Colombian Culture Edit

Colombian culture is a direct descendant of the influences of Africa, Europe, and Native India. With more than 80 different ethnic groups making up the population, Colombia is filled with a diverse range of cultural expressions. These expressions include the areas of music, art, literature, food, etc.

The earliest inhabitants of Colombia settled somewhere around 10,000 AD. Over time more advanced groups settled in what was known as the Colombian territory, and accomplished a great deal for the time in development. The population had built towns, stone paths, statues, burial urns, gold, and pottery. These achievement allow for people to understand about the early heritage, culture, beliefs, and way of life of the earliest of Colombian natives and settlers. One of the earliest groups were the Muisca Indians. This group of people were farmers of plains, but were also masters in goldsmith and pottery. Muisca Indians are responsible for the myth of El Dorado. El Dorado is the myth that the chief priest of the Muisca Indians was covered ritually in gold dust and then submerged himself in Lake Guatavita. At the same time this Muisca king was washing off the gold dust, it is said that other tribes people threw objects like gold, emeralds, and precious objects into the lake. For this reason, many Spaniards, once they settled in Colombia, believed that there were very valuable treasures in the deepest part of that ceremonial lake. Other tribes known for their pottery and gold-smithing are the Quimbaya, Sinu, Tayrona, and Calima tribes.

Cultural ExpressionsEdit

Many cultural experiences are highlighted in festivals of different ethnic groups throughout the country. Some of those festivals include the following and many more:

  • The Manizales Fair
  • The Colombian Folkloric Festival
  • The Vallenato Legend Festival
  • The Cali Fair
  • The November 11 Feasts
  • The Cartagena Film and Hay Festival
  • The International Poetry Festival
  • Bogotá Book Fair and Jazz Festival
Colombian Festivals

Music Edit

Influenced by African culture, the most prominent music of the country emerged in the 19th century. This music is referred to as Cumbia. The music of cumbia is made of the drums, gaita, trombones, claves, maracas, and guitars. These instruments are used to accompany the voices of the singers. Vallenato is another style of music heard in the Colombian culture. Vallenato has the meaning "in the valley" since it originated in the valley lying between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the Serranía de Perijá, both of which are mountain ranges. Vallenato has made its way to being one of Colombia's most popular form of traditional folklore music. Its sound is combined of that of an accordion, the caja vallenato, and the guacharaca. Llanera, or joropo llanera, is a music based on the sounds of the harp and guitar. The music of llanera is most performed on the plains between Colombia and Venezuela. Due to the diversity of Colombia's population, music proves to be a "melting pot" of sounds and rhythms, most prominently of vallenato and pop music.

Sports Edit

The national sport of Colombia is a modern version of the ancient sport of turmeque. This sport, now known as tejo, originated over 500 years ago in Cundinamarca as well as Boyacá. In this, the object was to throw a golden disk. Over the centuries it has evolved into the sport it is today. Today, the object is to put an iron quoit in a metal circle. The edges of this are loaded with firecrackers (mechas). The winner of the game is the one who causes the most explosions.

Tejo 1
The image above features a child holding the disk thrown in this game. The image below shows the board of the game as one of it's outermost pieces are being exploded. The person playing the game in the image below is advancing their score to try and win the game.
Tejo 2

 Bandeja Paisa Edit

The most common dish of Colombia, as well as the national dish is known as La Bandeja Paisa. The origins of this dish come from the Andean state of Antioquia. In this area, field workers would need to consume a higher calorie amount so that they had enough energy to work in the fields all day. The different foods in the dish and the nutritional value give those who eat it the energy and nourishment to last the entire day. The ingredients in La Bandeja Paisa that make it so nutritious are red beans, rice, beef, chorizo (with lime), plantain, avocado, arepa, and fried egg (sunny-side-up) all on a slice of chicharron (fried pork belly). An example of a recipe for this dish can be found below:
  • 1 Recipe Paisa Pinto Beans (Frijoles Paisas)
  • 1 Recipe white Rice (Arroz Blanco)
  • 1 Recipe Powdered Beef (Carne en Polvo)
  • 4 Fried Pork Belly (Chicharrones)
  • 4 Cooked Chorizos
  • 4 Fried eggs sunny side up
  • 4 baked plantainsor Tajadas de Plátano
  • 1 Recipe Hogao
  • Lime and Avocado for Serving

More information on the recipe and instructions for cooking can be found on this page:

Created and edited by Hannah Rex

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