Conga Santiaguera on el Oriente de Cuba
Conga is the Cuban Rhythm with typical identity, which nobody that listens to it, for clumsy that be, can avoid that their feet are not intoxicated by the Chinese bugle and beat of the drum. This rhythm is pure adrenaline that crawls and makes live an experience of unforgettable joy.
The history of the City of Santiago de Cuba in the Oriente of Cuba is indissolubly bound to a contagious, rhythmic and mainly popular rhythm that it has been given in calling Conga. One of the multiple meanings of this term expresses: "Conga: certain popular dance arisen starting from the cultural influence bequeathed by particular African Tribes".
Conga is the artistic manifestation most widespread in Santiago de Cuba and in the Oriente of Cuba in genaral. About its origins it's said that it was arising in a spontaneous way with the own development of the carnival. In honor to the Patron Saint of the City of Santiago de Cuba, during the colonial time, each July 25 were carried out religious festivities that had as terminus a quo the celebration of a mass in the Cathedral. Once concluded this the religious processions began by the neighboring streets to the clerical institution. At the end of the XVII century the authorities decided to incorporate to the black African people to this festivity so that they also surrendered tribute to Apostle Santiago.
It was as well as these celebrations, in its beginnings of marked religious character, were transforming into pagans.
The incorporation of the town councils of black African people to the Patron saint's parties and later on the income of the French Tumbas starting from the Franc-Haitian emigration, the character of this parties were changing. The black people were added to these parties with their own musical instruments, music and culture in general sense, printing to the same ones a distinctive stamp.
The town councils, and years later the French Tumbas, paraded at the end of the processions. They took their own instruments; instruments that were evolving and fusing. This whole transculturation's process suffering in that period made possible the emergence of different dance and musical manifestations until arriving to Conga like such, in which the contributions of the different cultures settled down in the Oriente of Cuba converge.
In Conga a group of players of drums, bells, Chinese bugle and other instruments, people's hundreds of thousands go crawling after them, for kilometers and kilometers. It is a heterogeneous mass that it doesn't specify wardrobe neither choreography and they go improvising refrains that spring from the multitude in a spontaneous way.