, gastronomy, beliefs, and others traditions that are referred to the community, are also inherited and transmitted from generation to generation. Knowing about dances folklore, undoubtedly, awakens love for our land and our history, and take it to future generations in formation will generate in the individual a rootedness to the traditions of their region and its subsequent promotion.

Until the next issue.

By @luces



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