History of the Cumbia
The origin of Cumbia music comes from the days of slavery in the late 17th century and is derived from the African word 'cumbe' which means dance. Cumbia is one of the most song representative expressions of Colombia. It brings together three different cultures - African, Indigenous, and European. The African influence gives the rhythm of the drums while the Indigenous based flute blends in melody. The European influence provides some variations in the melodies, choreography and costumes of the dancers.
The Cumbia is usually done with a partner. If not with one partner, mainly in large groups of people.
In Colombia, mainly celebrations consist of the Cumbia being danced throughout the streets.
Amazing Cumbia Dance by Rosie & Israel Coronado
The Cumbia is still popular today and this is an example of this dance at a festival in 2007.
The conjunto de cumbia includes one melody instrument called the caña de millo (‘cane of millet’), locally known as the pito, which is a clarinet made of a tube open at both ends with four finger holes near one end and a reed cut from the tube itself at the other end