Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tambores in Chuao

This is a good introduction to Venezuelan tambores music. The two guys on the ground are playing cumaco drums made from hollowed avocado tree trunks with deer or cowhide skins. Behind them are two other drummers playing on the trunks with hard sticks called "palillos" or "laures" that give the distinctive taca-ta-taca-ta sound that drives the dancing. The singer or cantor is accompanied by a chorus, as is typical with Afro-Caribbean call and response drum music. The male dancers try and get as close as they can to the muchachitas, while the ladies spin away to avoid them. Anybody, male or female, can cut in at any time and take over. Tambores is popular in all the old plantation towns along the coast and harks back to slave days. Chuao is a historic plantation where Venezuela's finest cocoa beans are produced. It is reached by sea from Choroni .

Read the article - Chuao: In Search of World's Finest Cocoa Beans
Read the article - Choroni: Tambores, guarapita and midnight dips

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