30/01/2014 by cc_admin

January 2014 | Antonio Brown | Percussion

The nearby town of Portobelo has a rich Congo tradition full of art, costume and painting. The Congo tradition is a cultural practice that emerged as a performative response to enslavement in Panama. The Congos of Panama are cultural descendants of the Cimarrones, runaway enslaved Africans who fought for and won their freedom during the Spanish colonial period. The Congos of Portobelo, like other Congo communities along the Caribbean coast of Panama, use ritual performance to celebrate and share their history, traditions, and cultural practices. Such performances generally include embodied storytelling enacted through costumed dancing, singing, and drumming. Antonio Brown, a young cultural producer, musician, and artist from Portobelo came with congos in tow to teach basic drumming rhythms to Coco Solo youth. This is a favorite activity for Coco Solo youth and they have much natural talents. For hours there was a great energy emitting from the classroom and 30 plus students put their all their heart into learning these rhythms. We thank Antonio for sharing his knowledge of a beautiful cultural tradition with our youth. antonio antonio2 antonio3 antonio4